Springtime had some New York City journalists seeing pink on a breezy sky blue afternoon at the vegetarian and pescatarian centered Miss Paradis in SoHo. The stylish and airy Philippe Starck-designed restaurant was the ideal venue to host an eight course lunch featuring Provence roses’. Rose’ is made throughout the world but Provence (with a 2600 year history of rose’ production and a 6% global market share), holds the distinction of being the global leader in rose’ production. Nevertheless, it has only been in the last decade or so that The United States market really began to notice Rose’ and now that it has, it seems Americans can’t get enough of the pink stuff — The United States is the #1 export market for Rose’s from Provence to the tune of 16 million bottles annually– and the love affair shows no signs of stopping. The restaurant showcased a menu of Mediterranean- inspired courses representing ingredients from all four seasons — summer, fall, winter and spring — to emphasize the versatility of rose’ and its adaptability to a range of dishes and temperatures.
The Chateau d’ Esclans, Rock Angel, 2016 consisting of Grenache and Vermentino with a pale pink glow, floral nose, balanced acidity and fresh notes of citrus fruit and raspberry notes was poured with a subtly earthy and slightly pungent roasted eggplant over labneh- tahini sauce, scallions, parsley and mint. The vivid deep purple and dark green hues of the cold dish provided a stark but pleasant contrast to the softly luminous peach-accented pink of the rose’ as did the juxtaposition of earthy and fruity flavors.
A Mirabeau en Provence, Etoile, 2016 comprised of Syrah and Grenache with a pale pink hue accented with slightly iridescent silver inflections, a fresh peach, lemon and tropical fruit nose and orchard fruit and apricot notes was paired with a pillowy and creamy burrata accented with fresh cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and a tomatillo dressing. The sweet and juicy citrus flavors of the dish complemented the orchard fruit flavors of this delicate rose’. This rose’ was produced by two English expatriates who were drawn to Provence because of a love for the wine and the region and who have thoroughly embraced the Provencal lifestyle (who can blame them; it’s an enviable way to live) and the Provence way of fine rose’ wine making (if this vintage is any indication).
A Chateau de Berne, Grand Récolte, 2016 in a lively shade of pale, slightly luminescent apricot, consisting of Cinsault and Grenache and characterized by floral aromas, bright acidity, fresh citrus fruit and zesty notes and a clean finish was served with a butternut squash flavored with harissa paste, herbs, lemon and virgin olive oil. The dish comprised a collection of harvest flavors and colors that proved an ideal complement to this vintage.
A Domaine Sainte Marie VieVite, Paparazzi, 2016 comprised of Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren and Syrah, with fresh notes of citrus, strawberry and ripe orchard fruit was enhanced by a spicy crudo with tortilla, scallions, cilantro and red onions. The subtly sweet seafood flavors mingled with the zing of the bulb vegetables that characterized this dish worked well with this rose’.
An organic Chateau de l’Escarelle, Les Deux Anges, 2016 consisting of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault, with a pretty rose petal hue, peach and strawberry aromas and ripe orchard and raspberry fruit notes was paired with a delicate zucchini tagliatelle with curry sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano and roasted shrimp. The sweet and savory flavors of this gently spiced dish was a fine choice to complement the more substantial and persistent flavors of this rose’.
An organic Chateau Beaulieu, Cuvee La Provençale 2016 comprised of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre, with a bright apricot-peach hue, floral aromas, good structure and pronounced notes of berries and orchard fruit was poured alongside a pungent and slightly earthy truffle oil mushroom risotto with beet puree. This comparably heartier dish really brought out the complexity of this rose’ as well as its potential to be paired with more robust flavors.
Two more rose’s, a Chateau La Vivonne, Les Puechs, 2016 consisting of Mourvedre and Grenache and a Chateau de Saint Martin Cru Classe, Eternelle Favorite, 2016 comprised of Grenache, Cinsault and Tibouren, were paired with an artfully presented peach tart with pistachios, almonds, mango-peach coulis and basil and a fragrant and delicate lavender and litchi panna cotta.
For every dish, from cold to hot, savory to sweet, and everything in between, there is a rose’ to match.