Languedoc-Roussillon, the largest wine producing region in the world, is bringing its first-class wines to Washington this summer. Throughout June, visit these participating locations to enjoy some of the most exciting rosés the South of France has to offer.
Summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s officially rosé season, a sunny time of year where pink wine dominates the happy hour scene. The seasonal specialty is light, crisp, and refreshing, and perfect for pairing with warm weather fare. This summer, Washingtonian rosé lovers are in luck, as Languedoc-Roussillon – a versatile, expansive wine region in southern France – is bringing its best rosé (and wines of all other colors!) to the District with the L’Aventure Languedoc campaign.
Languedoc is everything you’d expect from a vineyard area in the south of France: warm, sunny, organic, and expansive; its 650,000 acres stretch across the Mediterranean coastline from Spain in the south to Provence in the east. Home to several climate and soil types, the region produces a wide variety of exceptional wines, all blessed with an auspicious blend of natural factors, including abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and varying hills and plains.
A neighbor to the acclaimed Provence region, the differences between the two rosés are subtle. Bottles from both are typically drier; feature elements of ‘garrigue,’ a combination of herbs common to the region; are made from the same grapes, including Syrah and Grenache; and often embody the same pale, salmon-like color. But because Languedoc is relatively unknown to the American wine drinker, consumers can find incredible wines for affordable prices – including a lengthy lineup of refreshing, and top-of-the-line, rosés.
These first-class wines are known as Languedoc AOP, produced from a combination of excellent climate, diversity of production, and time-honored techniques and traditions. Instead of identifying wines by the grape variety as we do in the U.S., Languedoc AOP wines are named for the sub-regions where the grapes are grown. To find a Languedoc AOP rosé on a menu or in the store, look for sub-regions such as Minervois and Corbières or for the letters AOP and AOC on the label.
Every participating location will feature a different selection of Languedoc wines, but some rosés to look out for include Chateau Puech-Haut Prestige Rosé AOP Coteaux du Languedoc Saint Drezery; Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris AOP Corbières; Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Rosé AOP Corbières; and Chateau de Lancyre Rosé AOP Pic Saint Loup, pictured below.
Once you’ve picked the right bottle, the next step is finding the perfect appetizer and entrée to match. One of the best things about Languedoc rosé is its versatility. Some are pale, light, and refreshing, while others are deep in color and mesh better with stronger flavors and textures. In general, rosé pairs well with hors d’oeuvres like cheese plates, olive tapenade spreads, and light salads, but the summer favorite can also add an upscale feel to your backyard cookout. Kebabs, burgers, pork loin, grilled chicken, and lamb are all terrific matches for chilled rosé.
L’Aventure Languedoc runs through June 30, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to try some of France’s most authentic rosé wines while you can. Exotic but accessible, stylish while affordable, and traditional yet innovative, Languedoc rosé is the perfect summer go-to.
For more information on the wines, region, and L’Aventure Languedoc promotion, visit http://languedocadventure.com/.
Photos by Kyle Espeleta