Buying Time with Southern France

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, by http2007 on Flickr

Exposed to hundreds of wines a month, people are always curious what it is that I love most. I hate to rate wine. At the end of the day, they all have a time, a place… and a meal. But looking at the kind of food I prepare most (hearty, rustic, butter laden, soul-warming fare), it’s no wonder that the wines I find myself going home with the most are those from the south of France. I have been fortunate enough to travel to this part of the world, and I find that with every sip, an array of sensual memories flicker in my mind: lavender, sunflowers, rolling vineyards and long, lazy lunches at simple roadside restaurants. It’s a place that pauses in time and allows one to feel each quiet moment amplified with meaning. Who wouldn’t want to inspire that flashback again and again?

 

Cassoulet

[recipe]

(I apologize, you will have to convert Celsius and measurements—I couldn’t resist a true, traditional French recipe. ALSO NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO PLAN IN ADVANCE!)

Sausage Cassoulet

Sausage Cassoulet by yashima on Flickr

2007 Domaine la Boutiniere Chateauneuf du Pape ($30)–If you are putting this much time into a recipe, why not get the creme de la creme? Unlike so many CdP’s, you can afford this one. Rustic, warm spices with classic notes of ‘garrigue’ this region is so famous for will be a perfect complement to this hearty dish.

2006 Lirac ($19)–An incredible value just next door to the higher priced reds of the Rhone. Dried lavender, licorice, rocky minerality and raspberries are just the beginning.

Rhône Valley - Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Rhône Valley - Châteauneuf-du-Pape, by Megan Mallen on Flickr

 

Roasted Root Vegetables over Polenta

[recipe]

2008 Chateau d’Oupia Minervois ($12)–Hands down one of the best values around! Elegant, floral and dried red fruit, if you like Pinot but don’t have $20 handy, this is your next choice.

2007 Chateau St. Helene Corbieres ($24)–An impressive, bold red that isn’t afraid to flex its muscles. Forceful yet tempered by its feminine, earthy qualities of violets, dried cherries, cinnamon and herbs.

About Ashley Hausman


Originally from Wisconsin, Ashley moved to Colorado to hike and climb mountains as soon as she had a B.A. in hand. Quickly she learned, she needed to find a career. So she went back to grad school to get her PhD in English & American Literature, beginning with a Masters at New York University. A few long papers, a thesis and a masters degree later, she found wine was not only an incredible way to enhance Derridean studies, but it had its own story to tell: of regions, soils, cultures and farming. While Woolf still had her heart, Burgundy was creeping in… She decided to postpone the PhD and go for the plunge. Now, she manages Little’s Wine & Spirits near the University of Denver. She orders by day, sips and tells all in her blog by night, and runs private wine parties in between in addition to giving advice on cellar building, wine vacations and food pairing. It’s a passion that grows only more complex with every passing vintage.