Rhone Valley blend is perfect with fish, veal or vegetable tarts and salads
by Dwight Casimere
"A good wine is a wine you want to taste again." That's the message from French wine legend Michel Chapoutier on the back label of his Marius Red, a blend of 54% Grenache and 44% Syrah from the warm climate and complex soils of the South of France. The wine is a reflection of the breezy, open air lifestyle that is so typical of the Rhone Valley wine region in the South of France. Unlike most reds, these wines are served lightly chilled, between 50-53 degrees F, and can be had with almost any of the dishes served at a summertime brunch or lunch served al fresco. That means the wine is equally at home with a grilled swordfish or salmon steak, steam lobster or mussels or lamb kebabs or beef carpaccio or a goat cheese tart or classic salad nicoise. The wine has a lovely deep purple color with flecks of garnet and a heady floral aroma of a bouquet of crushed red roses and a luscious flavor of ripe blueberries or black raspberries and a nice aftertaste of crumbled cinnamon stick and a hint of nutmeg. The finish is long and clean, more like that of a wine three times the price. Do yourself a favor and get a case to keep around for all occassions. Even those finicky wine drinkers who say they don't normally like the red wine will go back for a second or third glass when they think no one is looking.
Some views of the Rhone Valley in the South of France