As much as I enjoy exploring the historical convergence of wine and religion that is evident all over the world, the Rhone Valley is possibly my favorite wine region to excavate historically. Hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to explore it in person. However, the Rhone Valley is not only home to religious history, it is most importantly home to a wide array of wines that pair perfectly with summer fun and foods.
Côtes du Rhône accounts for about 50% of all Rhône Valley wine production. Côtes du Rhône simply means “hillside of the Rhône.” It can be made anywhere in Rhône Valley, as long as it meets the appellation standards, but almost all of it is made in the southern region. 80% of Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wine production is red; however, the region also produces high quality whites and rose, even if it is a small quantity.
3 Reasons why Rhône Valley wines should be part of your summer:
- They are perfect for sipping by the pool, on the beach, on a boat, or relaxing in a hammock while camping.
- They are super food friendly, light and refreshing, and pair great with summer BBQ and grilling, salads, seafood, and shellfish. Thinking burgers or hot dogs? How about a Rhone Valley rosé? Steak, ribs, or brisket? Rhone Valley reds to the rescue! Lightening things up with chicken, salad, or seafood? Rhone Valley whites are an ideal pairing.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get high quality wines. Rhone Valley is a large and diverse wine region. It has some extraordinary wines that come with a hefty price tag. But take a look below and you will see many Rhone Valley wines from Cotes du Rhone and Rhone Villages are high quality wines that deliver beyond their inexpensive price tags. These 5 wines are all under $20!
2016 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc Rhone Valley France ($10): 35% Roussanne, 30% Viognier, 25% Grenache Blanc, 5% Clairette, 5% Marsanne; pale gold with straw hues; medium aromas of orchard fruit, white stone fruit, white floral notes, and lime zest; dry wine with pronounced acidity that coats the palate, loads of lime zest on the palate, light body, long tart fruit finish; click here to locate this wine.
2016 Domaine Le Colombier Vacqueyras Blanc Rhône Valley France ($19): 40% Viognier, 30% Marsanne, 30% Grenache Blanc; medium- gold; medium aromas of gardenias and jasmine, ripe stone fruit, melons, and tropical fruit, lemon curd, and a touch of bees wax; medium body, bees wax follows through on palate, along with tart citrus zest, medium acidity, elegant; click here to locate this wine.
2016 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé Rhône Valley France ($12): 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault; pale salmon; medium aromas of fresh picked strawberries, watermelon, delicate white flowers, and citrus; refreshingly tart on the palate, crisp with medium+ acidity and a long zesty finish; click here to locate this wine.
2016 Domaine De Fondreche Ventoux L’Instant Rosé Rhône Valley France ($12): 50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache; medium- salmon with orange hues; medium aromas of ripe peaches, apricots, oranges with zest, fresh picked strawberries, jasmine, soft spice notes; refreshing on palate with lots of citrus zest, crisp and lively with medium+ acidity and a long, tart finish; click here to locate this wine.
2015 Domaine De La Bastide Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan Rhône Valley France ($14): 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre; medium+ ruby; medium+ aromas of stewed blackberries, cherries, currants, and black raspberries, violets, sweet baking spice, vanilla, tobacco, minerality, and dusty earth; rich and elegant with lots of earthiness on the palate, full body, medium+ acidity and dusty tannins, long spicy finish; click here to locate this wine.
Look for these and other Rhône Valley wines near you to add to your summer enjoyment. Cheers!