Sunday, December 13, 2020

Lockdown diaries day forty-five, Advent day thirteen, rosé wines

French Village Lockdown Diaries day 45, France Trivia Advent calendar day 13 rosé wines
Advent day 13 Côte de Thau rosé and a bier blanche

Day forty-five, Sunday 13th December 2020


Advent day thirteen, the third Sunday of Advent

Today has been a rather dull day all round. The skies have been dull, the weather damp and dull and although a busy day in the kitchen, I’ve nothing really exciting to report. No baking of tasty sweet treats, no experimental recipes, no kitchen disasters, just lots of pig bones bubbling away in various stages of becoming pork bone broth. Dinner this evening will be a risotto, with freshly brewed pork stock, and all the flavours of Christmas; chestnuts, cranberries, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and as there is plenty of it, some roasted pork meat pulled from the bones.


I do have some good news to report and that is my Mum’s knee operation, back in UK, has been done and after a few nights in hospital, she is back at home. Dad will now take over her ‘nursing’, administering an injection every day to ensure no blood clots form, dishing up delicious meals and her medication, as well as keeping a general eye on her recovery. My French friends would be appalled by this, as in France, with the exception of the meals, the daily district nurse visit would cover all of this, as well as checking on the healing of the wound. As Dad says “c’est la différence”.


France Trivia advent calendar, day thirteen, rosé wines

My advent calendar gave me the first bottle of rosé wine today (aside from the sparkling rosés) and so I decided to share a little bit of rosé trivia. My wine is a Côte de Thau, from the Languedoc, but according to my Larousse guide, Provence is the king of rosé wines. In fact, 85% of the wine that comes from Provence is rosé and 6% of the rosé wines on the planet come from Provence. While other wine growing areas in France also produce rosé wines, Provence is the leading rosé producing region in France, holding a 40% share of the national production. 


Rosé wine is made from red grapes and gets it colour from the method used to make it, direct pressing (rosés de pressée) or bleeding (rosés de saignée). The direct pressing method gives the palest of rosés as the pressed juice isn’t given much time with the skins, while the bleeding method allows the grape juice and the skins around twelve hours to macerate, or until the desired colour is achieved. Too long and the vintner risks straying into the flavours of red wines. The Vidauban research centre in Provence has come up with the nine shades of pink classification for rosé wines: groseille (current), bois de rose (rosewood), framboise (raspberry), chair (flesh), marbre rose (pink marble), saumon (salmon), pelure d’oignon (onion peel), brique (brick) and corail (coral). I am not sure which official shade mine is tonight, but it is a nice pale rosé (which is my preferred type of rosé), in an elegant and beautiful shaped bottle, so I’m happy with that. 

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