We’ve just passed the winter solstice but I don’t think the cold weather is going to disappear completely. So on those nights when the chill creeps into your bones and you’d like a nice glass of wine to help you warm up I thought I’d add another log to your wine fire. Sure, you can go through all the cliches of Coonawarra Cab, Barossa Shiraz, Cotes du Rhone. They are all excellent choices and suit classic winter fare. BUT what if you want to have something different to eat? Or just want to try a different wine with your winter dishes? You need Roussanne (ROO- sahn).
Is a viscous, low acid, moderate to high perfume. Reminiscent of aloe vera, stone fruits and some skins/lees savoury notes. It is one of the grapes, along with Marsanne, that add sobriety to the Rhone Valley’s ostentatious Viognier grape. Without their flamboyant partner the wines tend to be rich, understated but very well balanced. On its own I wouldn’t suggest aging it, but when Viognier and especially Marsanne are blended in the wines do have the ability to evolve and change over the mid term.
The mouthfeel of the wine is a real highlight and we’re lucky that in Australia there are a lot of locals absolutely nailing the style. We also have access to some glorious examples from the Rhone.
What to serve
With Roussanne, I would look to aromatic spices, creamy textures, subtle to moderate flavours. Shellfish are a natural match (Memorably I had a canadian scallop in Aloe Vera sauce with Roussanne), roasted or pureed winter vegies are great. Turkey, pork, ham all work really well too.
What to buy
I’ve been drinking my way through a range of wines from all over the world. My absolute favourites are on the shop here. I’ve chosen them for their authenticity of style and sheer drinking pleasure. Having a range prices helps give context. The Australian examples are equally as good as the French and price is a very good indicator of quality.
To delve deep into the variety you can purchase TWD’s Roussanne Winter 6 pack