Malcolm Jolley suggests a pink wine to go with dinner.

Chateau Aqueria near Tavel in Provence

Vigneron Vincent de Bez in front of the Château d’Aquéria next to his family’s winery, January 2016.

Aqueria Tavel bottleTry the 2015 Château d’Aquêria Tavel even though, at $21.95, it’s more expensive than most rosé. It’s few dollars more (and worth it) because different from most rosé, and meant to be drunk differently. Here’s why.

I wrote a number posts (here) earlier this year about Tavel, where I visited as the guest of the Syndicat Viticole de l’Appellation Tavel as part of a group of Canadian journalists. One of the first things we did when we arrived at the charming village of Tavel, built from its namesake yellow limestone, was take a blind tasting of 10 or so wines from the to be released 2015 vintage. All were good, but a few stood out including the 2015 Château d’Aquéria Tavel. After the tasting, we sat down for a Provençal lunch, and the d’Aquéria proved just as popular, and it turned out our first winery visit was to its cellars, built next to the 18th century château pictured on its label.

At his family’s winery, long time maker Vincent de Bez explained that in the world of wine  “rosé is unique because you buy it with your eyes.” The rosé of Tavel, which is the only wine appellation exclusive to the production of rosé, is distinctly more red than many of the paler, salmon skin hue rosé made across the rest of the South of France. I am touched with a bit of a synesthesisa, and I think they also taste redder. The 2015 Château d’Aquéria Tavel is a bit of a symphony of red fruit: strawberry is the loudest part, but you can hear raspberry and red cherry too, all playing over a base line of bright acidity.

Tavel wines are, and d’Aquéria is, more than bright fruit. Tying everything together are velvet tannins that bring structure to these serious vin gastronomique.  Tavel rosé from light red wines, which the popes in Avignon liked to drink in the summer time, saving their Châteauneuf-du-Pape for cooler weather. They just kept getting lighter until rosé was invented, but they kept their character as a food wine.

The 2015 Château d’Aqueria ought to be drunk at the table with food. It’s not an aperitif, it’s a dinner wine. What it wants is a warm night, a table set outside, and a plate of grilled something or other: chicken, sausages, vegetables, fish, bread for crostini… whatever you eat when it’s hot out.

Click here for the 2015 Château d’Aquéria Tavel LCBO product page, and find a bottle at a Vintages near you.

Full disclosure: while this is not a commisioned post, it is the case that Noble Estates Wine and Spirits is the Ontario importing agent for Château d’Aquéria as well as a Good Food Fighter sponsor of this website.