By Nicholas Harary
The first thing you notice when you travel in the south of France is that everyone drinks rosé. When Melissa and I first went there, our experience in America with pink wine had really only been white zinfandel. Having tasted that, my interest in Provencal rosé was minimal at best. Yet, everywhere we went, people were eating bouillabaisse and drinking rosé by the boatload. It didn’t take very long for us to realize that we should be doing as the locals did.
It was a revelation when we finally took the plunge. It was nothing like we had before. It was aromatic, it was dry and it was absolutely terrific with the food. Why were the Americans making white zinfandel?
At this time in our lives, everything we did and every place we went became inspiration for what would become Restaurant Nicholas. It was on this trip that I developed my recipe for bouillabaisse that many of you have had here at the restaurant. When we opened in 2000, bouillabaisse was one of the first dishes I made and I was damn sure I knew which wine would pair best with it. The fish soup was a smashing success and it became a staple on the menu. The wine? Couldn’t give it away!
Fast forward 13 years, my inbox is currently filled with rosé presell offerings from a bunch of different importers. It seems that Americans have finally caught up with the rest of the world and now they drink rosé. Some are even allocated now. Come in and taste a classic pairing, one they’ve been doing in the South of France for generations, one we’ve been doing here for just a bit shorter. Domaine de la Citadelle is a perennial favorite of ours, a crowd-pleaser that we will be drinking all summer long both in Bar N and on our deck. Don’t miss it and buy now. Regular price $18, Nicholas WOTM price, $16, Nicholas Wines Case Price $15 or $180 a case.
With double-digit growth recorded each of the last eight years, export volumes of Provence rosé are at an all-time high (according to Ubifrance).
Domaine de la Citadelle is organically farmed on an estate that is made of 65 small parcels set at 300 meters in elevation, north of the Luberon mountains. Although Citadelle is only a half hour away from Chateauneuf du Pape, being north of the Luberon mountains allows for slightly cooler days and nights, the perfect place to make concentrated yet vibrant wine. Citadelle’s rosé, La Châtaignier, is terrific, fresh and fruity and perfectly bone-dry. It’s aromatically intense. Be sure to drink it in a big glass. The beauty of this rosé is that it goes with just about everything – spring asparagus, juicy burgers, roasted poultry or fresh goat cheeses. You name it, it works.
Nicholas Harary is the owner and executive chef at restaurant Nicholas in Middletown.
In 2011, Restaurant Nicholas launched its Nicholas Wines program. Each month, Nicholas Harary selects one to two wines to sell in the online store (www.restaurantnicholas.com). Chef Harary’s long-lasting, personal relationships with winemakers and his commitment to storing wine at 56 degrees from Day One equates to unique access, value and quality for Nicholas Wines customers. Wines can be ordered by the bottle and/or case and shipped or picked up at the restaurant.