Largest Wine Region
The Languedoc-Roussillon wine-growing region is the largest in the world. This vast region west of the Rhône River covers more than 2.4 million acres. Previously considered a cheap wine region, it now holds Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status. There are 30 sub-appellations that call Languedoc-Roussillon home.
The most prominent are:
- Blanquette de Limoux
- Côtes du Roussillon
- Saint Chinian
First in France
Many people will be surprised to learn that Languedoc was the first wine-growing region of France. Did you know that wine has been produced there for the last 27 centuries? That’s a hell-of-a-long time! It boasts a Mediterranean climate, allowing for a long-growing season. The varied soils range from limestone, granite, rock and schist. This results in a wide range of styles and a diverse mix of grape varieties. Red, white, rosé, sparkling and fortified wines are produced throughout.
The red wines make great food companions. You can joy them with barbeque, Asian-inspired dishes like beef and broccoli and stews, as well as vegetarian foods like sauteed or grilled mushrooms.
Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, seafood such as anchovies, grilled fish and octopus make natural accompaniments. Also, due to proximity with northern Spain, the Roussillon region is home to many Catalan people, which greatly influences the cuisine.
In recent years, there has been an influx of outside investment to the area, including Brad Pitt. Also, recent technological improvements have helped elevate the quality of wines. Below are some of the better producing regions, along with perfect food and wine pairing ideas:
- AOC Languedoc-Picpoul de Pinet
- AOP Clariette du Languedoc
- IGP Pays d’Oc Chardonnay ( IGP- Identication Géographique Protégée)
Pairings: Various seafood, fresh goat cheese
- AOP Côtes du Roussillon
- AOP Corbières
- IGP Pays d’Oc Syrah
Pairings: Cassoulet of beans and sausage, BBQ
- AOP Languedoc-Pic St. Loup
- IGP Pays c-Oc
Pairings: Spanish tapas, North African and Asian-influenced dishes
- AOC Blanquette de Limoux
- AOC Crémant de Limoux
Pairings: Cheese courses, soups, dishes using creamy sauces, salads
Fortified Sweet Wines (Vins Doux Naturals)
- AOC Banyuls & Banyuls Grand Cru
- AOC Maury
Pairings: Desserts, cheeses
Tags: Food and Wine Pairing, French Wine, Languedoc Roussillon