When Mark and I were staying in the south of France back in April, we had a lovely visit from two of our friends from Australia. Our friends Hollie and Chris had just gotten married and were in Europe for their honeymoon so they took a little detour during their trip to stay with us for a few days!
I really love it when I get to welcome overseas friends in France, not only because it allows me to share parts of my culture and birth country with them but also because it doesn’t happen very often so it makes the whole experience even more special.
Hollie and Chris are both wine lovers so I thought it would be fun to celebrate their arrival with a rosé wine tasting. Because what better way to say ‘welcome to the south of France’ than with a rose party, right? ;)
Here are the party details:
Setting the scene
Despite the fact that it was very windy day, I was determined to have the wine tasting in the garden so that we could enjoy our rose in the sun and watch the sunset together. I set up in the most sheltered part of the garden and – apart from our hair blowing all over our faces every once in a while (thank you lipgloss!) – it turned out to be a gorgeous spot.
Garden settings are naturally pretty so I didn’t have to do much in terms of decor. I simply brought out the drinks trolley so that we wouldn’t have to go back and forth to the house all night and *carefully* set out the wine glasses and bottles on it (hoping the whole time that the wind wouldn’t topple them over).
I also made a simple bouquet with flowers from the garden (with the help of my hubby who is actually much better at putting together flower arrangements than I am) to put on the table.
The south of France (especially Provence) produces amazing rose wines which is why I chose it as the theme for the wine tasting. I selected 6 bottles – all from different producers and with slightly different colors and bottle designs. (Don’t worry – we didn’t drink them all that night!).
I half expected the roses to all taste the same to be honest but they were actually all very different from one another. Some of them were quite dry, whilst others were more zesty or sweet. One also had a mild honey aftertaste which I loved. My ultimate favorite was the sparkling rosé though, because I’m basically crazy about sparkling wine so add the pink element to that and I’m sold ;).
One of my favorite recipes from Provence is ‘pissaladiere‘, which is a tart topped with caramelised onions, olives, and anchovies. It usually comes as a full-sized tart but I wanted everything to be cute and bite-sized so I made a mini appetizer version. It worked really well with the rose – especially with the sweeter style ones as the sweetness balanced the saltiness of the anchovies nicely.
To keep with the Mediterrean theme, I also served blini topped with tarama.
Finally, no French feast would be complete without cheese and charcuterie! I’ll admit I didn’t put much effort into my cheese and charcuterie platter this time around but hey, it was gone before anyone could notice anyway.
Besides, who needs a pretty cheese platter when you have these pastries!?
Aren’t they beautiful? I bought them from a local bakery and OMG they tasted as good as they looked! The ‘tarte tropezienne’ (a brioche & cream style pastry, named after the town of St Tropez) was probably the favorite of the night but it was a tough call as they were all so.damn.good.
So there you have it – our little rose time in the sunshine (and wind). It’s definitely something I’ll be doing again as it was so much fun!
Next, I’ll be sharing my fifth party of the year – a ‘1001 nights’ dinner party I hosted when we returned to Melbourne. Stay tuned xx