Tuesday 5 July 2011



David Ellis

IRREVERENT – made by a Frenchman to go
with traditional Coq au Vin.
IF you like celebrating all things French, then July's the month to do it, with the Tour de France running to the 24th and Bastille Day on the 14th.

And a couple of French wines to help you along are the irreverently-named Arrogant Frog Ribet Red Cabernet Merlot 2010 and Ribet Rosé 2010 – both made by Jean-Claude Mas, a one-time sports car salesman and racing car driver whose passion for wine saw him ditch these careers in the 1990s and establish Arrogant Frog (that now sells some 10-million bottles annually.)

A limited edition Tour de Frog label for the Ribet Red shows the "Arrogant Frog" riding a bicycle in celebration of the Tour de France; it could well become something of a minor collectors' item, as the Tour will actually pass through Jean-Claude and the Frog's home of Languedoc on July 17TH.

With ripe black currant, plum, herbal and vanilla hints and chocolatey tannins this is a good drop to enjoy while watching the Tour on TV one evening – match it with a tasty traditional French Coq au Vin. The Ribet Rosé has toffee and candied fruit flavours and suggestions of ripe cherries, making it very pleasant match with another French classic, the fish soup, Bouillabaisse.
FROM the best vintages: enjoy with pan-fried
salmon steaks and a buttery sauce.

They're $10.99 each through Dan Murphy's, BWS and Woolworths Liquor.

ONE FOR LUNCH: EVANS and Tate Redbrook Chardonnay is only made from the best of vintages, and the just-released 2009 was one of those with fruit being drawn from three diverse vineyards with vastly differing terroir and microclimates in Western Australia's Margaret River region.

Winemaker Matt Byrne used only hand-picked fruit and from this created a wine that's not overly powerful, but rather beautifully subtle, sublimely balanced and displaying lovely texture. Pay $39.99 and enjoy its stone-fruit and melon flavours with pan-fried salmon steaks and a buttery sauce.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )

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