France: Rhône Valley

Between Montélimar and Orange

The northern Côtes du Rhône Villages, Tricastin and Vivarais
By Liz Berry MW

This Guide was last updated on 26 January 2012
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Food specialities

Olive oil: the olive oil from around Nyons was the first French olive oil to achieve its appellation. This is a soft, fruity olive oil from a single variety, the Tanche.

Truffles: the area around the Coteaux du Tricastin in particular is truffle country and they are used in season for a variety of dishes. The season is from November to late February.

Provencal dishes: In general the many olive and olive oil-based dishes of Provence go well with many of the wines of this micro-region.

Ardèche chestnuts: These have their own appellation and come in various forms. They can be found as a soup, part of a salad or roasted with a meat dish, and even as marron glacé. Chestnut flour is also available, and is used in a number of cakes and breads in the region. A soup is ideally accompanied by a dry white, whilst if roasted and served with meat a fruity red Côte de Vivarais is a good match.

Picodon: goats' cheese produced in the Ardèche, fairly strong it works best with a light fruity local red.

Nougat from Montélimar: this famous sweet is made from honey and nuts. As one would expect in France, the appellation is laid down and the minimum percentage of almonds and honey is fixed by law. You could try it with a sparkling Clairette de Die from northeast of this micro-region.

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