France: Rhône Valley

East and South of Orange

Gigondas, Vacqueyras and beyond
By Liz Berry MW

This Guide was last updated on 22 February 2010
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Food specialities

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

Black truffles: the areas around the Luberon and Ventoux are known for black truffles, available from late October to March and used in a variety of dishes. The cold winter of 2009-2010 has caused a shortage of these ‘black diamonds’ with prices increasing considerably.

Game: the mountainous areas here are also home to excellent game: in particular sanglier (wild boar) and lièvre (hare).

Nougat: although its main production area is to the north in Montélimar, some excellent nougat producers can also be found in the Ventoux area, around Sault. Nougat is usually off-white and chewy in this region, produced from lavender honey with almonds and pistachios. Try with a Muscat Beaumes de Venise.

Honey: there are numerous honey producers around Carpentras and the Luberon, where the lavender honey is particularly delicious.

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