For me, one of the most satisfying food/wine pairings is a glass of Bandol rosé and tapenade. This olive based gourmet condiment from the south of France is extremely easy to prepare, and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. My good friend Elisabeth (Bip) Schriber has her own, super tasty version that I whip up whenever a Provencal dinner party is in the works:
Idée de recette –BIP’S TAPENADE
1.5 cups pitted nicoise olives
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped or pressed)
2 tsp salted capers (rinsed)
2 anchovy fillets
1 inch strip of orange zest
1 tsp of cognac (or other brandy)
4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs unsalted butter
sea salt / black pepper
Pit the olives. This is somewhat tedious and time consuming, however if you crack open your bottle of rose and begin sipping, it helps facilitate the process immensely. Disclaimer: I used half nicoise and half kalamata for this latest version. Because the Kalamata were less salty, I also used salted butter.
Next, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Alternatively, you can achieve the same result with a morter and pestle if you like to do things the old school (and hard) way. Puree/ Grind until you reach the desired texture. Tightly covered with saran wrap, your tapenade will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Slice baguette, rub with garlic, then toast. Spread tapenade on each slice, then enjoy. Tapenade can also be slathered on grilled meats, or served alongside roasted vegees. However, one must enjoy with a swig of dry and fruity rosé like the following..
A rosé from the Provencal appellation of Bandol is a great choice to serve alongside your housemade tapenade. Right now I am really liking the 2009 from Domaine du Gros’ Noré. Composed of 40% Mourvedre, 40% Cinssault and 20% Grenache, this classic example is crisp and dry, yet exhibits a creamy midpalate richness which really kicks it up a notch.
Incidently, drinking Bandol rosé should not stop at just tapenade. This substantial pink wine can carry you through an entire meal. Grilled snapper? Ratatouille? Gigot d’agneau? Roast Pork?
Absolument un rosé!