Scalloped Oysters … with a South African Rose

Pairing:  Sunny Acres Scalloped Oysters Paired with 2014 Big Flower Rosé

Food: A couple of interesting things about this meal. First, this recipe for Scalloped Oysters dates back to the early 1900’s. It is from Haydn Pearson’s 1953 Country Flavor Cookbook. In the book, Pearson fondly remembers his boyhood and this delicious oyster dish his mother made with butter, cream, and cracker crumbs. The link to the recipe is here.

Secondly, the raw oysters used for this dish (Merry Oysters from Duxbury, MA and Wiley Point Oysters from Damariscotta, ME) were bought fresh at Sanders Fish Market in January, and put into our freezer, unopened, still raw in their shells. Three months later, we removed them from the freezer, partially thawed them, shucked them and used the fresh oyster meat and liquid to make the recipe. Talk about an easy preservation method! We’ve also eaten them raw this way … taste just like fresh raw oysters!

Scallopped Oysters

Wine:  Big Flower is a tiny winery (only 13 acres) located in the breathtakingly gorgeous Stellenbosch region of South Africa. They make a lovely rosé from a very unusual combination of grapes … 2/3 Petit Verdot and 1/3 Chenin Blanc. Petit Verdot is an ancient variety believed to have been planted by the early Romans in the area of Bordeaux. For many years, it was a principal component of red Bordeaux wine … until the vineyards were almost wiped out by the phylloxera blight in the late 1800’s. Today, it is but a minor element in Bordeaux wine, almost exclusively in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. Of late, winemakers in different parts of the world (e.g., California) are experimenting with Petit Verdot as a single varietal wine instead of just a blending wine. Chenin Blanc is a widely grown grape in South Africa, indeed it is one of the signature wines of that country. The innovative combination of these two grapes in the Big Flower rosé is dynamite!

Big Flower Rose

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful salmon-colored rosé wine. A hint of strawberry on the nose, and a delicate flavor of strawberry and blueberry combined with some bright, pleasant acidity make for a delightful dry wine. Really goes well with the buttery taste of the scalloped oysters.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Scalloped Oysters:  Chardonnay (California), Champagne, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (white), Chablis (France)

Other Foods That Pair Well with Rosé:  Crab Salad, Grilled Shrimp, Tuna Salad, Green Salad, Pâté

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Greek Meze with … the Best (!) Rose

Pairing: Greek Meze Paired with 2014 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint Drézéry Rosé

Food: Meze is a popular dining experience common in Greece and other Balkan and Middle Eastern countries (e.g. Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia). It is a selection of small dishes composed of complimentary flavors, often served with an alcoholic beverage. Each dish can range in complexity, but we prefer each to be relatively simple in preparation. Here we’ve created an easy, quick set of delicacies for a warm summer evening. This meal includes cooked carrots marinated in a little lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and oregano; smelts sautéd in that same marinade; garbanzo beans with capers; tomatoes with oregano; mozzerella strips; and marinated mushrooms. All are served at room temperature. Use your imagination to create your own selection of favorites.

Meze Meal with Rose

Wine:2014 Château Puech-Haut “Tête de Belier” Coteaux du Languedoc St Drézéry Rosé

A perfect accompaniment to a summer Meze meal is a cool, crisp refreshing rose wine. All of the Mediterranean countries produce wonderful roses (Spain, southern France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, etc). This one’s made from 100% Mourvedre grapes. We’ve enjoyed many rosés over the years, but we recently had what we consider the best we’ve ever had. This Saint Drézéry! Of course, people’s tastes are different. But do try this one from the Languedoc region of France. Magnifique!

Saint Drezery Rose

Tasting: The color is a delightful light pink. The nose captures the delicate smell of pasture roses (believe it or not!) with a touch of honeysuckle. On the palate, one gets a bit more of the honeysuckle (without being sweet), plus some peach, blueberry and strawberry. The overall effect is fresh, flavorful, and refreshing. Wonderful!

More Pairings with Meze: Pinot Grigio, Albarino, Prosecco, Cava

More Pairings with Rosé:  Grilled Fish, Green Salad, Grilled Shrimp

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