Côtes du Rhône (red)

Synonyms: In the northern Rhône, Syrah is the predominant grape in red wines. Côtes du Rhône from the southern Rhone Valley is a blended wine with Grenache as the predominant grape but often with Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes.

Wine Name: Côtes du Rhône is produced in both the northern and southern Rhône Valley. However it may take on the name of specific cru villages without being called Côtes du Rhône. This would apply to specific southern Rhône villages such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Lirac, Rasteau, Vacqueyras, and Vinsobres; in northern Rhône, wines take the names of the specific cru villages of Cornas, Côte-Rôtie, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Saint Péray,

Background: In the southern Rhône the Grenache grape is required to be present at not less than 50%, with 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. A maximum of 20% of other authorized varieties is permitted. This blend varies in taste from straight Grenache in that it is more tannic (from the Mourvèdre ) and fuller-bodied with more flowery aroma elements (from the Syrah).

In the northern Rhône, red wines are 100 % from the Syrah grape and tend to be full bodied and very tannic.

Classic Brands and Sources: Beaucastel, Chapoutier, Jaboulet, Delas Frères, Guigal, Ferraton, Chave, Vins de Vienne, Andre Romero’s La Soumade, Boudinaud


Style #1 – typical northern Rhône

Body – full

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – high

Style #2 – typical southern Rhône

Body – medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium (+)

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with acidic foods/sauces, salty and fatty foods

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Beef, cold cuts, barbeque, chicken, chili, pizza, game, sausage, truffles, grilled tuna

Cheese Pairings:
Blue cheese, Swiss, Saint-Nectaire, Saint-Marcellin, Roncal, Port Salut, Pont-L’Eveque, Maroilles, Gouda, Emmental, Castelmagno, Beaufort, Banon