Now that spring is in full bloom and the weather is warming up, we find ourselves saying goodbye to the heavier fare that kept us warm throughout the winter and looking for lighter recipes with fresh ingredients. While thinking about potential pairings with our 2020 Rosé, I thought back to one of the first rules of food and wine pairing: If it grows together, it goes together. This means that a style of wine from one region generally pairs well with the foods that are grown or originated in that same region. Our rosé, a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, is made in the style of the world-famous rosés from the Provence region of southern France. And it is there where we find the origins of this recipe, the Niçoise Salad.
Originating in Nice, France, the Niçoise Salad is both simple and flavorful. While the name my be intimidating, this salad itself is relatively easy to put together. This recipe, from Anna Stockwell at Bon Appétit, begins with making your own salad dressing. While I am personally a big fan of making your own dressing, you can skip this step and use your favorite simple vinaigrette. Also, this recipe calls for canned tuna, but you can just as easily substitute fresh albacore, salmon, or even chicken if you don’t care for fish. Lastly, to make this a vegetarian dish, simply replace the tuna with 2 cups of cooked white beans.
Why This Pairing Works
This pairing works by sharing both congruent and complimentary flavors. The congruent flavor is the citrus and acidity in the wine and the lemon juice in the dressing. Complimentary flavors of fresh fruit and sweetness play well with the earthiness off the potatoes and green beans. Be sure to add the pepperoncini for a little heat and let the sweetness of the wine compliment it nicely.
Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 5 days ahead; cover and chill. Eggs can be boiled and vegetables blanched 2 days ahead; cover and chill separately.