A Couple from Côtes-Du-Rhone

The first one is a Plan de Dieu From Rémy Ferbras. It is a classic GSM blend, namely Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Its nose is full of raspberry, blackberry and that Grenache telltale very ripe local strawberries not the wooden kind we receive here in Canada from California. On the palate broad based by mild tannins and the wine has a little bite to it. Some blackberry, licorice and a bit of white pepper. Mid length finish. Neither rustic or elegant and I’d say better with food than as a sipper. The Liquor Control Board says pair with a pork and mushroom fricassee? Never had that dish before but it sounds like it might work or if you are adventuresome a Mushroom Wellington. It will smooth out a bit with decanting. It might improve somewhat with bottle ageing for the next couple of years. It is not really a case worthy wine for someone with a wine cellar though.

(Rémy Ferbras Terre de Mistral Plan de Dieu Côtes-Du-Rhône Villages 2017, Rémy Ferbras, Châteauneuf-du Pape, France, $ 16.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 538009, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

As summer creeps up on us in Canada we all wonder if summer will be salvageable given we are riding a nasty third wave with a hint of a total lockdown, Heat up the grill and enjoy yet another lonely meal without family and friends.

This rosé is from the most southern part of the Rhône, Costières de Nîmes. It is a perennial Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) favourite label Mas des Bressades. In colour in the middle of dark and light pink. On the nose mostly cherry with some strawberry and a hint of raspberry. As for the palate it has some weight to it. The LCBO categorizes this wine as extra-dry. But it is more on the simply dry side. It has some cherrry, raspberry with a slight pepper finish. I think it would suit a mushroom, asparagus and tomatoes pasta from Taste of Home you’ll see below. I would suggest 250 grams of pasta.

(Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition, 2020, AOP Costières de Nîmes (organic), Cyril Marés, Manduel, France, $17.95, LCBO # 950576, 13,5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).


  • 3 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 pound uncooked shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper flakes. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; stir-fry until pink, 2-3 minutes. Remove; keep warm. 
  • In same skillet, stir-fry the next 5 ingredients in remaining oil until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine and seasonings. Return shrimp to pan.
  • Drain pasta; add to shrimp mixture and toss gently. Cook and stir until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges.

Test Kitchen Tips To keep pasta from sticking together when cooking, use a large pot with plenty of water. Add a little cooking oil if desired (this also prevents boiling over). There’s nothing like fresh pasta. The process may seem intimidating, but it’s actually very easy to do! All you need is a little time. To get a jump on it, make dough 2 to 3 days in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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