The sun rises on Mt. Saint Victoire just east of Aix en Provence

Winophiles Dream of Red Wines from ProvenceOur French Winophiles are spending February imagining our selves enjoying a glass of red wine in Provence, sigh…  Come along with our group and look back and ahead to trips to Provence and a wonderful glass of wine.  Skip down to the bottom of this post for links to all my fellow Winophiles posts, and join our chat on Saturday Feb. 20!

(click on any photo for a full size slide show)

Provençal MemoriesWe’ve had the opportunity to travel to Provence on a couple of occasions. The photos above are from western side of Provence, Les Baux de Provence which is the home of Mas de Gourgonnier. On a future trip, you can bet I’ll plan a visit!

Organically farmed in Les Baux de Provence, Mas de Gourgonnier Rouge is a classic

Mas de GourgonnierThe Cartier family has farmed the estate at Mas de Gourgonnier since the eighteenth century, they first planted vines in 1950. They have never worked with chemicals on the land and were early believers in organic farming. They have been certified organic since 1975! Grapes are hand harvested, native yeasts are used, wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence AOP 2017 (locally $20 or online here) : 56% Grenache, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 10% Carignan. 

Eye: Medium Ruby Nose: Medium plus aromas of ripe red cherries, strawberries, ripe blueberries, rosemary, black olive, cloves. Mouth: Dry, medium acidity, medium plus fine-grained tannins, medium alcohol, medium plus body, medium plus finish. Ripe red cherries, blueberries, rosemary, black olive, fennel. Observations: An easy to enjoy red wine for winter stews and braises. 

Perfect wine with braised beef, stew or your favorite pot roast

Thoughts on Mas de Gourgonnier with Braised BeefTruth be told, almost any red wine you like will pair beautifully with a braised beef roast. Southern Rhône reds and Provençal reds are particularly well matched, and even more-so if you use the same wine as your braising liquid. This is simply a classic winter dish and the meal itself is the finish, but you had the pleasure of smelling it cook all afternoon!

French Winophiles Provençal Red Wine DiscoveriesJust take a look at all the great ideas for Provençal Rouge wine from our French Winophiles. Why not join our chat on Saturday Feb. 20 at 10-11 am Central Time?  Just look for #Winophiles on Twitter!

Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla presents Provençal Pork Stew + Clos Cibonne Cuvee Speciale Rouge 2019.
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares Beef Daube Provencal with a Bandol Rouge.
Payal at Keep the Peas serves A Bandol Red and Lamb Biryani.
Jane of Always Ravenous showcases Provencal Braised Beef with Bandol Rouge.
Lynn over at Savor the Harvest offers Winning Red Wines from Provence with Lamb Meatballs: Domaine Hauvette and Clos Cibonne.
Susannah from Avvinare tells us how Beef Stew and A Glass of Bandol Rouge Warms the Heart.
Jeff of Food Wine Click! shares Provençal Memories and Mas de Gourgonnier Rouge.
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator posts The Magique of Provence.
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles writes Bandol Rouge – An Elegant and Wild Provençe Red Wine from Château Ste. Anne.
Cathie at Side Hustle Wino shares Off the Beaten Path in Provence
Melanie at Wining with Mel shares Rosés are red? Exploring Provence red wines with Château Calissane

Classic Red Wine Braised BeefServings: 4Print

This is a classic method of braising an inexpensive cut of beef.  I use Julia Childs’ twist (from her bœuf bourguignon recipe) of cooking the pearl onions and carrots separately, and adding them in at the final assembly.


2.5-3.5 lb chuck roast, blade roast or other inexpensive braising cut of beef
16 oz. red wine – I used a second bottle of Mas de Gourgonnier
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and chopped
Fresh sprigs of sage, thyme and rosemary, tied with kitchen twine
8-10 whole black peppercorns
1 lb of carrots, peeled and cut into bite size sticks, quarters for the larger pieces, halves for the thinner ones.
12 oz. bag of frozen pearl onions.  I used fresh pearl onions once, never again! All that peeling….
2 oz. red wine
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


The night before you cook, salt the beef with 1/2 tsp salt per pound of beef. Store in the refrigerator overnight
Pre-heat oven to 300 deg. F
Melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp EVOO over medium heat in a dutch oven on the stovetop. 
Brown all sides of the meat including the larger edges, 5-10 minutes per side. Set the meat aside on a plate.
Add the onions, chopped carrot, chopped celery, garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the wine to the pan, bring to a boil, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Continue to boil to reduce the wine by about half.
Add the meat back to the dutch oven, add the herb garnish, cover and place in the center of the oven.
Check the pot after about 15 minutes, it should be gently bubbling away.  Adust the heat up or down to achieve that relaxed bubbling.
Check the roast at 90 minutes and carefully flip it over. Total oven time is about 3 hours.
While the roast cooks
Sauté the pearl onions in 1 Tbsp EVOO until lightly browned.  Add 2 oz. red wine, and simmer the onions in the wine until reduced.
Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp EVOO to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the carrots and sauté until lightly browned but still a bit firm, about 10 minutes.
The Finish
Remove the meat from the braising pan. 
Pour the braising liquid through a sieve, pressing the solids lightly to extract the liquid. 
Heat the braising liquid in a small pan. Either reduce the liquid to your desired consistency or add a bit of flour pre-mixed with cold water (avoid lumps) and add to help thicken the sauce to a gravy consistency.
Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or grain of your choice.


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