Monday, August 24, 2015


Delicious Food, Rosé Wines & College Football

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA- It’s time for toe to meet leather, an old football saying that signals the kickoff of college rivalries accompanied by colorful pageantry and robust celebration. The almost sacred Tailgating tradition is showing signs of upgrading. Tailgating, which began during the Civil War and found its way from battlefields to college football, has evolved, becoming more inventive while still retaining the casual conviviality and warm hospitality we enjoy in the South.

Tailgating dishes are more elaborate. Grills and smokers are commonplace. There are flower arrangements, tablecloths, unbreakable dinnerware and shatterproof flutes. Presentation can be dramatic. The Saturday spreads from Baton Rouge to Tallahassee can rival a church picnic on the grounds.

Wines have an important place in tailgating. It’s still hot in August and September, and a chilled wine that refreshes is just what should be uncorked and served.

Welcome to the cheerful wines of Provence. The lovely, refreshing rose wines produced in this region of France, are magically suited for the cuisine we enjoy outside campus stadiums from now through early December.

Rosé comes in soft colors of pink, salmon or peach and is one of those wines that you know up front will pair with everything.  Mexican or Thai dishes, seafood, barbecue, burgers and even homemade coconut cake.

Provençal rosés contain some combination of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle, Carignan and Tibouren. These wines have a relationship to our easier lifestyle in the Deep South. They are exceptionally food-friendly, and can be enjoyed late into the football season.

Getting in palate conditioned for the season, I recently enjoyed two that are now favorites: Cote de Provence Rose Les Quatre Tours Classique 2014 is very affordable and goes gently with almost everything Asian. Côtes de Provence Sables d’Azur Rosé 2014 seems made for bacon wrapped grilled wild Key West Shrimp or sushi. A few glasses during the great picnic and you know there is a kinship here with the Provençal lifestyle.

Note: Tailgating Down South will visit the great campus stadiums of the ACC and SEC with a few surprises. We welcome recipes and your favorite wine and cocktail suggestions. Down South Today will give you full credit as we choose the best submissions. Contact Doc at

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