We're not big wine drinkers, but a glass of something chilled is often called for when we kick back and stuff ourselves with a Chinese takeaway. It seems to cut the richness of roasted duck or the oiliness of a wok-fried tangle of noodles.
I was sent a couple of bottles of Côtes du Rhône wines - one red, one rosé - to try with a Chinese takeaway. Would they be refreshing enough? Would they complement the flavours and spices in the food? And are they worth the money?
The red wine was first up - the Cairanne Villages, Domaine de l'Ameillaud 2010. It was full-bodied and rich - not as acidic as some other reds I've tasted in the past and so perfect for drinking with a meal or for sipping on afterwards with your tummy full, amidst empty plastic cartons. We enjoyed it. It went well with the duck and hoisin spring rolls and fantastically with the barbecued spare ribs. It was good too with the Cantonese beef fillet, with its sweet but beefy sauce. It's not a break the bank kind of wine, but again it's not cheap at £9.50. But to be honest, you could taste the quality. Definitely a wine I would buy (especially if I was cooking barbecued ribs).
And then onto the rosé - a peachy number - Cuvée des Templiers, Cave de Villedieu 2012. We found it fruity and citrussy - perfectly refreshing and sweet sipped while munching on prawn toasts, spring rolls, fried rice and chow mein. In fact the red went well with the special chow mein too - but this one was refreshing enough to clean the palate after every sip and made the takeaway even more pleasant than it was already. This one was less pricey than the red, at £7.95 and again I'd say it was worth the money. Especially when you consider the cheapest bottles in the supermarket cost from about £4 - and you'd get nowhere near the quality you get here.
For more information on any of these wines, or others in the range, visit the Côtes du Rhône website.