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Classic Nicoise-An American/French Pairing For #Wine PW


We are in the throes of summer and July is the month that at least for me is the quintessential summer month, it’s also the month that America celebrates it’s Independance on July 4th and the French celebrate Bastille day on July 14th. What better way to mark both holidays than with an American/ French food and wine pairing.  Michelle@Rockin Red Blog invited me to participate,  I was thrilled but a little scared, I’ve done plenty of posts utilizing the expertise of the wine experts but have never actually done this myself. There can be any number of combinations, American food French wine, American food and wine etc…..  I chose a classic French dish that is light and IMHO perfect summer fare, Salade Nicoise, and I thought it would be fun to pair with both an American and French wine.


Salade Nicoise is a delicious combination of assorted vegetables, olives,  hard boiled eggs and tuna or anchovies, the salad is dressed with a vinaigrette and I will serve with a fresh baguette and wine of course.  Really no recipe is needed but I will give you the breakdown of what my salad consists of:
Salad Nicoise

3 thick tuna steaks

1/2 lb haricot vert with only the stem end removed

4 hard boiled eggs

2 beets roasted

1/2 lb small new potatoes cleaned and roasted

cherry tomatoes

olives- nicoise olives preferably or kalamaata works also

young french radishes


Coat the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. At the same time roast the beets, clean well, drizzle with olive oil add a sprig of thyme and wrap in foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Clean and trim the haricot vert, place a saucepan filled with water on high heat to boil, add a tbs of salt to the water. When it comes to a rolling boil add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Immediately drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and the beans will retain their lovely green color. Make the hard boiled eggs. Clean the radishes and tomatoes. Prepare the tuna last, mind you all of this can be done ahead of time and assembled the day you are going to serve the salad.


1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dijon mustard

scant tsp of honey

Place everything in a lidded jar and shake to combine.


Heat fry pan with a little olive oil on Medium high heat (make sure it’s sizzling hot). Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper (be generous with the pepper) Sear the tuna 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness mine were about 1 1/2 inches thick) and immediately remove from the fry pan. Let sit 10 minutes and slice.

Arrange the vegetables and egg artistially on a platter, add the tuna slices and serve the vinaigrette on the side.

The wine:



American Wine- Finger Lakes region of New York State

Dr Konstantin Frank – 2013 Dry Reisling,

Rose champagne

Rose champagne

French Wine- NV Montaudon Grande Rosé Champagne – Reims, France

50% Chardonnay, 35% pinot noir, 15% pinot noir (red)


Why I chose these wines:

I love wine and enjoy with my food but I am not a professional at wine pairings. I thought about what I was serving and what I would like to have with it, both the dry Reisling and Rosé Champagne came to mind. I did a little research and found that my instincts were pretty good. I thought the Reisling, especially this particular one from upstate New York is clean, crisp, and it would be a great match with the tuna.

When considering the Rosé Champagne one usually thinks in terms of desserts or something sweet but Rosé and specifically Rosé Champagne is excellent with many and varied savory dishes from  grilled meats to a Nicoise Salade. The Champagne also has a lively acidity and I felt that would be important when considering what to pair with this dish.


The Pairing

Both wines were amazing and they were the perfect compliment to the salad. I first tasted the Reisling which is nicely dry, just the slightest hint of sweetness almost undetectable. It is a very distinct wine that was delicious with the meal. It’s very well balanced in both acidity and mineral content.

The Rosé Champagne is I think one of the best I have had. It’s a delicate champagne, a gorgeous deep pink, effervescant, crisp, fruity, slightly sweet and beautifully balanced. It went so well with the salad. I served ice cold.  This Champagne would be fantastic with anything including dessert.

If I had to pick one that was my favorite (and thats a tough one) I would have to say the Rosé Champagne wins my vote. I already ordered 2 more bottles.

It was an honor to be invited to participate in this with so many great bloggers most of whom are experts and really know their stuff when it comes to the intricacies of wine. Please check out their posts by clicking on the links below:

A Day in the Life on the Farm: “An American Feast for #WinePW”
Confessions of a Culinary Diva: “Provence Style Pan Roasted Chicken with Rose”
Cooking Chat: “Gruyere Cheeseburgers with a Bordeaux”
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: “Tapenade-Topped Sablefish + Cave de Saint-Roch-les-Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé”
Curious Cuisiniere: “Cherry Clafoutis paired with a Cremant Rosé”
Dracaena Wines: “Discovering the Truth About Bastille Day with #WinePW”
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: “Independence Day at Ridge Vineyards Zins and Blends #winePW”
Food Wine Click: “All American Menu: Farmer & Winery Friends”
Grape Experiences: “Wine and Dine: Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Cotes du Roussillon and Salade Niçoise”
Pull That Cork: “Domaine de Bila-Haut and Cobb Salad for #winePW”
Rockin Red Blog: “Celebrating America & France with July #WinePW”
Tasting Pour: “Steak with Mushroom Cognac Sauce, Patriotic Potatoes, and Bell Wine Cellars Cab Sauv #winepw”
Vino Travels: The Alchemy of Hunt Country Vineyards Paired with Braised Beef Short Ribs
Please join us this morning at 10 am CST on Twitter for a fun and lively discussion on our American and French food and wine pairings at #WinePW. Also, join us Saturday, August 15 as we explore Portugal, a land of delicious food and outstanding wines!

89 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love Salade Niçoise and yours looks especially good. I love the inclusion of new potatoes.

    July 11, 2015
    • Thank you, I do too, love Nicoise salad. I saw so many recipes some with potatoes some without, in my research I found that there are many classic recipes would love to know how it was originally made.

      July 11, 2015
      • apparently the classic one contains baby artichokes and also cucumber…

        July 11, 2015
      • I had cucumber got it specifically for the salad and forgot to add it. Artichoke, ok. never knew that. I found a hundred different recipes many claiming to be classic. Some said no tuna only anchovies, some no potato, some said all the vegetables are raw. I decided to make this my classic Nicoise. Thanks for that.

        July 11, 2015
  2. Beautiful presentation, Suzanne!

    July 11, 2015
  3. Suzanne, you have out done yourself with this post, from every angle. The beautiful photos made me feel like i was there, and definitely had me ready to relax and enjoy this feast. The menu is summer perfection! It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. As for the wine, just as two heads are better than one, then so are two wines! 😀 Besides, Reisling is my favorite. You really did a marvelous job with this post. Mega hugs!

    July 11, 2015
    • Thank you so much Teagan, you always make me feel good whether it’s your comments or stories. Thank you again!!

      July 11, 2015
      • I give you nothing but the truth Suzanne. Now… i’m wondering how close i can come to this delight for lunch. 😀

        July 11, 2015
  4. So happy you joined us this month. Your salad looks amazing. I had the pleasure of visiting the Finger Lake Wineries during a wine tasting/murder mystery event. It was a delicious blast.

    July 11, 2015
    • Thank you Wendy, I hope to visit the finger lakes wineries and also Long Island wineries sometime in the near future. That sounds like so much fun!!

      July 11, 2015
  5. That looks soooo good!

    July 11, 2015
  6. What a beautiful composed version of the salad! Nice!

    July 11, 2015
  7. What a nice meal, I think this will be my dinner tonight. Thanks Suzanne and have a nice weekend. 😀

    July 11, 2015
  8. Just lovely Suzanne really!!!

    July 11, 2015
  9. I love Nicoise and this one looks delicious. It will the perfect summer dinner for tonight. Have a nice weekend.

    July 11, 2015
  10. It is very easy to enjoy summer with easting this salad and drinking good and fresh wine in your backyard, isn’t it?

    July 11, 2015
  11. Stunning photos. You’ve made me very hungry. xx

    July 11, 2015
  12. Fantastic photos! Don’t be so rough on yourself about the wine expertise. If you are drinking wine that you like, you are an expert!!

    July 11, 2015
  13. Fantastic! First of all the salad looks amazing! Wow! And you nailed the wines. Just like Lori said, if you are drinking wines you like you are an expert. Great job Suzanne! Perfect. I hope you will continue to join us on the second Saturday of each month!

    July 11, 2015
    • It was so much fun Michelle, I loved doing and and felt great after tasting both with the food and it was a really good pairing, at least for me it was. Thank you so much and I hope to participate in the next one.

      July 11, 2015
  14. Beautiful presentation, Suzanne! The salad looks amazing! Lovely wines as well 🙂

    July 11, 2015
  15. Lovely presentation Suzanne…. 🙂

    July 11, 2015
  16. Great pairing. Classic cuisine and love the twist of pairing with two wines including one from the U.S. Your explanation of your pairing is very good too – acidity is so important when pairing. Cheers!

    July 11, 2015
    • Thank you so much, it was my first time actually posting a pairing and I was a bit nervous. You have all made me feel welcome. Thank you.

      July 11, 2015
  17. Your salad is beautiful. It looks like a lot of work, but well worth it. (That’s how I felt about making a Cobb Salad for our pairing too!) Very nice wine choices both. Glad you joined #winePW

    July 11, 2015
    • Thank you so much I had so much fun doing it. I love your salad and wines.

      July 11, 2015
  18. Hi Suzanne, love your presentation of this salad, so beautiful. Wine pairings sound good too!

    July 11, 2015
  19. This post reminded me of how much I like Nicoise salad, I think it’s time for me to make it at home rather than order it at a restaurant 🙂

    July 11, 2015
    • I also was reminded just how wonderful this salad is. Thank you so much.

      July 12, 2015
  20. What a meal and what a menu! I could eat this salade nicoise exclusively all summer! Yum. Well done.

    July 12, 2015
  21. Such beautiful presentation, Suzanne!

    July 12, 2015
  22. Looks like a delicious spread! Fun to try with both an American and French wine. The champagne sounds especially good.

    July 12, 2015
  23. Wow Suzanne – I really really love this post – the beautiful salad, the timely reminder about Bastille Day, the wines. Gorgeous. I’m doing the salad for dinner tonight – or at least a very close proximity to it. But I’m pairing it with Mechefske house white! Rose champagne sounds fantastic. Perhaps for my next brunch in the garden. Lovely, as always!

    July 12, 2015
    • It will be wonderful with your house white. It’s such a wonderful salad thanks Lindy and hope you enjoy! Highly recommend the rose for next time.

      July 12, 2015
  24. I enjoyed your post Suzanne. I’m a big fan of Champagne. Especially Rose Champagne. I’ll have to look for this one. I can definitely see it being a wonderful pairing with your salad. Welcome to #winePW!

    July 12, 2015
    • Thank you so much Martin. Me too, love Champagne and especially Rose Champagne.

      July 12, 2015
  25. Oh, I just love Nicoise salad! I’ve never seen it prepared with beets- lovely. The radishes are a beautiful spot of color. And what perfect wine pairings. Feast!!

    July 12, 2015
  26. I’m not a drinker, but sure love your nicoise platter. 🙂

    July 12, 2015
  27. This looks amazing!

    July 13, 2015
  28. What a beautiful spread! It all looks delicious!

    July 13, 2015
  29. ooh lala that looks so very posh and very nice and why wasn’t I there? lol. Fabulous and it reminds me perhaps of something i might get to eat when I go to the South of France for my hols…yum x

    July 13, 2015
  30. Linda Fernandes #

    Woooooow incredible Suzanne!!

    July 13, 2015
  31. talkavino #

    sounds like a great salad and a great pairing, Suzanne!

    July 13, 2015
  32. This does seem like the perfect summer supper, Suzanne! Your tray of veggies is just beautiful. I love the vinaigrette you made to go on the side also. Both wines sound great. I appreciate the recommendations!

    July 13, 2015
  33. I have never thought of serving wine with salad, now you are giving me more reasons to open that bottle of wine of mine sitting at home!

    July 14, 2015
    • The wine is light and crisp and perfect with the salad. Open it up Jasline it’s wonderful. Thank you so much.

      July 14, 2015
  34. I think you did an excellent job with the pairings. I saw that because I love just about everything you do on this blog, and yes I am aware I don’t drink and may not know much but still think you did an excellent job :). You definitely made me hungry :).

    July 14, 2015
    • Thank you so much, pairings at least a pairing that goes out into the blogosphere does not come naturally for me, I need to learn more about the science of pairing food and wine. The salad is wonderful and simple and perfect for summer.

      July 14, 2015
  35. This is just stunning Suzanne!!! That seared tuna looks divine. Love the wine recommendations also – I adore white wine paired with fish and your tasting notes are great x

    July 15, 2015
  36. So beautiful on the plate Suzanne!! Looks like a perfect backyard summer supper. thanks.

    July 16, 2015
  37. This is beautiful Suzanne! I’ve been contemplating something along slightly similar lines for the next menu, so it’s fabulous to see your flavours and pairings here to help guide me in the right direction!

    July 19, 2015
  38. Such a perfect summer meal. You have inspired me.

    July 25, 2015
  39. wow, wonderful, this wine and food pairing looks very good. You give me some ideas. I want to try how the food pairing with 2008 Planeta – Chardonnay – Sicilia IGT. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    Stella Pan
    The Wine Elite

    July 29, 2015
    • I have heard nothing but good things about the Planeta Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a perfect match with the Nicosia salad and I think it would be wonderful.

      July 29, 2015
  40. Wow, great pairings! I am a fan of both wines–I will leave for the Finger Lakes on Wednesday where I am sure I will have some of the good Doctor’s wines (my fave FLX producer) and Montaudon is one of my all-time favorite Champers. Well done!

    August 10, 2015
    • I’m so glad you liked my choices. Thank you. I have always wanted to do a wine tour of the Finger Lakes and would love to do it with my wine friends. Hopefully one day we will organize it. That area of NY is so beautiful and the wines that I have tasted I have really liked.

      August 10, 2015

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