Pronounced roo-sahn. A grape varietal used in the production of white wine. Originating in the Rhône region of France, the varietal is also grown in the Tuscany region of Italy, the Languedoc, the Rousillon, and (most recently) California in the United States. It is vinified as a varietal (most often in California) and is a popular player in Rhône blends. Producers blend Roussanne to impart acidity and add delicacy and finesse to a wine. As well as being one of the varietal used in Hermitage Blanc, it is also one of the four white grapes allowed in the red wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Roussanne is blended with the Marsanne varietal to produce Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St. Joseph, and St. Péray.
Also known as: Bergeron; There's also a pink variation known as “Roussanne du Var” that is used in many of the Rhône region lower quality wines.
Characteristics: An exotic, delicate, rich, and refined white wine. Flavors of lemon, and citrus. May exhibit a bit of earthiness and a waxy texture and the aroma of wild flowers or herbal tea.
Ageing: Has the ability of graceful ageing for decades.
Serving Temperature: Serve at a temperature of 50º-55º F.
Food pairing: Bacon, Cajun fish, Cajun gumbo, calzone, cannelloni with ricotta, garlic chicken, chicken chow mein, Chinese cuisine with shrimp, won ton soup, vegetable couscous, crab cakes, creole, deviled eggs, quiche, escargots, smoked fish, spanakopita, hummus, chicken Tandoori, goose and chicken pâté, potato salad, Caesar salad, smoked salmon, smoked shellfish, cheese soufflé, and chicken tajines.