Moules & Provençal Rosé

Always Time for Mussels
The workweek seems so hectic; by Friday we just want something easy and quick for dinner.  In the summer, mussels are a perfect fit for easy, quick, and good.  There are as many variations as you can imagine, and you are likely to come up with some new versions of your own. For a final touch, open a bottle of rosé and you transport yourself to a Mediterranean seaside café.  Try it next Friday night!

No time? Nonsense! Steam up some mussels!

No time? Nonsense! Steam up some mussels!

Provençal Rosé
Great rosé is available from all over the globe, but if you want to go to the spiritual home of rosé, you should go with Provence.  Always refreshing, dry and crisp, flavors range from fruity to a bit on the savory side.  On a muggy summer evening there’s nothing better for washing down those mussels!

A classic Provençal Rosé

A classic Provençal Rosé

Bieler Pere & Fils Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 2014 ($12 from Solo Vino Wines)
Eye: Beautiful clear pastel salmon color, picturebook Provence.
Nose: Strawberries and watermelon rind, fresh & bright.
Mouth: Tart red fruit, bone dry, crisp and acidic.  Best with some food, the acidity is a bit much for just sipping on its own.

Steamed Mussels in a Mediterrean Style

This is a very casual recipe, all the measurements are approximate. We often go with basil/tomatoes/garlic as our primary flavoring.  You can shift the flavor profile as many ways as you can imagine herbs & spices you like.

Make sure you serve a really good baguette; crucial for dipping in that great broth from the mussels. In Minneapolis, we like Rustica, Fred’s Bread, and Sunstreet Breads. These three bakeries understand the keys to a great baguette: firm chewy crust with an airy, soft crumb.


  • 2-3 lbs fresh mussels, or combination of mussels and clams.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. white wine
  • 1 good size sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 good size sprig of fresh thyme
  • 8 castelveltrano olives, pitted
  • 8 black olives, pitted
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 baguette


  • Heat some EVOO in a pot big enough to hold all the mussels
  • Sauté onions.  “Every good meal begins with sautéeing some onions in a pan”.
  • Add the garlic, sauté just long enough to release the aroma from the garlic, don’t let it brown
  • Add the white wine, bring to a solid boil
  • Add the mussels and cover the pot. You are about 10 minutes from mussels on the dinner table.
  • Check the mussels after about 5 minutes.  The mussels are done when all have opened.
  • Once the mussels have opened, add the olives, capers and tomatoes and cover.
  • After 1 minute turn off the heat.
  • Scoop the mussels into a large bowl, pour the remaining liquid into the bottom of the individual bowls or into separate smaller bowls, for dipping the mussels and the bread.
  • Pour the rosé and dig in!

provence_mussels_rose_winophiles 20150710 89


6 Responses to “Moules & Provençal Rosé”
  1. You’re killing me! (in the best way of course;-)

  2. The perfect summer meal and wine pairing! Delectable!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] French Winophiles group visited (virtually) Provence last weekend.  I love Provençal rosé, but I knew I had to pair a meal with a favorite wine of mine from Bandol, Domaine Tempier. When I […]

  2. […] the foods start to look similar to those found in Germany, and less like what one might eat in Provence.  Choucroute Garni is a staple food historically liked to Alsace, perfect for our Alsace […]

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