Fun with Ramen & Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Vieilles Vignes Blanc #Winophiles

One recent evening I found myself staring into my pantry trying to figure out what to make for dinner. We’d been gone for a couple of weeks, so things were a little bare. However, I had a cold bottle of Saint Roch Vieilles Vignes and Côtes de Roussillon Blanc that needed a pairing.

A random packet of shrimp ramen kept staring at me. Yeah, ramen ––  like the type you kept around in college. Not even to be put remotely in the same class as ramen from a proper ramen shop, I can’t recall the last time I’d had one of these little blocks of noodles. Nonetheless, it seemed to be saying, “Don’t underestimate me! ” I’d tasted the wine and thought it would be a solid match for Asian flavors, as long as they weren’t too sweet or too spicy.

‘Alright then ramen, let’s have some fun.’

All the same, I thought we could do better than just pouring boiling water on the noodles, so I scrounged around for bits and pieces to create something a little more interesting. The results, which we’ll come back to in a moment, were not half bad. 


The wine that was in search of a pairing is a white wine from the Roussillon region of France. This isn’t the first time we’ve stopped in Roussillon on this blog – I invite you to take a look at this post for a more in-depth look at the region, but here are some points to recap and summarize:
  •  Roussillon is located in southwestern France and it’s a part of the larger region of Occitanie. It was formerly part of the combined region of Languedoc-Roussillon, and you’ll most often still find sections of wine stores by that name. However, these two were combined with Midi-Pyrénées in 2016 to create the new administrative region of Occitanie. That’s all definitely a little confusing, just know it’s still a pretty recent change. 

Map courtesy of Sud de France.
  • It definitely has its own personality. Despite long being combined with other regions, this area is pretty distinctive. For one thing, since it is right up against the border with Spain, it’s heavily influenced by its culture, particularly that of Catalonia, as well as that of France. This can be seen in the language, the food, and even the grape varieties grown.

  • Mountains, ocean, and rivers, oh my. Roussillon is pretty small, but it has an extremely varied landscape. The overall area is shaped like an amphitheater that opens to the Mediterranean Sea to the East and is surrounded by three groups of mountains, or massifs: the Corbières to the North, the Pyrenees with the Mont Canigou to the West and the Albères to the South. There are also three major rivers: the Agly, the Têt and the Tech. All of this creates a lot of distinctive terroirs. 

  • Sustainability. Roussillon has the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in France by acreage. Those ideal growing conditions makes working in these ways that much easier.
  • Bask in the fabulous Meditteranean climate of France’s sunniest region! It’s sunny and hot, with around 320 sunshine days per year, but the ocean and strong winds help keep things from getting too extreme and the vines disease free. The area also typically gets enough rain in late fall and winter to provide the grapes with enough water during the hot summers. It’s pretty ideal for growing grapes. 

  • It’s pretty tiny. The region represents 2% of the national production in volume.

  • Red, white, rosé, dessert –– all the types of wine are here. They produce stills wines, but for most of the last century that were best known for their dessert wines. They still produce at least 80% of France's Vins Doux Naturels (Fortified Sweet Wines). 
 These account for about 20% of the production in the region, with dry, still wines continuing to grow in importance.
  •  25 different grape varieties are grown in the region. Combine that with the varied terroirs and styles of production, and you get a really diverse range of wines despite the region’s small size.

  • Côtes du Roussillon, the AOP/AOC of today’s wine, spans over 118 communes in the Eastern Pyrenees (the western part of region is basically to mountainous for grape vines) and covers 12 000 acres. Wines under this category are always a blend of at least 2 grapes. Grapes grown are as follows.

    • Rosé and red wines: Black Carignan, Black Grenache, Lladoner Pelut, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre. Macabeu and grey Grenache (for rosés only). 
    • White wines: white and grey Grenache, Macabeu, Tourbat or Malvoisie du Roussillon, Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino.


Today’s wine is the Saint Roch Vieilles Vignes and Côtes de Roussillon Blanc 2017, an estate run by Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage. The Lefage’s also own Domaine Lafage, where they farm 160 hectares of vines located just south of Perpignan, the capital of French Catalonia. With Spain so close, Jean-Marc also consults on several projects on the other side of the border.

Jean-Marc decided to buy Chateau Saint Roch with his father in mind. Jean-Marc comes from a family of seven generations of winemakers, and the first five generations had always lived in Maury. His father, in particular, loved this region and always wanted to live in a farmhouse in the middle of the vineyards (as opposed to in town) of Maury. Jean-Marc as well grew up, worked his first vineyard, and made his first wine there. Clearly, there was a lot of sentimentalities attached to this village, so, when an opportunity presented itself to buy the Chateau Saint Roch property, he jumped on it.

Both of the Lafage properties are family-run with lots of different, experimental cuvées. On the Domaine Lafage site, Jean-Marc describes the dynamic:  “My focus is on the vineyards, and Eliane is queen of the cellar, but we decide on the blends together.” He later adds, “My mother and father are still actively involved in greeting our customers, and in running the cellar door, and while Eliane and I take the most important decisions, it is really important to emphasize that we have a fantastic team who work with us, rooted in the culture of the Roussillon, and are devoted our success. Our children Léa and Nicolas, even though they are still very young, have already started to show some interest in the life of the property.”

Maury has historically been known for its Vins Doux Naturels, but this is a still, dry wine made predominantly of Grenache Blanc, along with some Roussanne. On the nose, a fruit bowl of aromas drew me in with notes of white peach, apricots, pears, green melon, grapefruit, and flowers. On the palate, the rounder fruit notes like white peach, tangerine, and ripe lemons hit up front. Then things moved into more puckery citrus notes like lime and grapefruit, along with a few sprigs of herbs, finally moving into a lightly minerally finish. It’s medium-bodied, starting off round and finishing quite crisp, and has medium acidity that remains bright.

It’s really a very sunshiny wine that would be perfect for sipping outside on sunny days, but it also seemed like it would be very food-friendly, fitting many different scenarios at the table.


We already know this particular bottle was destined for an off-beat ramen pairing. Rather than make a standard ramen soup though, I decided to make a stir-fry. I had shrimp in the freezer, and since we had “shrimp-flavored” ramen, they were the first item I grabbed to add to the mix. I also gathered up bacon, carrots I turned into zoodles, peas, corn, spinach. Soba noodle soup base combined with the shrimp flavor packet created the flavoring. Some fried eggs and Togarashi topped things off.

It was just a big, crazy mix of bits and pieces. This combination (other than the number of vegetables) might seem like high/drunk people food, but you know, it was super tasty. The wine made a refreshing complement to the food, going down super easy!

I might have to start stocking ramen packets more regularly.

For more ideas for playing with ramen see:


The winery recommends this wine to enjoy during relaxing moments with your friends, as an aperitif, or with fish, shellfish, and white meats. Sushi is particularly recommended and I can absolutely see that working.

The last time I explored a white wine from Roussillon, we paired it with salmon and I think this wine would work quite well there too, and vice versa.

Find more pairing suggestions at Wines of Roussillon.


Taken from the tech sheets on the winery and distributor's websites.

Blend: Grenache Blanc 80%, Roussanne 20%
Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Farming: Practicing organic, dry farmed, hand-harvested
Soil: Clay limestone, gravel
Altitude: 200 meters
Winemaking: Fermented in tank. Cold skin maceration. Fermentation at 16 °.
Aging: 5 months in concrete, with a small percentage aged in French oak demi-muids


I bought this for $17.99 on and I say have at it! I’d say that’s a very Solid Value, and the fact everything is done by hand and the land is farmed conscientiously just about pushes this into Overachiever territory.  (Also, find it elsewhere on Wine Searcher.)


Servings: 2
By: Nicole Ruiz Hudson
Shrimp Ramen Stir-fry with Bacon and Eggs

Shrimp Ramen Stir-fry with Bacon and Eggs

Prep Time: 15 MCooking Time: 20 MTotal Time: 35 M
This is really a non-recipe, so take this more as guidelines. Specific quantities are not needed. It’s all to your taste and feel free to add or take away items as desired.


  • A packet of shrimp ramen
  • Bacon
  • Spiralized carrots
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Soba soup base (This has bonito in the mix, which I thought worked nicely with the shrimp flavors, but you can also substitute in soy sauce.)
  • Peanut oil or toasted sesame oil
  • Shrimp
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Togarashi or sriracha, for serving


  1. Boil water. Pour over the ramen noodles to soak until just reconstituted – about 2 minutes. Drain and aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a large pan until browned on both sides. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  3. Add the ramen noodles and the spiralized carrots to the pan with the bacon fat and toss to coat. Add the peas, corn, soba soup base, and a light drizzle of the peanut oil. Toss all to combine, then add the shrimp and the spinach and continue cooking until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through and the spinach is wilted.
  4. Meanwhile, fry eggs in a separate pan.
  5. Tear up the bacon into small pieces and toss in with the noodles.
  6. Serve noodles in bowls, topped with fried eggs, with Togarashi chili powder or sriracha sauce on the side for a kick.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @thesommstable on instagram and hashtag it #sommstable
Created using The Recipes Generator

Photo credit on all food and wine pics: Greg Hudson.

Check out these additional posts related to Roussillon:

The rest of the French Winophiles Blogging Group is exploring the wines of Roussillon. If you see this post early enough, feel free to  join our Twitter chat on Saturday, July 18th. You can follow us using the hashtag #Winophiles at 8 am PDT, 11 am EDT.  Lynn from Savor the Harvest is hosting this month, check out her preview post here.

And here are the rest of the group's offerings: 

Additional sources used for this post:  
Wines of Roussillon  
The Oxford Companion to wine via  
Sud de France  

This post contains affiliate links, including these Amazon links, from which I might earn a commission at no cost to you.



  1. I tasted the same wine! Definitely good with salmon, as you said. I also enjoy experimenting with those ramen noodle packs. Makes for a great mid-week meal when you don't feel like thinking too hard ;-)

    1. 100% -- That was exactly the case here! Thanks so much Mel.

  2. Never underestimate the appeal of college food. It was a staple for a reason, right?!? LOL. Great pairing and I can't wait to try that wine.

  3. The wine sounds amazing, but Ramen noodles have NEVER looked so good! Simple magical!

  4. I must say, your "... big, crazy, mix of bits and pieces" looks scrumptious! I can only imagine how lovely the wine and ramen stir-fry must have been together!

  5. I love opening the pantry and playing "Chopped". I think you would have won this round hands down!!

    1. That's kind of how I think of it too! Such a fun game! Thanks Wendy

  6. What you've done with this ramen is dynamite! I'm betting the toasted sesame oil... even just drizzling it over just the ramen, really works with this wine. Lafage has a wide reach, didn't realize how much property he owns.

    1. I LOVE toasted sesame oil and yes absolutely. Thanks for lost Lynn.

  7. Thanks for the pointer on ramen hacks, I'll definitely give them a try.

  8. I totally loved that you jazzed up the ramen. I'm so inspired!

  9. This is my favorite cooking style - scavenging in the pantry and tossing bits and pieces together. And, of course, having a good wine to round out the meal. Perfect!

  10. I wish my pantry and freezer had so many yummy options to choose from! All those ingredients added up to a delicious whole, perfect with the wines. I'm curious to explore Lafage now, after reading a bit about their history.

    1. I wasn't familiar with them before either , but found their story really interesting.


Thanks so much for leaving your comments and questions. I always love to hear from you!