At Fireside Antiques we have many passions, the primary of which being antique furniture. But not too far behind is our love of great wines. Our buying trips to France bring about more than just acquisitions; they develop our love for all things French food, French lifestyle… and especially French wine.
The processes of creating fine wine and sourcing fine European antiques are quite similar: there are challenges to overcome, treasures to discover, palettes to refine, sources to cultivate. But the most important factor to both lines of work is age. There are few things in this world that grow better (and more valuable) with age, but wine and antiques are the top of our list.
From our showroom and our table to your own home, read below for our favorite pairings that delight the palette of the curator within us!
Oak furniture is the truest embodiment of everlasting design: strong lines, aged patina and heavy structure. The same can be said of the medium-to-full bodied wines that hail from the French region of Bordeaux, 90% of which are red wine in the merlot and cabernet sauvignon varieties. Think black currant, plum, graphite… these are the tasting notes that you will recognize in wines from Bordeaux. Bordeaux wines are also known for their vintage years and are considered to drink better with age. Sounds like our take on antique oak furniture!
Often considered quintessential Bordeaux is the region of Pauillac, like this Château Gaudin Pauillac 2010 ($39). You will delight in its smooth tannis and dense structure, just as you might this French 18th Century Oak Buffet a’deux Corps.
Much like no home is complete without a sparkling antique mirror, our rule of thumb is always to have a chilled bottle of champagne at home for the unexpected celebratory occasion. (And yes, that “occasion” can be the fact that it’s Tuesday.)
Sparkling wine from the French Champagne region tends to lend itself to a “special occasion” price point, like a fine bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal ($200-$600); but there are many fabulous and approachable bottles like Pol Roger Brut Champagne ($55) with notes of pear and Lanson Brut Champange Black Label ($45) with minerally and smoky notes.
If you’re hesitant to pop a bottle for just a glass or two, stretch out your bubbles with this champagne stopper. It’s our favorite $7 gadget around.
The warm, blended hues of antique cherry wooden furniture, like the enfilade pictured, are easily absorbed into any home. Similarly, the wines of Beaujolais are light-bodied and approachable with low tannin levels from it’s (mostly) Gamay grapes.
If you’re looking for an easy-drinking wine that pairs well with a broad offering of foods, look no further than Beaujolais. It is often considered the best wine to serve at Thanksgiving, as the fruit-forward wine pairs well with poultry and offers a palatable glass for daytime festivities. If you prefer red wine over white, try this with your next serving of fish.
The Beaujolais experience is similar to that of Pinot Noir, but the finer bottles of Beaujolais are offered at much better prices. Try the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages ($16), a value that makes it easy to stock for your next dinner party.
At Fireside Antiques, we are huge fans of all things Provence: rustic cooking, fields of lavender, and of course… the antiques! Add to the list the bright and minerally notes of a Cotes de Provence Rosé. The limestone and quartz soils, combined with a dry climate, produce top Grenache grapes, over 80% of which are used in the making of this signature rosé.
When thinking of all things bright and minerally, the antique metallic embroidery on Rebecca Vizard’s B. Viz Design pillows comes to mind. Her use of antique textiles, many of which are sourced in France, resembles the generational and methodical processes of winemaking. The rose hue and floral design of this particular pillow will cool off the warmest of spaces– just like a crisp rosé on a hot afternoon.
For a crowd pleasing and dry rosé, try Chateau Miraval Rosé ($25). It’s beautiful pale-pink color and and aromas of florals and fruit are delightful!
A classic, oaked Chardonnay will fill your glass with a deep golden color and flavors of browned butter, apple, citrus, straw and more butter.
A set of oak dining chairs share many qualities with this popular wine. Structured of oak and rush (a twisted grass rope), the seats are strong and comfortable. They can be utilized as casual or formal seating, positioned around your dining room or breakfast table. Notice the escargot-style carved feet of the chair: perfect for the recommended pairing of buttery Chardonnay with the quentissentially French hors d’oeuvres.
For a unique version of French Chardonnay, try the 2000 Domaine Louis Latour Meursault les Genevrieres ($40).
Hailing from Burgundy comes the French Pinot Noir, which is perfected by the “terrior”– the combination of rock, vine and climate –of the region. Most famous for the richest Pinot Noir wines is the Côtes de Nuits area of Burgundy. Tastings will see notes of black currant, fruits, mushroom and spice. The full-bodied wines are robust with bright acidity and pair well with a variety of meats and cheeses.
A classic medium of antique furniture is burl wood, which shows the complexity of the wood in a bold visual display. Much like the wines of this regions, these antiques age gracefully and become more valuable with time when cared for properly. This 19th century Louis Philippe Burl Rosewood buffet’s façade is finished in an extraordinary burl rosewood veneer that is in excellent antique condition and has been book-matched. This process creates a balanced effect, much like the balance you will find in the pinot noir wines of Côtes de Nuits.
The Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014 ($24) is an entry-level wine that will introduce you to the complexity of the region.
Côte Rôtie, the northernmost region of the Rhône Valley produces fine wines of Syrah grapes. A glass of Côte Rôtie will bring forward bold notes of black currant, violet, chocolate and charcoal smoke. The wines can be found at higher price points but are well worth it.
Much like the intensely deep wines of Côte Rôtie, Mahogany antiques offer a heavy structure that will anchor any space in your home. This Mahogany enfilade features a grey fossil-marble top that reflects the dense and darks clay soils of the northern Rhône region.
Treat yourself to the luxury of a Côte Rôtie, namely the 2012 Michel Ogier Côte Rôtie Cuvee Belle Helene ($385), which offers a “serious bouquet of dark fruits (cassis, black raspberries), crushed rock, charcoal, graphite and wood smoke.”
Considering the vast popularity of rosé wines, one cannot limit the discussion to only one variety. The surprisingly dry Tavel rosé is the boldest of the beloved pink, bringing body and structure to a typically light wine. Tavel rosés are higher in alcohol but still smooth and refreshing and stand up well to meats.
Much like a Tavel rosé, our Louis XVI style bench is upholstered in a smooth salmon velvet that offers an unexpected depth of bold color. Also like an aged Tavel rosé, which develops nutty flavors if enjoyed at a later date, our bench is framed in solid walnut with lasting structure. Accent your home (and your next barbecue) with these unexpected and fun choices.
Our first choice for this blend is Chateau de Trinquevedel 2016 Tavel Rosé ($16).