This month’s Winophiles theme is biodynamic wines of France. The full practice and rationale behind biodynamic is complex and worthy of a full post on its own. The quick version is that it is one of the oldest forms of sustainable organic agriculture. It was developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s in response to a group of farmers who were disappointed by the new commercial farming methods. Steiner himself is a problematic character – he was, like many of his time, an open racist and anti-Semite and some of his writing about ideas of “purity” of the land are pretty uncomfortable to read today. However, his work has gained a wide following and as the consumer has developed an interest in putting their money where their values are these types of practices are becoming much more common and mainstream. (more…)7 Read More
Winter weather always has me craving rich red wines. Usually we reach for Southern French or Italian wines this time of year, so it was awesome to push outside our usual range and head for Argentina for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend. The instinctive pairing for these wines is meat and lots of it… but Dan and I just got back from a long road trip, a week in New Orleans and a cruise so we’re trying to eat a little healthier. We decided to try these wines with some warm and spicy all-veg meals. The pairings were great and the wines went really well with both a North African-inspired meal and some all-American bean chili.5 Read More
I can’t believe that it’s December already. But the tree is up and the holiday parties have already started. There’s no better time to take a look at Italian sparkling wines. Italy makes some really awesome sparkling wines which, like Crémant are generally available at a fraction of the price of Champagne.
Italian sparklers come in a range of styles from very sweet to very dry. The Italian word for sparkling, Spumante, is sometimes used on labels. Don’t just think Asti Spumante, though! The word spumante just means sparkling, it doesn’t imply anything about sweetness, so not all wines labeled as spumante will be sweet – quite the opposite.
There are five main styles of sparkling wine made in Italy. They are: Prosecco, Lambrusco, Franciacorta, Metodo Classico and Asti Spumante.
This month, I was specifically looking at wines that will pair well with holiday party foods, so I only sampled dry wines. Two of the wines I tried were made in the traditional or classico method. The other wine was produced using the charmat method. (more…)12 Read More
So I’m just going to put this out there – I love sparkling wine and Americans simply don’t drink enough of it. We have this idea that sparkling wine is fussy, expensive and only for celebration. None of those things need to be true. That’s why I was so excited not only to participate in this month’s #Winophiles exploration of Crémant wines, but also to host the chat on Twitter. One of my missions in life is to get people to realize that sparkling wine is great for every day drinking. Crémant is a great choice for a sparkling wine that you can open any time. It’s made in a variety of styles, it’s very well-available in the US and it’s a great quality-to-price option for a sparkling wine.
It’s also a remarkable style of wine to pair with food. To celebrate Crémant, Dan and I planned a meal around several bottles (including a ringer, but I’ll get to that in a minute). The point of the meal was to explore Crémant with a variety of different types of food. It was also to give us a chance to revisit our memories from our trip this summer. (more…)14 Read More