I was really excited that this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend theme was Riesling. It’s a grape I really enjoy, but that I don’t drink often enough. It’s a great wine to pair with food because it is made in so many different styles, so don’t hesitate to try some, even if you normally don’t like sweet wines. My family has German ancestry, so I thought it would be fun to visit some of the foods of my childhood and remember my Grandmother at this time of year. The night we planned our dinner was also the first night of Chanukah, and when I was researching German holiday food traditions, I realized that the festive meals for both Christmas and Chanukah in Germany had a lot of overlap. So, what started out as a German Christmas became a fantastic way to honor both my and Dan’s heritage and a good excuse to open several bottles of tasty Riesling.10 Read More
Crémant is an interesting creature. It’s a style of wine that is produced across France and it is governed by two sets of regulations, first the regulations that govern the Crémant style of wine, and then second by the regulations which cover each Crémant AOC. There are 7 regions of France which are permitted to produce Crémant under AOC rules. Crémant d’Alsace, Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Die, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Limoux and Crémant de Loire. Alsace is by far the most common region, and it’s easy to find in the US. It also produces the most (over 50%) of all Crémant production. It differs from a traditional AOC in France because it is not geographically located, and each region is permitted slight variations in the types of grapes allowed. There are three things all Crémant wines will have in common: they are produced using a designated method, the grapes are hand-harvested and are subject to limitations on the amount of juice extracted, and they must age on the lees 9 months prior to disgorgement and then an additional 3 months in bottle prior to being released. The cépage of each region is designated locally, but most regions permit (and some require) the use of grapes other than the three permitted in Champagne.
Crémant wines are legally only white or rosé. There are red sparkling wines produced throughout France, including in the Crémant AOC regions but they are properly called Mousseaux rather than Crémant. (more…)2 Read More
How is it possible that one of the oldest wine areas in France is also one of its least known? Lirac is located in the département de Gard, near Nimes at the most southern end of the Rhone Valley. It produces red, white and rosé wines which are often very delicate but still well-structured. This area of France is a great place to visit. Nimes is a vibrant city with a very long history and many overlapping cultures. The wines here are approachable and often very well priced because it is relatively unknown. (more…)7 Read More
Merlot is a famous red grape with fresh, ripe fruit flavors. Quite popular in the 20th Century, merlot’s reputation in America had a setback when the 2004 film Sideways portrayed a wine connoisseur who constantly denigrated the varietal. (We’d like to note that the Miles character’s prized 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc is a Cab-Merlot blend, so the joke is really on him). Many fine merlots are being made from France, California, and around the world. Click through as we explore this underrated red.0 Read More
Chardonnay is the best known and most widely planted white grape in the world. You may be most familiar with big, buttery Chardonnay from California. But “Chard” comes in many styles including steely Chablis and sparkling Blanc de Blancs from Champagne. Flavors can range from crisp apple to juicy peach, or in the hottest climates tropical fruits like mango. Chardonnay is also vinified in many styles from light and crisp to heavy and creamy. Click through to learn more about this world famous white!0 Read More