How I make my selections...

Rarely will I publish a review of a wine that I did not enjoy; my taste is purely individual, as is your own. If I write about a particular wine, I do so because I also want you to try it.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wine for the Weekend

This edition of Wine for the Weekend has us sampling three wines from France.  That wasn’t intentional, it just happened to work out that way. Our red is from the Rhône Valley while both the white selection and the Wine Spot are from Alsace, only examples of different varieties.

The three wines this week have one common characteristic, but let me first state that wine is more enjoyable when it is not ‘all fruit all the time’.  Occasionally mineral qualities leap from the glass; other times it’s more floral, like roses or violets; earthy components are common as well, such as leaves or a fungal element like truffle; some people even provide herbal descriptions, but this time it is a touch of spice in all three wines.  The one element that jumps from the glass for me on a regular basis is black pepper.  It might be subtle in one wine or more aggressive in another - like cracked peppercorns.  On occasion the pepper fades rather quickly but may also last straight through to the finish.  

Our ‘Wine Spot’ this week follows along the same lines and our ‘spotter’ will have you trying a grape that remains slightly foreign to most people – I’ll bet that you like it.


2009 Vidal Fleury, Côtes du Rhône – France

Bottled French value at its best!   Would you believe that Vidal Fleury is the oldest continually operating winery in France’s great Rhône region?  It’s true.  The estate is owned by the famous wine making family Guigal but is operated as an independent firm.  This medium-full body red is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan and offers up dark fruit aromas which are matched by generous fresh fruit on the palate and the perfect amount of pepper on the finish.  At this price, you can buy some to enjoy now and a few bottles to cellar as well.  Try it with beef tenderloin drizzled with a creamy peppercorn sauce - Good Stuff!
$13.50 (263897) General list (dry)

2009 Veil Armand, Médaille Gewurztraminer – Alsace, France

Try this if you are a true Gewurztraminer enthusiast.  Classical and not over commercialized: lychee fruit, a touch herbal, plus floral aromas are what identify Gewurtz, and this example has them all.  Citrus, peach, and a touch of spice on the generous off-dry palate completes the package nicely.  The ideal food pairing for this wine is with Asian – anyone know of a good BYOB Thai house?      
$16.95 (260158) Vintages (off dry)

France | Domaine Schwach
VINTAGES 261644 | 750 mL | $15.95

Carol Ann recommends this very aromatic, spicy, and slightly sweet white wine made from the Muscat grape.  She suggests that if you like Gewurztraminer, to give this one a try as well and that it is another great match for Thai food – I agree.

Thanks for the Wine Spot Carol Ann!

If you would like to provide a Wine Spot, simply send me a quick note and I’ll publish your wine and food pairing as above.

~> btw. Last weekend’s ‘86 Bordeaux tasting was a good time and I’ve written a review of the wines so that you can enjoy them as well.  Link to the write-up here.