I’ll bet at some point in your life a French wine stole your heart. It seems to often steel hearts worldwide including mine. In fact, I do love French wine.
Not to say I’m less fond of wines from other countries. Reds, whites, and bubbles from all over the world lasso me. But this month, a month of love and valentines, the French #Winophiles take you to France.
France is a country associated with l’amour. Love of wine and food, and so much more. This month the French Winophiles explore wines with a name or concept reminiscent of love. And appropriately February focuses on these things so come see what we have in store!
Two appellations lie within the Languedoc-Roussillon: the Corbiéres and Minervois AOPs (Appellation d’Origine Protégée). Both are focused on red wines made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Lladoner Pelut in differing proportions. They deliver a small amount of noteworthy whites made primarily from Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Vermentino (Rolle), and Maccabeu (Viura). Several other grapes grow there too. Read on to learn about defining characteristics of these areas.
Sauternes is a sweet wine appellation south of Bordeaux that includes five small villages. One of them, Barsac, is a sister AOP and home to Château Doisy-Daëne and many other producers. Fantastic wines are produced with modest prices. An area to check out if you’re new to Sauternes style wines.
Pairing sweet and savory flavors definitely works, it certainly did here- a tart with figs, pears and caramelized leek yum. My choice was Beaujolais, anything other than a Beaujolais Nouveau, the wine so many are familiar with this time of year. Depending on how you garnish this vegetarian tart, it pairs with many types of wine. Figs not in season? No worries, skip them or use another fruit.
There’s more to Beaujolais than Nouveau. In fact, from Beaujolais AOC to the Crus, you’ll find red, rosé, whites and sparklers for any occasion whether daily drinking or a special event. The best part- the wines of Beaujolais are affordable.
Great French wines are found in the Basque. Most people think of Spain when they hear the word Basque. But a little known fact is 15% of the area lies within southern France, where the coastal towns of Biarritz, Bayonne, and St-Jean-de-Luz entertain sun worshipers and surfers while just inland Hendaye in the Pyrénées foothills captivates hikers. The south west… Read more »
Buying wine is like buying chocolate. They both have a world of flavors and attributes to consider. Do you want fruity or deeper earthy tastes? Belgian? Dark or milk? 85%? Then you navigate labels- Costa Rican, single origin, fair trade? You decide on a bar but see local producers as you head to check out. So many choices. The same… Read more »
To understand Bourgogne it helps to understand its regions; a few offer excellent value wines. Saint Aubin is one in particular. Bourgogne (referred to as Burgundy in many countries) is long and narrow. The whole of Bourgogne runs from the town of Auxerre in the north (the land of Chablis) to just south of Mâcon, (north of Lyon in the… Read more »
Champagne was not discovered in Champagne! Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s the truth. This month our French #Winophiles group is exploring Champagne, a beverage that elicits strong reactions and thoughts. It’s more than just an elegant drink for special occasions. Like wine, it’s something to enjoy often with a wide variety of foods. It was the year 1531… Read more »