Wine Wednesdays: Sauvignon Blanc from Chablis

Wine Wednesday's: Sauvignon Blanc from Chablis

When I traveled through Chablis 10 years ago, I tasted delectable Chardonnay after delectable Chardonnay. But nowhere was I treated to any other white grape variety.

When I chanced across this wine at the local government liquor store, I had to try it. What would Sauvignon Blanc taste like, from my favourite white wine region in the world?

It’s a pale yellow, with colour right to the rim. A sniff… Lime leaves, vanilla blossoms and a pale fragrance of white lilies in a steel vase.

The taste… Ah, there it is. The lime of Sauvignon Blanc, but the bracing steel of Chabis. That limestone mineral character is so characteristic of Chablis, I would recognize it anywhere. And the limestone gives the wine, somehow, a generous mouth feel, so that it fills the mouth more than any white wine I know, without being coy or too bodacious. So so so good.

I enjoyed this delicious wine with some risotto prima vera… A simple Italian rice with suresh peas and carrots from my garden.

Ok, you can tell from my tone that I fell in love with Chablis ten years ago, and never fell back out… But now I have to add to my list of adoration Sauvignon Blanc à la Chablissaine.

Wine Wednesday's: Sauvignon Blanc from Chablis

Wine Wednesday: Tarima Organic Monastrell

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Can you imagine a wine growing region that is so hot and dry, the vines can’t be grown in rows? Instead, the 30 year old vines are grown in a funnel shape, to capture the maximum moisture, and sent it directly to the root of the plant.

Yesterday I picked up a 2012 bottle of Tarima Organic wine, from  Bodegas Volver. The grapes for this juicy, hot-blooded wine are grown in a harshly warm climate off the coast of Spain, on the west side of the Mediterranean. The region is DO Alicante, which is close to one of my favourite Spanish wine areas, DO Jumilla.

I poured the inky purple wine into short Riedel glasses for supper. “I can’t tell what colour it is!” one of my daughters said, and she went to the office to get a piece of white paper to hold underneath it. (Yes, this is Sugar, the Little Chef.)

Tarima Organic

The wine was opaquely purple. Everything about it showed the climate it was grown in.

It had intense aromas of red bricks, cherry, steel, cinnamon, coal brickets. It’s incredibly intense – I can’t imagine enjoying it without food, but then again, I can’t imagine not enjoying it with food! We served it with mashed sunchokes and potatoes, bison steak and shitake mushrooms. It needed all those big flavours to cope with the intensity of the wine.

More cherries to taste, and this dusty, tumbleweed, herbaceous flavour. Hot with alcohol, but balanced with high acidity and dusty, soft tannins in full force.

Absolutely intense, and delicious, and for under $20 – great deal! Maybe a new grilling favourite?

Wine Wednesday: Vascosassetti Brunello di Montalcino

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For our second wine Wednesday I chose a selection from the enigmatic wine country: Italy. When I was taking my last level of WSET training, I was hoping and hoping Italy wouldn’t be a major part of the exam. Which of course, it was. Worth a quarter of the written section, the drattedly complicated boot-like country.

This corner of Italy wasn’t on the exam, but it was a stand out in the last couple of Italian wine tasting I have done.

This dark purple wine had an initial nose of tobacco, black currants, ligonberry, hibiscus, liquorice, black tea, slate, hint of vanilla bean. After it warmed up, it was full on manure… Not barnyard, as is delicately said, but manure. Then it settled down again, with more tobacco and black fruits.

To taste, it had the high acid that goes so well with food, and a medium light body. There was some unbalanced heat on the palate despite only 14,5% alcohol. It tasted of fresh raspberries with black fruits in the background, framed with black tea, cranberry, coffee and slate.

So where does this blackish tea wine come from? Any guesses on the grape?

Well, its that same old Sangiovese grape from your old basket/bottle of Chianti. It’s just better in Brunello! And there are no other varietals mixed in. It’s just some of the best pure Sangiovese in the word.

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I’ve had the pleasure of going to Tuscany a couple of times, but honestly, I was more interested in the $3 bottles at that time. This wine is of the premium variety, with grapes grown on sunny slopes cooled by maritime breezes. It comes from a little town, Montalcino, that isn’t special except for the wine it produces.

We had this with gorgeous little lamb chops one night for supper. Hmmmm… Lamp chops with mint sauce. Just the right amount of gaminess and herbaceous character. It even made Jason love the lamb! It looks pale in this shot, but that’s just the flash.

Buen apetito!

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Wine Wednesdays… Ok – I admit upfront that I love wine. I always got lots of comments and questions (on the old blog, I mean,) about the wines that we serve with dinner parties, etc. I also I have been expanding my own wine knowledge, and recently completed my Advanced level of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) courses.

So what better way (other than in person, over a glass of wine) to share my love of with you, than to have a series dedicated to favourite wines? Cheers!

Wine Wednesday: Domaine Lafond Tavel Rosé

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This is my first Wine Wednesday!

Ok – I admit upfront that I love wine. I always got lots of comments and questions (on the old blog, I mean,) about the wines that we serve with dinner parties, etc. I also I have been expanding my own wine knowledge, and recently completed my Advanced level of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) courses.

So what better way (other than in person, over a glass of wine) to share my love of with you, than to have a series dedicated to favourite wines?

Introducing Wine Wednesday! A random collection of wine recommendations. Let’s start with…

Tavel!

Now, there is a lot of snobbery around rosés, mainly because there are so many pitifully over-sweet bad ones. But does white wine get a bad rap on behalf of all whites? Do people think all reds are raw and raspy after they have a poor one? No! Only rosé gets this colour-ism!

So let me introduce you to Tavel – an amazing region in France that ONLY produces rosé. In other words, they take their rosés seriously! Tavel is in the Southern Rhône Valley, near to the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s hot, hot, and hot! The climate is mediterranean, and the earth is covered in most places by these big grey rocks, that give a minerality to the wine.

This is our favourite Tavel available in our city – Domaine Lafond’s Roc-Epiné. This 2011 is fresh, acidic, fragrant and has a definite minerality. It smells like strawberries, complete with leaves, a little red licorice, some allspice and anise, along with a graphite undertone, that really comes out in the finish when you taste it. It’s food wine! So don’t expect a fruity-pituity imposter.. this is a dry, medium alcohol 13.5% wine, and you will feel the warmth.

Enjoy! We’re having leek parmesan fritta tonight. I do love a dry rosé with eggs!

I would love to hear if you try it… if you like it, what you serve it with… and also, any other rosé recommendations!

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