The 411 on French Wine 101

The 411 on French Wine 101

Why is it that the world's winemakers still look to France for inspiration? The reason is that France remains the heart and soul of wine. It was here that fine wine was born, and its culinary traditions and culture inform every vine.

 “Why French wines?” a question I get asked repeatedly and seeing as I am the French wine specialist here that should come as no real shock, but I am forever sort of amazed that the question is not, “Why not French wine?”

 

For the first six years of my legal drinking age, and maybe a few years before, I was simply convinced that I didn’t like wine. Like at all. Now sure, I wasn’t exposed to much of it before being hired to do shipping and mailing list updates for The Wine Country, but even then, the things Randy had me try when I was first here at the shop, well it all just smelled and tasted like wine to me and as I said, I didn’t dig the stuff.

 

One afternoon Randy called me, begrudgingly, (On my part not his) to the tasting room to sample some bottle he was tasting with a sales rep. Not gonna lie, I was irritated and nervous that I was going to once again going to burry my nose in the glass, get a winey smell and not one iota of the exotic or compelling things I had been hearing my coworkers go on and on about. Unnerving that. I sort of stomped into the tasting room, brow furrowed, jaw tight I took the wine from Randy’s hand. I gave the glass an awkward spin, looked at the faces around the table, all eyes intent on me as I lowered my nose with a nervous knot in my throat.

 

“Peaches and those squishy, jelly candies from the Asian market” to my absolute astonishment the words, they were coming out of my face. Staring at this richly textured, nearly oily wine spinning in my glass it hit me, “I get it” The wine was an Alsatian white from Domaine Zind Humbrecht and to this day, even after all the wines that have crossed my palate, I can still remember that feeling, the aromatics and the sweet fruit that my palate was awash in.

 

I liked wine, it was just that my palate found its home with the diverse, more savory and classic wines from France. From Alsace I roamed, palate and aromatically of course, to the Loire Valley, onto Champagne, Rhone Valley, Burgundy and beyond. I found my palate and passion in the wines of France and here we are, over 20 years later and they still thrill me like no other.

 

Mark your calendars and make your reservations to join me, the night before I leave for another tasting adventure through France, this time through the vineyards, wineries and homes of the very people that grow and produce the wines that so many of us adore and crave. Come get the 411 and take my France 101 class! Why not French Wine?!

 

The Great Wine Regions of France Tasting & Seminar

Friday April 6th  7:30 PM

Only $45.00 per person

Reservations Required  Call (562) 597-8303

Extra-Exciting New French Arrivals:

 

2017 Domaine Lecomte Quincy, Loire Valley, France

This limited little Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc in from three vineyard sights and blended together to optimize its intensity and texture. The aromatics are showy in a way that remind us of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but with a touch less green pepper. More limestone and citrus but it is the creaminess and precision that made us fall in love with this delightful, very seafood friendly, Quincy. Only 5,800 cases made.

$21.99 per bottle

 

2016 Domaine Lecomte Chateaumeillant, Loire Valley, France

Chateaumeillant is located in the eastern Loire Valley and is one of France’s newest appellations, receiving its status in 2010. Here we have a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir which gives you a best of both worlds sort of deal. Bright, luscious and crunchy fruit from the Gamay and elegance, more tang and pretty tannin structure from the Pinot Noir. Lovely.

$21.99 per bottle

 

2016 Chateau De Breze Clos Du Midi Saumur, Loire Valley, France

You want a true expression of Chenin Blanc from Saumur? This right here is your wine. Apples, cement, cinnamon, cardamom and ripe pears. Silk on the palate with a playful swipe of completely balancing acidity. I love it on its own but it is gorgeous with roast chicken, poached or grilled white fish and even roast pork. Only able to get 2 cases.

$21.99 per bottle

 

2016 Pas De L’Escalette Petit Pas Terrasses Du Larzac, Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge, France

A pretty sophisticated and expressive from the Languedoc which is a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. Tremendously deep aromatics, cooked black cherries, violets and wild herbs. Pretty mouth coating with a round, curvy body but also firm tannin structure. Lamb, beef, venison or stewy dishes need this wine!

$21.99 per bottle

 

2015 David Duband Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France

What a sexy and showy Burgundy this wine is. Red and black cherries, currents, smoked ham, hints of coffee, something slightly green and a finish that reminds me of Burgundian Cassis. 2015 lent this wine some extra junk in the trunk as it were, providing more depth and round texture but it retains that classic lift and tang that makes Burgundy so haunting.

$31.99 per bottle

 

2015 Manoir Du Capucin Clos De La Maison Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France

Manoir Du Capucin is one of the oldest domaines in Pouilly-Fuisse dating back to the 1600s and has been family owned and operated since 1921. Chloe Bayon is making the wines now and she farms organically and biodynamically and what she has given us here is nothing short of stunning. Deep, rich, layered, nearly oily in its texture this wine has curves for days. Super ripe pears poached in salted caramel and served with a bruleed orange rind. Wow. Just wow. Only 85 cases made.

$31.99 per bottle

 

2015 Marchand-Tawse Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France

We were thrilled to be able to get four cases of the eight we begged for of this beautiful little white Burgundy. Marchand-Tawse just keeps hitting it out of the park with each new vintage. Here you find slightly toasted bread, poached apples, hints of holiday spice and plenty of refreshing lemon rind. Wonderful texture, not too round but just fleshy enough and with that zingy acidity that assures you that this will hold up for a couple years or up to richer dishes.

$29.99 per bottle

 

2016 Marchand-Tawse Bourgogne Joie De Vigne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France

Looking for fresh, floral, red fruited, easy slurping, utterly classic red Burgundy? Here you go! Light weight, beautifully aromatic, nice complexity but easy to just love. Bravo to the Marchand-Tawse team for another deliciously classic wine.  

$24.99 per bottle

 

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Leave a comment
* Your email address will not be published
* Required fields

Sign up for our Weekly E-mails!

The Wine Country

  • Southern California's Favorite Destination for Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, Craft Beer, Gourmet Foods, Wine Accessories & Gift Baskets
  • (562)-597-8303
  • info@thewinecountry.com
Copyright 2018 The Wine Country
Credit Card