Thursday, January 28, 2010

Country Mix 106.8fm Winespot Wines from Alsace 18th November 2009

We were on a French theme this week and we tasted some whites from Alsace.
This is mainly white wine territory, because of its northerly location, near the border with Germany. There is a Germanic influence here for sure with the tall Alsace flute style bottle and the classic old-style labels. It’s a region with a really interesting history where the territory changed from French to German control and vice-versa several times over. As such the wines are an interesting hybrid of French and German influence and have lots of style and interesting character to offer. I’m a big fan and generally think the wines are fab, but I have to admit I don’t drink them often enough. I’m too much of a red wine slave I guess.

Dietrich Gewurztraminer 2006 RRP 14.95
I love this style of wine and interestingly it’s a white wine made from red grapes!
Its from a wine co-operative, the Caves Dietrich, which produces good quality wines at fair prices. It has a lovely, intense golden colour and a really particular spicy aromatic nose which is pretty unmistakable (once you’ve tasted a few Gewurztraminer.)
A lot of people run the other way when faced with “Gewurz” as it’s so different to the zippy dry wine styles that are so popular at present. To me that’s completely missing the point and Gewurztraminer wines are truly “Alsace” in style. Great to drink on their own, wonderful in partnership with cheese and dishes from the local region and super with spicy Thai or Chinese dishes. I urge you to open your mind and give “Gewurz” a go!

Meyer Fonné Pinot Gris 2007 RRP 18.95
This is the same grape as the ever-popular Pinot Grigio but the Alsace style is quite a bit richer and more flavoursome. Meyer Fonné is a small family-run winery with a really excellent range of wines (we stock five in our shop) You’ll see the wines pop up in restaurants quite a bit, as sommeliers have long since recognised them as serious producers. Yellow gold in colour with a fresh slightly sweet nose of honey, apricots and smoke, this wine works a dream with chicken, pork and creamy pasta dishes.

You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning at 10.30am on Country Mix 106.8fm.

Country Mix 106.8fm Winespot Wines of Beaujolais 11th November 2009

In preparation for the launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau 2009 (on the third Thursday of November) I thought we’d take a look at some wines from this pretty wine region in France.

Three generations of the Lardy family (thats Monsieur Lardy in the photo) have been making these wines from the Gamay grape (which all Beaujolais red is made from)

Domaine Lardy Beaujolais Villages 2007 RRP 13.95
A tasty, light, fruity wine packed with all the typical Beaujolais summer fruit aromas and flavours. Very easy to drink, this is a good wine to introduce to people who are new to red wine. Its nice and soft, there are no hard oaky, tannic flavours and you can drink the wine on its own or with food, its quite versatile. It has a bit more about it than Beaujolais Nouveau in terms of body and character. The Nouveau wine is a fruit-packed quaffer for immediate drinking and pleasure.Its a wine that’s all about fun, fun, fun..

Domaine Lardy Fleurie 2006 RRP 16.95
This wine is extremely popular in Ireland. Firstly, because of its easy name, which reminds people of flowers and then because of its easy-to-enjoy soft and fruity character.
It also appears on pretty much every restaurant winelist in the land (along with Chablis, Sancerre and other French classics) Fleurie is a village in the Beaujolais region and a very quaint, quiet place it is too. I had a tasty lunch in the village square some years ago on a wine trip. On that same trip I got to taste a wonderful ten year old “Old Vine” Fleurie (yes you can keep a good vintage for quite some time.) It reminded me very much of a fine Burgundy in style which was surprising. Anyway this Lardy Fleurie is a very good benchmark drop and is one for drinking young. Do keep an eye out for the Lardy “Old Vine” Fleurie version, it’s a much more complex wine, one of the best on the Irish market.

You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning at 10.30am on Country Mix 106.8fm.