Monday, May 10, 2010

Alsace tastes like Springtime

There are several things to appreciate about wines from the Alsace region of France. First and foremost, they put the grape variety on the label. A small thing perhaps but for those who don't have the grapes from every region of France committed to memory it is a blessing. Second, the bottles are distinctive. If you go to a blind tasting you can narrow down your choices with the tall, skinny Alsace bottles, called flutes. Third, they don't make a lot of junk. The wines tend to be carefully crafted and delicious. Look for Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. You may also find some Pinot Noir. Don't worry. They won't be too sweet. (Check the alcohol content. The lower the alcohol content the sweeter the wine.) And they go with so many foods! Cheeses, chicken, seafood, pasta, salads, if it's edible there is probably an Alsatian wine to go with it.

Look for Trimbach, Zind-Humbrecht, Hugel, Lucien Albrecht, Domaine Weinbach...

And if you ever want a dessert wine, the Vendange Tardive wines of Alsace are about as good as it gets. Serve one with a creme brulee or apricot tart. Your guests will love you.