french

Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2014

I first discovered wine with picnics on a family trip to Northern Italy. Sitting on stoney beaches along the Western armpit of the Italian peninsula, we drank light, effervescent Prosecco with sliced tomato, cheese, and bread. I thought that light, snack-style meals required so-called “simple” wines like Prosecco and Cava. Recently, however, on an outdoors adventure to North Carolina, my mother and I sat back one evening to enjoy a picnic (inside a Motel room, away from the spring cold) of sharp cheddar, brie, pear, and prosciutto. We curiously chose the Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2014 from the Alsace region in France to accompany our meal, not knowing what to… Read more »

Notre Dame de Cousignac Luberon: A Winter White

This inexpensive bottle of dry, French white wine heralds from one of the larger but lesser known appellations of the southern Rhône — Luberon. The wines of Luberon benefit from a more Mediterranean climate than their juicy brethren, such as the whites of Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet, or the rosés of Tavel. The vineyards are often at altitude and the temperature diurnals between night and day preserve the wine’s acidity despite the long, hot summers that ripen the grapes. Notre Dame’s de Cousignac’s Luberon is made from 70% Clairette, 25% Grenache Blanc, and 5% Bourboulenc, three of the eight possible white wine grapes of the Luberon appellation. The nose is crisp,… Read more »

Domaine De L’Aurière Muscadet

Summer time means plenty of things, but one I’m most excited about is Muscadet. I’m not a strong believer in season-appropriate wine drinking (you’ll find me sipping on rosé well into December, for example) but there’s just something about a cool glass of this white wine on a hot summer day among friends and good food. Dry, light bodied, crisp, and vegetal, Muscadet is aged on its lees (the yeast used to ferment the juice into wine) for a full winter before bottling so the aromas can range from super green melon rind to a slightly yeasty, Champagne-like bouquet. The palate is slightly “prickly” on the tongue, and the region’s… Read more »

Domaine la Bastide Syrah

I’ll be the first to admit I can have a pretty expensive palate. With so much good wine to drink, I’ll make concessions for the price point if I really love it. That said, this is absolutely one of my favorite wines from a region that can really climb in cost, and it’s amazingly inexpensive for the quality. It over-delivers in the best way and it’s one of my best kept secrets for impressing on a budget. As a Syrah from southern France, it’s already going to be dense, lush and fruity, but this particular producer leaves this wine unfiltered so it offers yet another layer of silky texture and… Read more »