What comes to mind when you think about Riesling? Sweet? Or too sweet?
What about Alsace?
If you’re a typical American, I’d bet you probably don’t know that…
Alsace is a region in the Northeastern corner of France, right next to Germany and above Switzerland with 38,300 acres of vines, with over 13% organic or biodynamic, making the region one of the greenest in France. In 2011, Alsace produced 12.5 million cases of wine.
Alsace has 13 different and very distinct types of soil from volcanic to limestone to clay, the most diverse terroir in France.
Alsace is in the rain shadow of the Vosges Mountains making it the second driest region in France with around 20 inches of rain per year. Alsace also experiences a lot of sunshine with 1,800 hours annually. Warm days and cool nights allow for slow ripening, which produces complex, aromatic and balanced wines.
Alsace produces mostly white wines: still, sparkling, and sweet, but also Pinot Noir.
Crémant d’Alsace makes up 24% of the production and is produced in the tradition method from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir (all Crémant d’Alsace Rosés are 100% Pinot Noir) or Chardonnay (only for Crémant production).Yum! Read about the Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace we opened for Mother’s Day!
So what should you pair with that Riesling from Alsace now that you know that it’s not necessarily sweet?
Yesterday, I posted a great chart that shows what cheeses go with which wine–and I used Riesling as my example because tomorrow I’ll be learning more about the Rieslings of Alsace in a Twitter Taste & Chat on Thursday, June 27th from 4-5 pm PST. Using the hashtag #AlsaceRocks, we’ll be tasting and tweeting about
- Domaine Weinbach Cuvée Théo 2011 ($30)
- Trimbach 2010 ($20)
- Ostertag 2011 ($24)
- Meyer-Fonné 2011 ($22)
Special guest Anne Trimbach of Maison Trimbach will be joining us to talk about their Riesling and answer any questions we may have. Follow #AlsaceRocks as well as these Twitter handles:
@drinkAlsace – Wines of Alsace
@binnysbev – Binny’s Beverage, largest Chicago retailer and co-host of the tasting
@trimbach – Anne Trimbach, 13th generation of Maison Trimbach
@teuwencomm – Teuwen Communications, agency of record for Wines of Alsace
Or if you’re near a Binny’s, in June, Wines of Alsace is partnering with Binny’s Beverage Depot for a month-long Alsace promotion. Binny’s will discount all Alsace Rieslings for the entire month and will co-host the Twitter Taste & Chat session with Wines of Alsace. In addition, all Alsace wines will be on sale for the last week of June. The Wines of Alsace promotion culminates with an all Binny’s 29 stores free tasting of Alsace wines on June 29th from 1-4 pm CST. Learn more at http://www.WinesofAlsace.com.
So what should we pair with these wines?
Of course, we’ll try oysters from Jolly Oyster! And maybe we’ll do clams cooked in Riesling? Maybe a smoked trout salad with apricots? One of my favorite pairs for Riesling is turkey so maybe we should roast a chicken?
One of the big reasons why Riesling Rocks is because it is so versatile!
What do YOU like to pair with dry Riesling?
Beginning in July, fans can submit their favorite dry Alsace Riesling and food pairings to @drinkAlsace using the hashtag #TryDryAlsace on Twitter for the chance to win two Riedel Grand Cru Riesling glasses. The contest will conclude July 31st with the announcement of a winner.
Hmmn, wonder if I’m eligible? Que Syrah Sue, I think we could win this one!!