Happy Earth Day!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think wine is one of the best ways for people to come to care about climate and the planet. As global warming effects become more and more apparent around the globe, it starts to impact vineyards–what grows where and when is going to change.
This may mean that some regions will no longer be able to grow grapes or make wine. And that other areas previously too cold or lacking in one way or another may become the next century’s great grape growing region.
As people discover the magic of terroir –how a particular place is expressed in a wine– they will see how climate has an impact on the wine production in the region.
One of the best ways to get to know the wines of a region, short of traveling there personally, is to attend a tasting where you can bombard your taste buds with wine grown in a particular place and with a specific style.
For Los Angelenos, two such opportunities are coming up on the next two consecutive Thursdays in April: the first, tomorrow April 23, features wine from Bordeaux while the second, April 30, specializes in wine from Loire Valley.
Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.
When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.
The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature. Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.
The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley. There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures, its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.
Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines–it’s flexible, affordable, and a great wine with some of my favorite foods like oysters, chevre goat cheese and french bread, ceasar salad, and pesto with pasta. It’s my go to wine, my always in the fridge or on the shelf wine.
When in doubt, I get the sauvignon blanc out!
After participating in a number of industry tastings, I’m a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand-even the ones that feature a fair amount of gooseberry or cat pee.
Living in California, it’s easy to find locally grown Sauvignon Blanc; a favorite of mine is by Adam Tolmach for his winery, Ojai Vineyards. Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, European WIne, Great Wines under $20, Social Media & WIne, wine events
Tagged Henry Marionnet, loire valley, New Zealand, sauvignon blanc, TasteLive, Touraine, Vouvray, what to pair with sauvignon blanc, wine
This is the time of year where everyone wants to know which wine they should have with Thanksgiving dinner. Since most people don’t want to break the bank, what follows are a numbe rof recommendations that land squarely on the less expensive side of a $20 bill.
Personally, my go to wine for turkey OR ham is zinfandel. There is alchemical magic in that combination!
How do I know? Many years ago, I worked the tasting room at Ridge and so of course I brought a bottle of zin to that Thanksgiving table.
Last year, during the weekend before Thanksgiving, I convinced my husband to make a turkey AND then a ham so I could try a bunch of wines with these classic holiday meals. I came up with these three blog posts:
white and rose wines with Turkey
red wines with Turkey
wines for Ham
Since holiday meals usually gather many people, it’s a great excuse to splurge and have different wines to enjoy with each course. In general, I would recommend Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, Great Wines under $20
Tagged loire valley, Ojai Vineyard, red wines, Ridge, sparkling wine, thanksgiving meals, thanksgiving table, Turkey, Vouvray, Wine tasting descriptors