Travels with Da Gizz: A Guest of the Trimbachs

September 26, 2010

Hey!

Cisco the blogging cat here…

Here’s yet another old post card from the wandering Bruce… (Note that we’ve added in a couple of pics from the kind folks at Trimbach Wines.)

Let the post card from The Gibson begin!

Three hours crossing Lorraine, The bread basket of France, I climbed and descended the the Vosges Mountains.  This divide separates Alsace from the rest of France  The architecture, traditions and place and people names are very Germanic laced. Thats because this land mass went back and forth ‘tween Germany and France, depending Who won the latest war.  Nuff said.

Strasbourg is the northern boundary to the Alsace.  After freshening up at my hotel, I met members of the Trimbach Family in the tavern for an evening of tasting wine and food. What a layout.  I will describe the matching foods with each wine.

(All wines are Maison Trimbach from current vintages.)

~Pinot Blanc-The subtle versatility allows this wine to be the aperitif for events of walking about with varying appetizers. A light fragrant wine that will overpower no food. The Pinot Blanc grape, with its dryness and delicate backbone, is blended with a small % of Auxerrois grape, for it’s abundance and juiciness.

~Gewurztraminer-The rich exotic spiciness is not at all lost because of the dryness.  Strange to many who have not had a Gewurztraminer the aromatic note of litchee nuts, ginger, roses and geraniums is balanced to perfection.  We ate a Thai dish laced with ginger that matched to the subtle ginger in the wine. Also, Munster and Roquefort marry.

~Pinot Gris-Yes, same grape as Grigio/different location. Increasing on the richness scale, Alsatian Gris are fruitier lusher with a longevity on the tongue than Gris or Grigio’s found elsewhere. Matched foods were Japanese appetizers, fois gras, smoked fish and salmon in a rich sauce.

~Riesling-The richest of the wines is saved till the end, so it doesn’t overpower all that went before.  Onion pie and sauerkraut, grilled and sauced fish were matched with this wine. A classic Riesling with intense floral lush fruit and crisp acidity balance perfectly.  How does that happen??  Try it and you’ll see (taste).  BTW a longer “lingeringlyness” in the mouth and on the palate is exceptional.

Much chatter and old family tales went on till early morning.  A brief walk along the Rhine River to clear the head a bit and off to bed.  Thank BOTU for an afternoon appointment in Bergheim.

Two cats pondering France by the racks…

P.S. Our word search contest and write a story contest go unsolved!!!


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.

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Newbie Meets a Red Burgundy and Then Some

July 3, 2010

Hey,

Here’s an honest review from a non-wine cat encountering a Louis Jadot 2007 Beaujolais-Villages.

Ummm… For a beer drinker, this was quite a taste revelation. I started off by settling down with the wine and a nice slab of French bread – wise move. By my suds-stained palette, this puppy can hold its own and then some. Its robust, fruity, and acidic flavor would do well in the company of meatballs or hamburgers – French bread just provides a nice balance. While the Jadot’s 12.5% alcohol level is far from being a fortified wine (15% to 20%), it still pretty much falls smack dab in the field of table wines. (One word of heartfelt advice from a neophyte – please view Bruce’s 1st and 2nd videos on wine tasting and pay special attention to the business of breathing in the flavor and alcohol of the wine over the tongue… By far and away this gave me the best feel for the drink.) All said and done, I’d rate this $13 bottle of wine and a $1.50 loaf of French bread at about a 90/100… Toss in the right meat such as a prime rib cooked medium, and the rating would inch up.

For all you sommeliers out there… Here’s a map (below) that actually shows the Beaujolais region of France, famous for its Gamay grape… (If you can’t see it, just go to Europe, hit the Med, take the Rhone River north for a bit and then bang a left.)


You know… That gives this old feline an idea. Maybe we should corner, force, harangue, suggest that Da Gizzz compile a list of French regions and then cross reference it with the wines for which they’re noted. Better yet, we could develop an online spreadsheet for regions, wines, and grapes. (Oh, this is getting good…) Why not a spreadsheet that shows region, grape, wine, food, and… … … Hades! I say we go for broke and empty the bugger’s mind and quantify the globe! (Why do I feel a kibble shortage coming on?)


With luck, see you by the racks and keep an eye out for that spreadsheet,


Two cats blogging…


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


Quick Introduction to French Wines

November 19, 2009

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

Looks fantastic doesn’t it? A little Burgundy… A little Chablis… But let’s back up a bit and get a better sense of the history of these gems.

In the 50’s and 60’s many California wineries began producing what came to be known as jug red wine Burgundy and jug white wine Chablis. This was a huge misnomer. Why? Because those two terms reflect geographic locations in France and the grapes used in the jug California wines are not the same varieties used in those areas. Let me explain a bit further…

France has a very strict set of wine laws and certifications called the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). These laws were implemented in the 1860’s after a 10 year study, complete with hearings and meetings all over the country. Within the body of laws it so stated that only the Chardonnay grape was allowed to be used in any bottle of white wine from the Chablis district. In the same vein, any bottle of red wine labeled Burgundy must be made from the Pinot Noir grape. The AOC had many other laws pertaining to the varieties, place names, and even foods such as cheeses and butters. This was to protect the economic importance of wine making etc. in the French system. Unfortunately for wine connoisseurs, the United States did not enter the League Of Nations (1920 – 1946) whereby doing so would have had the grape growers of our country following these laws. This allowed wine manufacturing and labeling to go unchecked in this country until recently. Finally, in the ’60s, many of the finer wine growers from California began lobbying for a similar set of laws for this country. Slowly, a set of rules have been implemented to emulate the AOC of France. This is one of the ways consumers can be protected from the few but unscrupulous scammers of the industry.

Just keep in mind, that not every bottle of Chablis is necessarily a bottle of chablis and not every bottle of burgundy is necessarily a bottle of Burgundy.

‘Til next time, I’ll see you in the racks,

Bruce

P.S. Click on this link for a complete list of AOC wines.

P.P.S. A more detailed history of American wine can be found here.