Last month I was invited to dinner at one of those splashy Miami restaurants. I arrived early and decided to order a glass of wine at the bar. They had an eclectic, by the glass selection which immediately raised my good vibe of the establishment. As I sat there enjoying a glass of Franciacorta, I grew increasingly disheartened listening to what people were ordering. I must have heard at least a dozen times, “I’ll have a glass of Chardonnay/ Pinot Grigio/ Cabernet”, and that’s OK if all you want is something in your glass you are familiar with. The longer I sat there the stronger my urge grew to ask someone, “Don’t you have any sense of adventure? They have such a great selection of wine by the glass!”
Wine labels are supposed to paint a clear picture of what to expect from a particular bottle of wine. Generally, a wine label has two parts worth special attention. The first is, required legal information that varies depending on the country where the wine is produced. Even different appellations within the same country have various regulations to abide by. The second being artistic renderings of text and graphics.
This month we’re taking a little advice from Atanas Nechkov, resident wine expert at ABC. This globetrotting, Bulgarian-bred, level 2 Court of the Master Sommelier knows a few things about wonderful wine.
There are "wine experts" and there are wine experts. "Wine experts" tell you that Bordeaux is split between the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Wine experts tell you the type of soil that is on each bank. Shayne Hebert is a wine expert.
The first vineyards in the Languedoc were planted by the Greeks before the time of Christ. Planting much more extensively, the Romans who arrived later, planted what are known today as some of the oldest vineyards in France.
This French appellation is known for its white wines--specifically Sauvignon Blanc. But that's no surprise because Sauvignon Blanc is the only grape grown in Pouilly-Fumé. Brightly flavored, though more subtle than New Zealand's recently popular version, Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fumé shows well with lemon chicken, grilled fish and creamy cheeses. Try this delicious bottle from Jonathan Didier Pabiot!
Moët & Chandon’s top cuvée honors the name of the person commonly referred to as the Father of Champagne: Dom Pérignon is credited by wine historians to be the creator of Champagne as we know it today, though one thing he didn’t create is the “bubbles.”
I am thrilled to see the wines from Domaine des Remizières back in select ABC stores; this domain crafts some of the world’s finest Syrah, certainly one of my favorites, and quite possibly best value ever with the Cuvée ‘Particulière’ priced at $19.99 and the Tête de Cuvée ‘Christophe’ at only $27.99!
The 30-hectare domain is currently owned and managed by Phillipe Desmeures and his children Emilie and Christophe, using organic practices under a newly created category (2007) called HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale), High Environmental Value, which is the highest of a three-level certification.
2016 was certainly a complicated year for most wine regions in Northern France, with biggest losses in volume in the Loire Valley, Champagne and Burgundy, due to unusual climatic conditions and the warmest winter on record in France which provoked an early bud break and exposed the vineyards to the dangers of late spring frost.