The ABC’s of White Wine
In this case, ABC stands for Anything But Chardonnay. We examine whites from around the globe that include food-friendly Sauvignon Blancs from California and France’s Loire Valley, dry, off-dry and sweet Rieslings from Germany and Alsace, Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris from France and Italy, Semillon, exotic Gewürztraminer and Viognier.
The Chardonnay Cavalcade
The favorite white wine of millions, chardonnay comes in a myriad of styles. It may be nearly synonymous with “I would like a glass of white wine” at a bar—but Chardonnay deserves more respect than that! Sample Chardonnays from around the world and learn to taste the influence of oak and the butterscotch flavors it can impart to Chardonnays from Australia and California and the majestic balance and intensity of White Burgundies from France’s Côte d’Or that can age for 20 years and more.
Some of the world’s greatest wines are being produced in California. Many California Chardonnays, which used to be noted primarily for too much oak, are now adopting the European approach, so that the wines marry richness and fruit intensity with subtlety. The wines now go well with food. Cabernet Sauvignons have long been the dominant red wine from California, but there are now also excellent Pinot Noirs (as the folks in the film “Sideways” pointed out so clearly). California also is producing excellent Meritage wines that mirror the Bordeaux blends and wines based on Rhône valley varietals.…and don’t forget California’s own special grape—Red Zinfandel. Once known purely as “fruit bombs,” the best Zins are now well structured, classy wines.
Glories from Down Under
Great wines are being produced in Australia and New Zealand. Warm weather during the growing season contributes to the exceptional ripeness in many of these wines. Some of the classiest Sauvignon Blancs in the world come from New Zealand, and Australian Shiraz is often a model of big wines with impressive fruit. In addition to Shiraz, Australia also produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache-based wines.
Rosés Are Hip
The beautiful pink color is alluring, and Rosés are finally being recognized as wonderful wines. For years, people assumed that all Rosés had as little character as white Zinfandel. Not true! We will taste Tavel from the Rhône, Spanish Rosés from Rioja, and Rosés from Grenache and Syrah that hail from Provence and the southwest of France…and, of course, glorious Rosé champagne!
Cheese, Cheese, Glorious Cheese!
For those who have never explored cheese beyond cheese balls or individually wrapped American slices, tasting great cheeses can be a revelation. Cheeses can match exceptionally well with white wine, as well as red. From the exceptional chèvres of the Loire Valley, to the glorious cheddars of England and Ireland, to the new artisanal U.S. cheeses, tasting great cheese is a pleasure for any palate. We taste soft-ripened cheeses, hard cheeses, blue cheeses, triple-crème cheeses—cheese from cow’s milk, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk—from the great cheese producing countries, including France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Please call 732.886.8137 to register or schedule an upcoming class, seminar, or event.