Grape Love: Pinot Noir

When people ask me which is my favorite grape, I hesitate saying Pinot Noir. It might be because of Sideways. I don’t really want to be mistaken with getting my wine inspiration from a movie; although in reality I don’t really care. I love light red wines with subtle herbal and mineral flavors, and I love full blanc de noirs champagnes. I love French Pinot from Bourgogne with some age and complexity in them, and I love fresh young and slightly salty Pinot from the US west coast. A Pinot seldom lets me down, although it is often quite pricey. However, there are some good exceptions: German Spätburgunders (late harvested Pinot) are on the rise and very good value for money. The price represents the effort that goes into growing Pinot, so I thought I would do a dip into the basics.  Continue reading “Grape Love: Pinot Noir”

Loire on my mind

This week has been quite demanding. I will not go into details why, but to make the day a bit more cheerful, I started thinking about what kind of wines I want to drink in 2017. And what better to lighten up the mood than thoughts of “the garden of France”, Loire Valley. As mentioned in my forecast for the year, Loire wines are thought to be in high demand in 2017. Poilly-Fume and Sancerre are already well known and loved; however, I see less known appellations like Anjou, Saumur and Vouvray appearing on menus of wine bars and restaurants.  Continue reading “Loire on my mind”

The Seven Varieties of Laherte Frères

It is a calm and humid morning in Champagne as we climb into a car taking us to Chavot. We have a booked tour and tasting at Laherte Frères, one of my favorite grower producers in Champagne. I say favorite so often, that what is special about this one? In addition to having some excellent entry level champagnes, Laherte Frères has a fairly rare cuvée in their selection, Les 7. It is a blend of all seven grapes allowed to be used for champagne. Continue reading “The Seven Varieties of Laherte Frères”

Tasting Biodynamic Champagnes at Larmandier-Bernier

It is already a month since our visit to the heart of Champagne, Epernay. It was really the perfect place to stay as a group without a car. We were able to reach many smaller towns within 15 to 20 minutes by cab. The cost was reasonable as we split it six-ways. One of the houses we visited was Larmandier-Bernier, a champagne producer in Vertus known also for its biodynamic practices.  Continue reading “Tasting Biodynamic Champagnes at Larmandier-Bernier”

Wineweek 84: Paris Favorites

Even though we have been home for a few weeks, I still have so much photo material from our recent trip to France, that I can fill Wineweek with them for many weeks to come. I promise you, these Paris pictures are way more interesting than anything I did this week, except for the dinner I had last night at a new restaurant called Derelict. It was awesome! However, I will write more about that another time. Now to some Paris favorites. Continue reading “Wineweek 84: Paris Favorites”

In the Cellar of Anselme Selosse

It was supposed to be the highlight of our trip to Champagne – the tour and tasting at the famous Jacques Selosse Cellars. The tour guide was the famous winemaker himself and the tasting included both vins clairs (the wine before it is made into a champagne), as well as a hefty range of the finished product. We were very excited that we were able to book a tour. However, the tour was not exactly what we thought it would be.. Continue reading “In the Cellar of Anselme Selosse”

Wineweek 83: Memories from Epernay

It is already a week since we boarded a train back to Paris from Champagne. Time goes by fast, as these photos make me feel like they were taken yesterday. Ok, so a week is not that long of a time, but it still feels almost unfair how short days have become. I still remember a time when minutes felt like hours and hours like days. I feel lucky to have taken a lot of photos to remember these precious moments by.  Continue reading “Wineweek 83: Memories from Epernay”

Wineweek 82: A Postcard From Champagne

It is Sunday and our time in Champagne has come to an end. I am currently sitting on one of the only trains going from Reims to Paris today. The strikes are hitting the rail road hard, but we were lucky enough to secure seats. Soon we will see how the capital of France is coping with the upcoming events and a flooding Seine. I must say I was a bit worried before the trip about all the fuss, but being here everything has just fallen in place. And of course, bad weather and transport issues meant significantly less tourists. Continue reading “Wineweek 82: A Postcard From Champagne”

Take me to Champagne

This morning we are embarking on a trip. A trip that I have been waiting for a long time. We are traveling to Paris, and then to the heart of Champagne, Epernay. Oh, how I have been waiting for this trip! I have been to Champagne only once, and that was a more official visit to the Terres & Vins champagne exhibition. We arrived to Reims on a Sunday, so most of the places we wanted to visit were closed. We were only able to visit one winery, G.H. Mumm. This time around though, we will be visiting masses of Champagne houses. Our trip is however shadowed by ongoing strikes in France as well as the high security associated to the Football European Championships. Not to mention that they weatherman has forecasted rain for the duration of our whole trip. We have been on alert all weekend, in case we needed to cancel everything. It is a bit difficult to move around in the countryside if there is a shortage of fuel (we are planning to use taxies). We are also intending to take the high speed train back to Paris on Sunday.

Continue reading “Take me to Champagne”

Bubbly Tip of the Week: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature

I recently wrote about how big brand champagne has long since divorced what comes from the ground. The aspiration of producing the same product batch after batch requires manipulation of the years produce with a mix of wine from the previous vintages as well as an addition of sugar (to hide some of the taste of the grape). Well here is a champagne that is exactly the opposite: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature. Continue reading “Bubbly Tip of the Week: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature”