Posts Tagged ‘France’

Au revoir à Paris with a Cremant d’Alsace

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Crement in ParisWell my time here in is over and what better may to go than with sparkling , a Cremant d’Alsace. Cremant goes through the same process, as except there is one difference, location. In and all of Europe for that matter, cannot be legally called Champagne unless it is in fact from Champagne. Sparkling wines from outside Champagne in France will usually go by Cremant. Of course there are going to be slight differences in taste due to the terrior. Sparkling is popped during times of . This is the end of a great three months and the start of something new as I move to Long Island’s wine country.

I chose this wine because with the unofficial start of summer Alsace is perfect. The white wines here are well known with the Rieslings and Gewurztraminers, and their sparkling wines prosper as well. Another key point is these wines are not expensive at all. Alsace is respected but it doesn’t have the same prestige as Champagne, Burgundy, or Bordeaux. This is great for you. In the US a typical bottle will be between $12 to $20. (more…)

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2005 Bordeaux, Living Up To Its Reputation

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

05-bordeaux.bmpThe 2005 Bordeaux reviews have not been unkind to the region. And with that said I decided I wanted to find out what everyone is talking about. I choose a from Graves, Albert Duran, 2005, Chateau Beauregard Ducasse. With Graves’ dignified reputation, and eloquence about it, it seemed like a good way to start. I wouldn’t say that 2005 is a year of extra outrageous , but I would say that it does bring together. I certainly have tasted the same quality in a table at a café in . It has an easy drinking-ness around it that makes you want to open a bottle with friends and just chill out. I would say that this is a conversation wine, not for the fact that you will be discussing the wine, but you will be talking amongst yourselves and indulging in each others banter. This wine makes me want to call up a friend and chat. I just might, actually. (more…)

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Champagne – A New Year Tradition

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Champagne's History - The New Years TraditionWhen buying a bottle of , if the label says from “Champagne, “,“methode traditionelle”, or “Méthode Champenoise”, the is in fact truly a “Champagne“. All other wines are “Sparkling Wine”. While this does sound somewhat snobbish and aristocratic, it does serve a good purpose in protecting the brand of the area. Another example of this type of “rule” that you may be more familiar with is the Vidalia Onion, which you can easily cook with champagne, or sparkling wine, to create some great hors d’oeuvres for this .

You have to check out these Champagne Onion recipes we found over at The Gilded Fork. I’m going to make them tomorrow, and have a good idea at the different flavors I can create by using different combinations of sparkling wine and onions. (more…)

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Posted in Events, Food, Wine, Wine Review | 2 Comments »

Laying Tracks Before the Train

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Just this morning, while searching for inspiration, I delved into the London Times archives, which stretch back over 150 years, and it was there that I found this gem of an article. I’d recommend you read it in entirety, but as I know how pressed for time we all tend to be, I’ll try give a few outtakes to those of you passing through.

The article is from 1876, and is a report on the Californian industry where the author advises ‘great caution to those who may think of putting their money into vineyards’ in California, and states one of the problems of the industry as being ‘remoteness from the market and want of railways.’ More classic still is the quote about Californian red wine where the author states ‘but owing to the fact that it requires impressive skill and experience to produce good red wine and an abundance of certain varieties of grape, this branch of viniculture has not yet met with such success as it promises in the future.’ My, my, how time has changed things!

Indeed, we may look back on the last 10 years and marvel at how much change there has been, and anyone familiar with history would advise that nothing stays as it is, and the only thing we can ever be certain of is change itself. Critter wines came in hard and fast about the same time that French wines dropped in popularity, but my general prediction is this.

Now that Sarkozy has won, French wines are going to come back with a vengeance and win back their lost market share, giving California a run for its money, and deflating the over-inflated prices of Napa. Critter labels will drop in popularity, and good value/ high quality wines from Argentina, Spain and South Africa will begin to dominate the $7-$13 category. We’re going to see Australia depart from silly pictures, and will see a solid effort to tackle the wine glut by placing emphasis on more high-end Aussies.

Another point that I strongly believe is that there is a huge market for an online national wine retailer that stocks low cost, high quality and diverse global wines, challenging the perception that there are 4 types of white wine and 4 types of red. I think the Internet is the railway that the producers of over a century ago were longing for. Whilst a century ago, the lack of high-speed/ low cost and efficient means of transport to get wines to market left a lot of wines in cask without a buyer; today there are plenty overseas stateside wines that go unsold because of lack of cost-effective efficient means to get them to the consumer.

I’m all about tradition, but only insofar as tradition is based in , and is not a resistance of much needed modernization.

The full article I referred to appears below:

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Salut Monsieur Sarkozy!

Monday, May 7th, 2007


It is amazing just how selective memory can be, and in this instance, I refer to the American pistol whipping of for their opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which culminated in the bizarre use of the term ‘freedom fries‘, which I never quite understood. However, history is kind to the righteous, and France has made it through their election with Sarkozy in power, who I’ve been rooting for; whilst America is close to the end of its war on terror, and the decision to invade Iraq is as unpopular as ever. Indeed freedom fries seems a peculiar thing for the American public to have embraced, especially seeing as much of America’s initial freedom is owed to France for their support during the civil war when America was but a baby.

Sarkozy winning will have numerous impacts on the wine industry, as the man has vowed to take numerous steps toward reinstating French national pride in his first 100 days. Sarkozy has thus far broken many conventions, and with unconventional campaigns to win popularity like the Disco Sarkozy website, lovers of French can look forward to his promise to allow French wines more advertising, and to make the strategy for all AOC wines more modern and less restricted in their marketing approach.

Grape Thinking would like to say a heartfelt ‘salut!’ to Nicholas Sarkozy, and looks forward to France regaining its much deserved stature.

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