Well, another week has come and gone and every one is parlez vous-ing a little bit more Francaise! The French classes, led by our resident Professor, Dr. Allison Weems, are continuing to take all of us on a virtual tour of France, region by region. As always, I have been along for the ride, and I brought a lot of wine with me!
This week we took you to Alsace, a wonderful wine region that frequently gets over looked when talking about famous French wine regions. Alsace is different from most French wine regions, because of its turbulent history and mixed cultural heritage. This region is located on the far eastern border of France next to Germany. As everyone knows, France and Germany have ALWAYS been best friends, and have NEVER gotten into any fights whatesoever! Not exactly. This border land has changed hands between Germany and France a dozen or so times over the centuries, leadin to a hybrid culture. Think French people wearing Lederhosen. Most people speak French, German, and a local dialect that is a combination of the two.
As their culture is mixed, their winemaking styles are too. Essentially, you get classic French and German grapes growing side by side. You see famous German grapes, like Gewurtstraminer, Sylvaner and Riesling, being made in more of a dry, French style. This is also the only place in France where you can legally grow these German grapes. No, you wont get arrested and have your Riesling confiscated if you try to grow it in Burgundy, but you definitely can't call it Burgundy wine!
This week we poured the Dopf & Irion "Crustaces", a blend of 90% Sylvaner and 10% Pinot Blanc, as well as the Pierre Sparr dry Riesling. Both pair perfectly with seafood and charcouterie, and both were sold out by the end of our class! That's right, I served two whites this week! The only red that is grown in Alsace is Pinot Noir, and to try that, you will have to wait for Burgundy...
Join us next week where we will take you to Bordeaux! The beginning class is October 12th at 4:00 and the advanced class is on Thursday the 16th.