Friday, March 13, 2009

March 2009 Wine Club Selections

Exploring the Valleys of France

Do you love the world's most popular grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir? Me too. This month is not about that.

We've got one month of winter left here, and I'm turning to the Valleys of France to get us through it. We may not look to the Valleys as often as we should. Shame on us. Bordeaux and Burgundy make some fantastic wines, to be sure, but what is life without a little variety? Without a little spice?

The Valleys of France, particularly the Rhone and the Loire, produce a variety of gems from crisp and floral white grapes like Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, and reds from spicy and heady grapes like Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Chateauneuf-du-Pape, an appellation within the Rhone Valley where up to thirteen different varietals are approved for their red blends, is one of my personal favorites... where else do you find that kind of freedom and creativity in blending?

Meanwhile the Loire, which is unfortunately often overlooked and misunderstood, presents a real opportunity for off-the-beaten-path discovery. What's that? You're not sure about Cabernet Franc on its own? Glad you've joined us this month, then. When you know your way around these Valleys, they don't disappoint!

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