April in Alsace
There’s a song, about loving Paris in the Springtime. That’s much have been from before global warming, because I’ve been there hiding from the hail in a crowded cafe off the Metro. Romantic...no, just wet and crowded. We all love Paris. Yes even when it rains, but there are other places to love equally, if not more! Of course, as wine drinkers, we automatically go to Bordeaux and Burgundy. Maybe to the South or better yet, Champagne? But what about Alsace?
Since the 17th century, Alsace has passed between Germany and France. The famous cuisine of the region has produced some of the most loved chefs in the world. Alsace has 26 Michelin-starred restaurants, and there’s a good reason for that. Alsatian food favorites has an incredible mix of cultures, from Foie Gras to Apple Strudel. Now the question is, what do we drink with both dishes? How about a Riesling, or even a Gewürztraminer?
Gewürztraminer has so many styles, from sweet to off-dry to dry, It can be confusing to a wine buyer. You can have such distinctly different styles that you may love one and hate the other. Trick is to figure out which style to keep an eye out for at your local retailer.
Currently there are a few wineries that grow Gewürztraminer in Napa because they have vineyards in unique spots similar to growing conditions in Alsace. Alsace is a plain surrounded by the mountains similar to Napa. It creates a rain shadow effect similar to some areas in the valley receiving less water than other areas. In fact Alsace is the most dry part of France.
Castello di Amorosa and The Hess Collection both specialize in making a beautiful Alsatian style Gewürztraminer in The Napa Valley.
The French methods of Riesling production differs from the Germans.They produce wines of higher alcohol content and more roundness due to longer time spent in neutral oak barrels. In France, Rieslings can be chaptalized which is the addition of sugar they tend to be very dry to Sweet, which means it can hold up to some bold meals.Rieslings are among the most prized and age-worthy wines in the world. Napa has no shortage of wineries producing the beauty and they are often popular for their ice wine and late harvest styles.
The Easter Bunny was first mentioned in an Alsace tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs. But maybe the bunny should have been bringing a few bottles for that traditional feast like dinner since either wine would be a perfect match. Although Easter already passed, we have Passover around the corner and another opportunity to try a few different styles and figuring out which one works for you. Or better yet, book a tour and we will help you discover a new favorite.