Lately I have been on a big France kick. Everyone seems to be going to France, talking about the wines they recently had in France, or speaking in French. Well, I don’t speak French and I have only spent one day in France, so apparently I am missing out. I guess it makes sense that I’ve found myself sipping a lot of French wine lately and living vicariously through them!
French wines can be intimidating. I know this because I used to be intimidated by many of the wines of France… to be honest, even though I am well versed in the world of wine, France is still a bit intimidating! It took me a long time to comprehend this massive wine region and all of its intricacies, so I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reacquainting myself with French wines. If you don’t use it, you lose it, right?
The Loire Valley, located along France’s longest river (the Loire), is known for its dry white wines, dry and off-dry rosés, and dry light reds. The key whites of the Loire include Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and Sauvignon Blanc. Everyone knows about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s in the upper Loire where you’ll find classic expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, known as Sancerre. Sancerre, named after the appellation of Sancerre, is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, and is crisp and chalky due to the unique soils of the region. Many people actually compare Sancerre to Chablis, because of its dry, mineral-driven style.
Tonight I had a lovely Sancerre from a family-owned winery in the Loire, the 2013 Domaine Vacheron ($32), made from grapes of biodynamic and organic vineyards. Limestone, flint and white peach pit aromas lead to a citrusy minerality on the palate. Racy acidity and a light, lingering finish make this a refreshing white to drink with or without food. I had it with spinach pasta with fresh goat cheese and it was delicious! A great pairing and just an overall great wine that will leave you reaching for more. Cheers!