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Alsace to South Africa

Different Wines, Distant Lands, Different Palates

Alsace to South Africa

It’s HOT! Hardly a cloud in the sky and 91 but feels like 96.  Crap, I think summer is here to stay until October.  As much as I want to drink red, I am going to at least have to wait until the sun goes down.  Or I could just set the thermostat on 65, put on a sweater and be good to go!  But I did not do that.  Instead, I picked up this Alsace Blanc for Gary and me, hoping Gary would like it as much as I suspected I would.  As it turned out Gary will settle in on one of his faves, a South African Chenin Blanc.  First to Alsace…

Alsace – A French region with strong German influences

Before I talk about the Alsatian wine, I am enjoying this week; I feel it’s important to provide some additional information about Alsace the region and thus its influences.  Alsace lies in eastern France bordering Germany to the east and Switzerland to the south. Historically this region was sometimes ruled by the French and at other times the Germans. The last time it went from German control to France was after World War I through decree in the Treaty of Versailles although it was also occupied by the Germans during WWII.Where is Alsace

The reason I tell you this is because the German influence has significant overtones in the production of Alsatian wine.  Because of this influence, it is the only AOC region in France to produce mostly varietal wines (meaning all from the same grape varietal versus a blend).  The grapes also tend to be the same as those grown in Germany, dry Rieslings, and  Gewürztraminer, most notably.

AlsaceDomaine Marcel Deiss – Alsace Blanc 2015

Now I just said that this region produces primarily varietal wines.  Yet this wine is a blend which seems to be the way I love my white wines.  But not only is it a blend (aka cuvée) but it is a blend of 13 different varietals that are all grown and harvested together.  So this wine while not rare, it certainly is unique and if I must say so myself absolutely delicious.

During my university years, I worked and ultimately managed a German Restaurant.  This restaurant exclusively sold German wine, so this bottle is bringing back some wonderful memories of wines from my past.

This wine is a beautiful light, yellow gold. There is a slight effervescence on the tongue at first glance that quickly fades away.  This wine is smooth and silky. AlsaceWhile a dry wine there is a sweetness of citrus and pineapple and finishes with a beautiful honey flavor.  If I close my eyes when sipping this wine, I am in the mountains on a summer day.  The grass is tall and green and mixed with wild flowers blowing in the breeze. Geeze, I really, really like this wine and will be drinking it a lot this summer.

On the Other Hand

Gary is not a fan of this wine, but he is rarely a fan of the white wines I like.  I like big-bodied whites with lots of fruit.  Gary says that these wines are too heavy and too fruity for him.  But that is why there are all kinds of wines, for all kinds of people.

Where to find

I bought this wine at goat. sheep. cow. north for $25.00.  As I perused the white wines, I was greeted by Trudi, one of the owners.  She remembered what I drank the last time I was there and made suggestions accordingly.  Let me say; she is spot on.  This wine is just what I was hoping.  I will be back.

If you are not CHS-based, you can purchase at many online stores.  If you are a Vivino user, there is a store in NY offering $19.99 a bottle with one penny shipping if you spend $50 bucks.

To see if this wine is in distribution in your state contact the winemaker, Domaine Marcel Deiss.


Cederberg on the Western Cape

The Cederberg lies about 155 miles north of Cape Town. If you are a South African wine drinker, you may be familiar with Stellenbosch. Well, Stellenbosch lies about 100 miles south of the area where the Cederberg resides. The Cederberg farm is higher up in the mountains than any other winery on the Western Cape of South to South Africa

Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2015

This is a classic “Gary” white wine, light-bodied, refreshing and dry.  He describes this wine as bright, fresh minerality with hints of lemon zest and young grapefruit on the palate.  It transitions to a dry slate as it bounces around your mouth with a long lemon finish.  He also said it would go great with oysters.

I did try this wine, and for me, I was overcome with a dry, citrusy, intense grapefruit.  It is much like many Sauvignon Blanc wines I have tried.  My reaction to this wine was the same as Gary’s was to mine.  We both turned our heads away from the glass, made a face and pushed the wine away from ourselves.  It is ok that this is not my style as Gary loves it.

Where to find

We picked up this wine at The Wine Shop for $11.99.  Vivino users can find many east coast retailers from whom to purchase.  There is only one importer so it should not be hard to locate if you reach out to them.  Banks Channel, LLC

One More Thing – Lila French Rosé (in a can)

Well, I was encouraged to try it, and I did.  As a matter of fact, I shared it with my wine posse.  And we all came to the same conclusion – interesting nose but tastes like Hubba Bubba bubble gum.   Might be just what you are looking for for a bachelorette party but I will stick to my bottled rosés.

bad idea




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