When it comes to choosing wines that are versatile, food-friendly and should please most, if not all, palates at the dinner table, consider wines from Alsace. The Alsace (pronounced Al-zass) region of France produces some of the best sparkling wines France has to offer (a great way to start-off any dinner party), along with crisp and delicious whites and even some wonderfully delicate Pinot Noir.
Alsace is a wine region in northeast France. The Alsace region lies between the Vosges mountain range to the west and the French border with Germany to the east, marked by the Rhine River. Ironically, Alsace should be the easiest French wine region to understand, as it is the only part of France where the wines have traditionally been named after their grape varieties, rather than villages (as in Burgundy) or properties (as in Bordeaux).
You are probably already familiar with some of the white wines of Alsace, such as Reisling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. You may also be familiar with Cremant d’ Alsace, the region’s sparkling wine, made in the same traditional method used to make Champagne. However, you may not of had a Pinot Noir from this region.
While browsing one late afternoon in one of my favorite local wine shops, I came across an exciting find in the Pinot Noir section. The wine was the 2009 Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir, AOC Alsace. A delicious food-friendly wine that one could pair easily with many dishes, and certainly a perfect wine for the dinner table.
Tasting notes: The 2009 Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir is light ruby in color, with an intense and inviting nose of dry cherries, raspberry, raisins and earth – that continues on the palate. The style is elegant, light-bodied with good structure and balance. Soft tannins and a pleasing finish complete the wine.
Food pairing ideas:
Fresh/Mild cheese plates
Grilled Fish and Seafood dishes