Category: Wine

wine reviews, wine events, and all things wine related

Taste and Learn: Alsace—Noble Grapes

Today I want to talk about Alsatian grapes—not Riesling-related. Riesling is accompanied by three other grapes in the “noble grape” category, namely Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the grapes that are permitted for Grand Cru wines (there are currently 51 Grand Crus in existence) and regulated wines such as Vendange tardive and Selection de grains nobles.

visit.Alsace
Courtesy visit.Alsace

Let’s start with nobility…

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Taste and Learn: Germany—Not Riesling

Would that I could have a bottle of every single wine variety. I bet I could learn a whole heap that way (not to mention have a whole heap of fun). But, alas, the money tree seems to be in its dormancy. So the title of this post is a bit mis-leading, as I won’t be physically tasting through these wines, but more putting together what I can gather from my readings about the style and structure typical to these varieties, as it pertains to German winemaking.

Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta
Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta

Afterwards, I want to take a walk through a few of the other notable wine producing regions of Germany and talk about what non-Riesling grapes thrive best there and why. Sound fun? Totally. Let’s go…

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Taste and Learn: Alsatian Riesling

I think one of the reasons I like starting my Wine World studies with Germany is because it’s my backwards way of gearing up for one of my favorite French wine regions, Alsace. The two regions have much in common—one of them being Riesling. That’s why I thought, if I’m going to deep-dive into the stylistic difference’s of Germany’s most recognized wine grape, I’m absolutely going to compare how the expression(s) differ from it’s neighboring French region, where the variety wear’s the “noble grape” crown.

Alsace, France; Fernando Beteta

To explore those differences between the wines, we must (of course) explore what makes Alsace a unique wine region.

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Taste and Learn: German Riesling

I don’t know why, but I found that, during my WSET Level 3 studies, starting with Germany was really helpful. Maybe because the regions are completely foreign to me; the wines not regularly available in my area. Perhaps, embarking on a whole new adventure was the way to jump in. And, now, studying for my Diploma, I find the country calling to me again.

When I first started posting about my studies, I began with an exploration of major German regions via the country’s most popular grape. The kind of “dry” tasting notes, if you will, gave me a good idea of what kind of climate and terroir each individual region has. (See German Riesling: Location Matters) But Diploma studies are so much more detailed.

Indeed, this exploration, though it follows the same path, is going to dive a bit deeper and, for fun and educational purposes, I want to actually experience a few of the wines myself to see if I can actually taste what I’m reading about. Hence, “Taste and Learn.”

Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta
Germany Wine Region Overview; Fernando Beteta

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This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 29—September 4

Hello my people and happy weekend. I’ve been a bit silent on the posts lately, studying feverishly for those WSET exams. Not to worry, I’ll have some fresh (educational content) lined up for you this next week.

Good news from the Sonoma home front is that fire containment continues to improve, with the larger Wallbridge Fire currently at 88% containment as of 7 a.m. this morning (Friday), according to SoCo Emergency. For those in the Ag sector, please take a look at CAWG’s list of resources detailing safety and training measures during fire season.

There’s a lot going on locally, nationally, and abroad. So, scroll through, catch up on some news, get some independent insight from the Blogs. And of course, as always, I’ve hidden one or two fun and/or amusing tidbits amongst it all.

Cheers

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