“Touring The French Wine Regions” was the second wine tasting hosted by 15th Street Pizza. Going to a wine tasting is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. I was excited when I found out about this one. The fine folks at 15th Street did such a great job with their first wine event I knew this would be an occasion not to miss. I arrived early to take a few photos and was immediately impressed by the setup. The tables were decorated nicely with handmade linens, little black Eiffel towers, flowers, and small photos of places in France:
The event began with a complimentary half glass of wine. It was Rickshaw Pinot Noir (not a French wine). The hosts and sommelier, Ryan Mullins, wanted everyone to have something to sip on while waiting for the other guests to arrive. It was nice to have it to go with the beautiful salad to start the meal:
The guests were given a French wine region map, passport, and ticket. The passport is also a confirmation there will be more events to come. Each time someone attends a 15th Street wine tasting they are given a stamp. When the book is filled there will be a special treat for the “traveler”. I am glad they are showing a commitment to future tastings. I can only hope more restaurants in my local community will do the same.
I have to mention the food before getting into the wines. They prepared a French inspired feast for the event. The dishes included French cheeses, fried eggplant, gorgonzola balls coated with bacon, eggplant flatbread, French bread, fresh fruit, Boeuf aux carottes, and eclairs for dessert. I am sure I left something out of the list. Everything was delicious and we all went back for seconds.
The tasting featured 7 wines from different regions in France. It was interesting to hear how much the French winemakers love their land and the whole concept of how they reflect the terroir in their wines. They demonstrate their pride by giving prominence to the region on the label versus the grape(s). It is a Burgundy first then a Pinot Noir.
- 2009 Willm Riesling, Alsace. A nice dry Riesling with flavors of pear, apple, and a little citrus. This is a Riesling I would buy because it is not sweet. A mild wine and I could see sipping this on a hot summer day.
- 2010 Joseph Mellot “le Chatellenie” Sancerre, Loire Valley. A fruity Sauvignon Blanc that seemed a tad bit sweeter than the Riesling. My friend who usually drinks Sauvignon Blanc really enjoyed this one.
- 2010 Bouchard Aine & Fils Macon-Villages Chardonnay, Burgundy. A classic White Burgundy. Dry and well-balanced. Flavors of pears, apples, and peaches with a smooth texture.
- 2009 Jean Jacques Girard Bourgogne Savigny Les Beaune, Burgundy. A bright, crisp Pinot Noir. This one is right up my alley. It has flavors of cherry and dark fruit. It has a tartness that wakes up your senses when sipping and is not to tannic. I will be on the hunt for this one.
- 2009 Chateau de Courneau Medoc, Bordeaux. A red blend with flavors of black fruits and the minerality of the Bordeaux region. It has modest tannins and being a blend is versatile to pair with many foods.
- 2010 Domaine de la Solitude Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley. Another red blend and more full-bodied than the Bordeaux. Lots of dark fruits, spice notes, and a good finish. I would consider this one to be more than an everyday wine. Well above average.
- The mystery wine. We were challenged to taste this one and write down our guess as to the region, grape, and year. The winner would receive a bottle of wine. The mystery wine was 2008 Domaine de Monpertuis Chateauneuf du Pape Classique, Rhone. A delicious, full-bodied red blend worthy of special occasions. Guess who won? Not me, I totally guessed wrong. But my friends Pam and Kelly tied and took home a prize: