Posts Tagged ‘viognier’

Laurent Miquel Bardou 2005 Syrah

March 15, 2010

From the St. Chinian appellation, one of the least known of the French Languedoc region, comes this delicious offering by young winemaker Laurent Miquel. The Languedoc wine wizard has us used to excellent quality vs price wines, all the way from his entry level syrah grenache and chardonnay viognier (both 11.99 in Vancouver) passing through his rich, ripe fruited Nord Sud Viognier (24.99) to this intriguing Bardou, which, besides the wine itself, comes in a beautiful, elegant, classic style packaging.

This Syrah starts with a textbook Languedoc nose, that is, the scents of the Garrigue scrubland that so well define the area. St. Chinian may be said to be no more than a slope covered with vineyards; the appellation is small and the wineries there established, crank out the good stuff. Herbal and wild flower fragrances come off the glass. Lavender, rosemary, mint, pine, rock, muddy stream shore. This is not a monster body Syrah but rather an elegant, sober medium body beauty. Coffeeish notes from the new oak are enmeshed with the full-flavored, dark fruit and closed up by a lingering finish. Tannins are abundant and soft. A lovely Syrah and surprisingly, its price varies wildly in Vancouver. At some locations I found it for 28 dollars; in others you have to pay up to 40. I paid the former. Grin. *_*

My wine mate was making a seafood cioppino. After sipping the first glass we figured the Bardou needed something with more meat -figuratively speaking- so we turned the cioppino into a clam tomato sauce linguini*. It paired beautifully with the wine, each enhancing the other. Another great wine from beautiful Languedoc.

Salut.

*enrich it with anchovy paste….

Ivan Alfonso

ps. Photos, Le Guide de Sud France, Laurent Miquel website

Food and Wine Matching For The Un-initiated

September 17, 2009

This is an almost esoteric subject for most. So much has been written about it that you may think -I do think- why write another line? Well, I do it because it is fun and because I love food and I love wine. So there you go. Like everybody else, I guess, except for those who like chips out of a bag, burgers out of a fast-crapfood joint and prefer carbonated drinks to accompany their “fare”.

“White wine is for fish, red wine for meat”. Who hasn’t heard this from people who are in the wine “know?”. And the reality is that there is certain validity to the claim. But as a guideline only. Remember Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean? Same idea. It is not a code, it is just a guideline. You need to know a bit more than that, basic, intuitive (we all have tastebuds after all) understanding. And you need an imagination, you need to let it soar, you have to exercise it.

For instance, every time I eat, I am thinking mmm….what could I pair this with? I was just thinking about this when a few days ago, I had a plate of lentils on white rice. The lentils were seasoned with sauteed chopped garlic, onion, tomato and pureed roasted red pepper. So, very tasty indeed, and sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley and generously splashed with olive oil at serving. One of my favorite brunch meals indeed. Viognier, I thought, almost intuitively, bringing to mind the moderate acidity of that varietal matching the dish’s. A little more acidity in the wine to cut through the olive-oily film coating my palate? Perhaps an unoaked Chardonnay. Something with a bit of body to go with the weight of seasoned lentils.

So, there you go. White wines would work well. But what about red? Some people, as we know, cannot tolerate white. Not too much body here. A big heavily oaked Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz would suffocate the rather bland character of the dish. Unoaked? Check. Medium to light medium body? Check. Low alcohol? Check? I figured something like Periquita, a Portuguese table wine made of Castelao, Tinta Roriz and Trincadeira grapes. Easy, smooth, fruity, uncomplicated. Perfect. It could be anything like that. Don’t bring the heavy artillery for this small infantry job.

To conclude this note, keep in mind things that are no mystery: Acidity of the dish, acidity of the wine. Let them run together. Weight, or body. How strong is the imprint of the food on your palate? The wine chosen should be equally strong, or weak. And it must be added, you don’t need a great wine to do pairing. White wine for fish, red wine for meat? Yes, but as a guideline only, not code. Don’t be intimidated. Is no rocket science.

La Difference, Viognier Muscat

May 22, 2009

La Difference, Viognier Muscatla difference

A lovely white blend of floral Viognier and grapey Muscat, this Southern France wine doesn’t disappoint. Light and mineral, with a crisp nose of floral and citrus tones, it freshens up the palate with lemon and apple skin flavors. The delicate palate doesn’t show that at 13% alcohol this lively white is no wimp. A good finish with white pepper makes it a perfect companion for a warm spring afternoon.

Product: La Difference

Variety: Viognier, Muscat

Vintage: 2007

Winery:

Origin: South of France

Alcohol: 13.0%

Price: 17.99 (Everything Wine)