Forbe’s called Alsatian wine, "The best, and best value, white wines you've never drunk." Alsace, a relatively unknown and unfashionable wine region for most Americans, forms France's northeastern border with Germany. Perhaps Alsace's misconceived association with German sweet wines is the cause for discerning USA wine lovers to miss out on the dry sensational wines of Alsace?
Wine from Alsace is a phenomenal bargain. When dining at a Michelin star I always turn to the Alsatian wine section of the wine list. First, I love these wines---and so do knowledgeable sommeliers who understand their food-friendly beauty. Second, because of the lower demand for these unknown gems, prices for Alsatian wines represent some of the best values on a wine list.
Alsace is a treasure trove for well crafted white wines
There are three main white grapes in Alsace:
You may know this grape by its Italian name, Pinot Grigio. While they are the same grape, the varietal reaches rock-star status in Alsace. Alsatian Pinot Gris is often a full bodied wine with tropical and stone fruit flavors. Citrus is often present, as is a spicy nuance.
This grape may be another reason why Alsatian wines is not fashionable: no one can pronounce it (plus this varietal is often associated with its sweet German counterpart). Dry Gewurztraminer can be quite seductive: think luscious aromatics like an intoxi- cating perfume. In addition to floral notes (often roses), there’s also an exotic layering of passion fruit or lychee.
Like Gewurztraminer, Riesling is also a highly aromatic grape. In Alsace young Riesling flavors can range from lemon/lime to pineapple, apricot and nectarines, and are often laced often with floral aromas. The varietal’s high acidity make it an especially food-friendly choice.
The Christmas "marches" in Alsace are some of the most special in Europe
Wine-Knows will be visiting Alsace this year (December 6-16) during the region's world-famous Christmas markets. With roots in the Middle Ages, modern day Christmas markets are some of the most magical celebrations in all of Europe. Why not join us to learn about Alsatian wine, and experience Europe like you've never seen it before?