Category Archives: French Wines

Enjoying my ‘Tropical Vacation’ In A Bottle From Alsace: 2006 Pierre Sparr ‘One’

Okay, I decided to go out on a limb here and do a VERY out of the box set of pairings with my Alsatian wine. Typically, a bottle of wine from the Alsace region of France will set you back a pretty penny, and often you will pair it with Foie Gras, cheese dishes, duck, grilled fish and seafood, sushi, buttery shellfish.  Me? I paired a 2006 Pierre Sparr “One” (a blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Muscatel with both ‘Tater Tot Hot Dish’ and Coconut Gelato (yes, I don’t deny I’m a bit of a redneck eccentric).

The wine is off-dry with wonderful floral, mineral, and spice notes and a definite taste of exotic, tropical fruits, along with that ever familiar peach and melon flavor I’ve come to love from the wines of this French region.  It actually paired well with the casserole (or hot dish) but where it shone was with the gelato.  Okay, that’s an understatement…it was the most mind-blowing, creamy, mouth-filling, better than sex and winning the lottery, buttery Pina Colada explosion my mind could not even DARE to imagine!  My fear is finishing this entire bottle with this entire pint of gelato in a single sitting and needing to do at least 2 hours on the elliptical machine every day for the next 2 weeks to burn it all off…and even then, it might be worth it!  The wine was about $13.50; the gelato $5.  For under $20 I got ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’, ‘Magic Mike’, the Super Bowl, World Series, and a year’s worth of house cleaning all in one single spoon and glass combination.

I feel like I’ve gone to Hawaii, or Belize, or…straight to heaven!  You will too.  Kick off your shoes, pull out your loudest floral print shirt, and let this incredible value wine blow away both your cares and your tastebuds.




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This summer the fun begins with a six pack…of French Rose: 2010 Clos de La Briderie Touraine Mesland Vieilles Vignes Gris, Loire, France

Summer heat is upon us: grills are firing up, people are sporting flip flops and tan lines, and the weekend get togethers are in full swing. This past week I’ve had a good share of fun with friends and I even broke out my flip flop wine coasters to fit with the season. On more than one occasion, I was asked ‘when are you going to put the corkscrew away and finally have a kickback summer drink instead of that ‘snooty’ stuff?’ The more I heard the questioning and the term ‘snooty’ in reference to the wine, the more my feathers got ruffled. I even had to endure a song on the radio talking about some good old boy’s girlfriend being down to earth because she was drinking a beer rather than a ‘stuffy’ wine.

I don’t know how to break it to them, but this cowgirl isn’t stuffy, and the wine works darn near anywhere…ESPECIALLY at summertime, laid back events.

Take this wine for example, the 2010 Clos de La Briderie. I admit, the name might seem a little funny to us ‘country folk’, but I can assure you, this wonderful rose is perfect for kicking back.

I chose this little number for both the Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney concert tailgating party and the day I headed out to the lake for a little ‘boat therapy.’ It paired up with the spicy brats we grilled up as well as those two ‘Brothers of the Sun’ and it held it’s own chilled properly in a cooler and being sipped out of a red solo cup while floating on an inter tube. This wine screams summertime.

Don’t let the pale pink color scare you…it’s not like your college kid white zinfandel or one of those ‘wine coolers’ we all have had not so fun experiences with. This is made with the Gamay grape of Beaujolais red fame. It has a perfume of red cherries and strawberries, like the fresh fruit from your grandma’s fruit salad at the family picnic. The flavor is intense: with what I would describe as the candied flavor of a strawberry Jolly Rancher candy and watermelon…you can’t GET more summertime than THAT! Although it has those candied flavor, don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s a sweet wine. This is a crisp, dry wine, with great acidity. Whether you’re doing burgers and brats, grilled chicken, ribs, or a pork tenderloin, this wine will go along with it…like your best friend on the way to the county fair.

No, there is nothing stuffy, nor pretentious with this ‘pretty in pink’ selection. In fact, dare I say that those with a beer bottle in their hand rather than a wine bottle are the ‘snooty’ ones. After all, compare the two bottles: One is for a single serving to sip on selfishly, and the other is big enough to share with friends and be neighborly. 😉

It’s a great value too! I found mine for around $14. Can’t go wrong with a versatile French wine from the Loire Valley for under $20!

So this weekend when you’re kicking back and ready to ‘pop a top’, make it a cork, and make it the 2010 Clos de La Briderie Touraine Mesland…

…I’ll see you on the lake. Cheers! ~CC

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