Crisp wines are so yesterday!

All my working life the wine world has described certain wine styles as crisp, so widespread is it that I have even heard these wines incorrectly referred to as ‘crispy’ by those who are unaware of the linguistic differences.

Most of us know what crisp means; fresh, firm and steely with a hard-edged green apple or lemon acidity. Basically it means a wine where the fruit is less dominant than the fresh dryness and the sharp (crisp) acidity, so these wines leave the palate clean, refreshed and a little sour rather than leaving the faintly sweet deposit of fruity wines. At least that is how I explain it to myself. Continue reading

Chasselas – a rare delight

The other day I tried a pretty unusual wine made from the Chasselas grape. I have tried some examples of this grape before, but not very many. It is most famous as the variety used to make Pouilly Fumé’s less well known cousin – Pouilly-sur-Loire or as Fendant in the Valais canton of Switzerland, where it makes some lovely dry white wines. There are other plantings in the Baden region of Germany and Savoie, but apart from the Loire it is pretty localised to an area that straddles Switzerland and the Germanic world and the one I tried hailed from Alsace. Continue reading

Savoie, ça va…

This was really interesting, I talk about French wine all the time, I teach about France’s wine regions, but the sad fact is that great chunks of France hardly gets a look in on UK wine shop shelves.

It is only straightforward to buy the usual suspects; Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy, Rhône, Alsace, Champagne and Vins de Pays. All those regions that make up south west France and Provence get left out, as do Corsica and Jura – let alone Savoie. As a result I have only tasted about half a dozen wines from Savoie in my life, and can barely remember most of those. Continue reading