Uncomplicated Côtes-du-Rhône. $14
Some wines hit a sweet spot between balance, versatility, and price. These are wines to reach for after a long day at work – uncomplicated, refreshing, and inexpensive. A longtime favorite in this category is the Sablet from the Domaine les Goubert, from the sandy soils of the sunny Rhône valley.
The Rugged Hills of Burgundy.
In October we spent a memorable afternoon with winemaker Michel Gros in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, a region ten miles west of his domaine in Vosne-Romanée. The Hautes-Côtes is far less well trodden than the better-known parts of Burgundy, and the land is a patchwork of vineyards, meadows, monasteries, and ancient orchards.
A sunny wine for chilly weather.
We originally had a crisp, bright, delicious Chablis scheduled for this morning’s post. But given the single digit temperatures outside, and not much relief in sight, we’re switching gears to something a bit more, well, cozy. When we need a glass of wine that’s full of summer sun, we look to southern France.
900 Years of Exports
In vineyards and caves these days, the talk is of Asia and its growing influence. Land prices in Burgundy are skyrocketing, and startlingly large demand has transformed the market in Bordeaux. And yet the largest buyers of French wine are still their neighbors across the Channel.
Raspberry and Sage: $12
For decades, the best place in France to find mediocre wines was the Languedoc. High yield varietals and an easy growing climate made led to oceans of uninteresting, hot wines. Though the Languedoc today still produces high-alcohol plonk, it’s no longer the only wine made there.
Winemakers, Roses, and Red Burgundy.
In Burgundy, it’s important to know your geography. Tiny changes in location have drastic effects on the wine in the bottle. But because nearly every vineyard is divided among several growers, it’s even more important to know your winemaker. Perhaps the most famous in our lineup of Burgundian winemakers is Michel Gros of Vosne-Romanée.
Loire Reds: “Absurdly Good Values”
Yesterday the New York Times’s Eric Asimov posted an article revisiting the reds of the Loire Valley. We spent several days exploring Loire Valley reds a few years ago, and found much to like. The best examples had mouthwatering freshness, deep cherry-pie fruit, and pleasant structure.
A Perfect Pairing Wine.
Our favorite catch from this year’s Christmas cookbook haul is Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty.” Last night it was a simple recipe of sweet potato cakes (page 32) with sour cream, lemon, and cilantro. We reached for Francis Muré’s dry Alsatian Riesling, as we often do when don’t know what to drink with something.
Chablis: Sound Fiscal Policy.
With a new Fed chief in town, monetary policy is on everyone’s mind. We don’t claim to be interest-rate experts, but we will tell you that when it comes to wine, just about the best financial decision you can make is to stock up on Chablis.
Wine for a weeknight: $11.95
Last month we wrote about several wines for special occasions -- wines with a touch of extravagance. But with New Year’s financial resolutions on the mind, we’re turning to something simpler. The Côtes du Rhône from the Domaine les Goubert is a straightforward, easy-to-like wine, with a price that’s hard to beat.
Our Christmas Table.
Four weeks ago this wine was in the Goubert cellar in Gigondas - next week it will be passed around our Christmas dinner table. If you haven’t chosen a bottle, we’re sure it would be just at home on yours.
No-Oak Chardonnay. $16
Violets, Licorice, Red Burgundy.
Violets in Vosne. If there’s one tasting note we most often jot down for wines from Vosne-Romanée, it’s violets. Berries, earthy notes, and spices appear frequently as well, but we think it’s Vosne’s elegant floral quality that sets it apart. We’re not the first ones to pick up on this, mind you. Centuries ago, as […]
Wine for a leisurely lunch. $16
The French are famous for their leisurely lunches. From noon to two the entire country pauses, and an effort to accomplish anything during this period – renting a car, scheduling a tasting, even buying a loaf of bread – meets an answering machine or a stuttered window.
The Perfect Winter White. (15% off)
There’s hardly a better winter white wine than a good Pouilly-Fuissé. The best wines from this appellation are rich, full, and soft. Our favorites persist in the mouth for quite a while, maintaining balance between acidity and roundness. We’ve never had a better Pouilly-Fuissé than those from Michel Forest.
Plums and Earth.
Most of our wines come from small-scale producers you’ve likely never heard of – but not all of them. The Domaine de l’Arlot is one of Burgundy’s great names, and their wines appear in the finest restaurants and cellars around the world.