Delayed Plans-Wines of Alsace

Wines were provided as media samples. I received no other compensation, thoughts and opinions are my own.

I had plans for these wines.

They arrived when the temperatures were not conducive to the cuisine, but I was patient.

I had plans for these wines.

I’d taste them all together, a three course meal with friends, a plan to transport.

I had plans for these wines.

Tarte flambée, roasted pork or chicken, a cheese course.

I had plans.

And then my husband gave up meat.

No problem, I’ll adjust.

And then he gave up dairy and eggs.

Want to waste a few hours online? Try finding vegan Alsatian recipes.

So I did the next best thing. If I could not make French-German cuisine, I’d share them with my French German family. We made a tasting of it. Just taste and take notes, remember our trip years ago, and imagine what we’d pair with it.

We began with Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris 2014. Spun straw in the glass, a nose of pear, honey, and petroleum. Add candied lemon peel to the palate. The mouthfeel is weightier than anticipated for the grape due to its time in 40 year old French oak. The finish rather smooth but abrupt, the wine makes a nice aperitif.

We all fell for Pinot Blanc on our travels through the Willamette Valley last summer so I had high hopes for Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc 2015. The nose heightened these. Honey, blossoms, nutmeg, peach. The finish was long but what was missing for me was the acidity. Perhaps I held it too long chilled, perhaps it was a warmer year. For whatever reason, it fell a little flat for my palate. However, paired with  an Alsatian tart, the softer notes would temper the onions, gruyere, bacon. With an acidic kraut dish, it would be a welcome foil. Either could transform the wine.

The crowd favorite was the Schlumberger Pinot Noir Les Princes Abbes 2014. Raspberry, baking spice, integrated tannins, the wine is a balanced representation of cool climate Pinot Noir. Fermented in stainless, then eight months in foudres, the acidity is tamed but the fruit stands. It would pair nicely in many directions, ham, Quiche Lorraine, charcuterie. A versatile, tasty wine.

I had plans for these wines because I wanted to create an experience that spoke of the region. I visited nearly three decades ago. Strolled the stoned streets, my siblings and I giggling and gazing in cathedral square in Strasburg. Full of wonder for the world, all we were seeing, all we hoped we’d see. And now I yearn to return. My best friend has made Strasburg home for the last 13 years and I have yet to visit. It is a top priority for travel but one that eludes with travel time and children’s schedules. And so I give myself a taste, a tease of a place with cuisine and wines. Until I can return and toast with her, until I can share a proper Alsatian meal with my dear, dear friend, I can pretend and I can plan.

 

 

 

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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