White wines are taking off with many new wines coming in from all over the world. As well, sparkling wines are starting to trend. French wines are getting more popular than ever. Fascinating wines from even more fascinating regions, but with names and appellations each more difficult to pronounce than the next.
A couple years ago, the white wine everyone was raving about was the Domaine Moreux Sancerre Chavignol 2012. Like the Sancerre, the Domaine Bailly Pouilly-Fumé 2017 is another expression of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. The Pouilly Fumé appellation is called that (Fumé means smoked/smoky in French) as the wines from that region typically feature mineral notes that have a flinty-smoky character. Try it with smoked turkey, you won’t regret it!
Mention French wines and most people will think of Bordeaux first, before they even imagine Champagne, Burgundy or the Loire Valley. The great thing about sparkling wines is that they go well with about any type of dish. But they shine most when accompanying deep-fried food. Southern-style fried chicken or fried beef tongue with a bottle of Champagne Drappier Brut Nature is heavenly. The crispness and freshness combined with the sharp bubbles and the vibrant acidity of this Champagne takes the whole meal a few steps ahead.
Domaine Bailly Pouilly-Fumé 2017: Complex, unique flavors and aromas in this French Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire valley with smoky notes. Try it with smoked turkey drumsticks.
Champagne Drappier Brut Nature: The sharp vibrant character of this very dry Champagne (as opposed to most Champagne-method sparkling wines, it does not have added sugar during the winemaking process) is bursting with notes of yeast, freshly baked bread, lemon, and apple. The acidity and bubbles make it a natural allied to deep-fried chicken or duck.
The selection of kosher Bordeaux nowadays is mind-boggling. The tricky part is to find wines that do not require aging in a cellar or a wine cooler for several years before they are ready to drink. Think of some of those wines as a fine cut of beef which gains in flavor and texture when dry-aged for 90 days or more. It can be quite tasty even when not aged but is so much better when matured to perfection. The better red wines and some Chardonnay are like that too, except they need much more time than 90 days. Some like Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2015, a classified growth from Pauillac, can be aged 10–20 years and more. Château Rollan de By 2014 does not need as much time. It can be aged for 10–12 years but it is already showing amazing now. With a grilled tomahawk steak or a standing rib roast (aged of course!) this wine is incredible!
Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2015: A Great Growth (Grand Cru) from Bordeaux as most prestigious appellation: Pauillac. Big, bold and powerful, this Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend needs to age for another five to eight years before it will deliver all of its layers of flavors and tertiary notes. However if you like them young and fruity, it would be a great match to a standing rib roast.
Château Rollan de By 2014: One of the most popular Bordeaux wines in the world, the Rollan de By can age well but it has the great advantage of being ready to drink early on in its life. The lush flavors of red berries combined with earthy aromas and a velvety texture make it the wine of choice to pair with a large, juicy steak.