Sipping Through Alsace ~ The Seven Noble Grapes: Featuring Pinot Blanc and Muscat Grapes
March 30, 2018
Everest’s Alsace wine list is one of the largest in the world. Chef Joho personally curates the selections from him hometown to pair impeccably with the his cuisine.
Pinot Blanc is a versatile white-wine grape variety used in the production of still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. Although not the most glamorous member of the Pinot family, the variety has proven its worth in various European wine regions, such as Alsace, Italy, and Austria.
Pinot Blanc’s spiritual home is arguably Alsace, where it is also called Klevner. Pinot Blanc wines are typified by almond aromas, with a hint of spice. On the palate, they show a range of apple flavors. They may display some light mineral characteristics, but these are generally muted by the oak treatment favored in the region. Sparkling Cremant d’Alsace wines, on the other hand, tend to be crisper, fuller, earthier, often exhibiting a variety of nutty flavors.
Fun fact of Alsace’s appellation laws, wines that are labeled as Pinot Blanc may, in fact, have an undisclosed proportion of Auxerrois, a similar grape variety which has slightly less acidity. Oddly, this rule does not apply to Auxerrois-labeled wines in Alsace. Pinot Blanc can be paired with either appetizers or even main courses such as fish, white meats, and poultry. Also, if you are looking for a Brunch pairing, this wine is a phenomenal choice for egg based dishes such as Quiche and Omelettes!
When it comes to Muscat, there are two different varieties being cultivated in Alsace. The first, is one of the oldest grape varieties known to man, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, or, Muscat d’Alsace as it is known here. The other, Muscat Ottonel. Muscat d’Alsace has been around since the 16th Century, while Muscat Ottonel first appeared in Alsace around the middle of the 19th Century. Muscat d’Alsace gives more aroma and acidity to its wines, rather than Muscat Ottonel being more of a body wine. Muscat Ottonel also has a very short flowering season.
Out of all the grapes in Alsace, Muscat, is generally picked first. It’s a very fresh and floral varietal, with aromas of freshly crushed grapes, potpourri, many ripe citrus and stoned fruits, and a slight vegetive flavor. Very under appreciated, Muscat is a charmer, and those that try it fall in love with its elegance! Muscat from Alsace is a perfect Aperitif for a hot summer night, the romantic aromas will trigger a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, especially by candlelight on our 40th floor!
This is the perfect pairing for Asparagus , especially with a little hollandaise 🙂 A Votre Sante!