Saturday, January 31, 2015

Learning the Loire Valley at Wine 101-Wake Forest

By Dathan Kazsuk | Jan 29, 2015
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

If you haven’t been to one of Wine 101’s “wine classes” it would be in your best interest to do so in the future. Both the Raleigh and Wake Forest locations have scheduled classes, where you learn about a wine region from knowledgeable hosts, as well as trying some great wines. Last time we attended a class on Argentine-style wines, and on Jan. 29 we were lucky enough to attend the Loire Valley Wine Class taught by Authentique Vin’s Thomas Meunier.

Meunier, whose business is based out of Carrboro, has a fine portfolio of wines that range from some of the most popular regions in France. We’ve all heard of Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Rhone Valley – but today, we learned and tasted wines from the vast Loire Valley.

Jennifer and myself, along with our friend Gina, took some notes during our class and here’s what we have to say about the wine offered to us that evening.

Wine #1: 2012 Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie is produced by Jo Landron along with his wife, Jocelyn. This white wine, which was made with 100 percent Melon de Bourgogne, grows primarily in the Loire Valley region of France. Muscadet makes a perfect pairing with oysters or other shellfish. This wine has a well-balanced citrus flavor with a slightly less citrus to the nose. COST: $13.99

Wine #2: 2012 Chateau de Villeneure Saumur Chenin Blanc comes from a Jean-Pierre Chevallier owned property overlooking the Saumur region in France. This Chenin Blanc was a nice contrast from the Muscadet taste previously. With a very mineral and slight bit of saline lingering on the taste buds, this was a nice wine. These grapes are grown on chalky slopes in the Saumur. COST: $18.99

Wine #3: 2012 Domaine Gerard Fiou Sancerre Pinot Noir is a wine crafted of 100 percent Pinot Noir over 40-year old vines. The most expensive white wine on the lot for the evening, this wine has a rich, balanced taste with intos of black cherry fruits. COST: $27.99

Wine #4: 2013 Henry Marionnet Gamay Touraine Domaine de la Charmoise. Gamay is really an under appreciated grape. The grape usually gets most of its attention during the Beaujolais Nouveau season which falls in November. The estate of Domaine de la Chamoise has close to 85-acres which lines between the Loire and Cher rivers. Vines on this estate were planted between 1967 and 1978, making some of these vines almost 50-years old. The wine itself is a medium-bodied and pours ruby red to purple in the glass with a nose and palate of raspberry and cassis. COST: $15.99

Wine #5: 2013 Grosbois St. Nicolas de Bourgueil. This 100 percent Cabernet Franc was our favorite of the evening. The vines for this “jammy” red grow from the sand and gravel on the former Loire River bed. The wine itself has a nice floral nose, while the mouth is deep in berries, such as raspberry and strawberry. Great companions for this wine would include pizza, chicken, pork or even a charcuterie plate.  COST: $17.99

Wine 101's two locations will feature a Tuscan Wine Class on Feb. 25 at the Raleigh location and Feb. 26 at the Wake Forest location. Both classes start at 7:30 p.m., and the cost is $15 per person.