Loire Valley Wines to Try and Why
Terroir in the world of wine is everything. It provides invaluable clues as to the particular soil, climate and locale where a grape or bottle of wine was produced. And the Loire Valley has it all.
Known as the garden of France, the land of castles, the place where the purest French is spoken, the array of Loire Valley terrains are sensational and so are the practical prices across the board.
Although 87 appellations add to the mystique of this wine map there are four major varieties. Aspecial spring pairing luncheon at the Ivory on Sunset, an exceptional introduction to four of the main varieties : crisp, grassy Sauvignon Blanc; versatile Chenin Blanc in all its styles; fresh and fruity Melon; and the surprising richness and ageworthiness of the Loire’s Cabernet Francs.
So it was appropriate that Los Angeles’ best known sommelier, and Loire Valley Wines enthusiast Matthew Kaner (Bar Covell and Augustine), greeted guests at the spring luncheon and chose the pairing menu to go with these four major varieties.
The A lovely crisp wine first wine was the Brut Sparkling Cremant de Loire (24.99) imported by Vintus with 60% Chenin Blanc and 20% each of Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. It marched perfectly with the Hamachi Crudo. The incredibly low price proved how affordable these wines are in every category.
Arriving from France just for the luncheon was vintner.
Two wines paired with the Spring Crab Salad-a Sancerre 2014 from Domaine Sylvain Bailly, and a Rose from Emile Balland “Les Beaux jours 2015.” The wines proved to have a springy spiriting the tasting with the Sancerre retailing for $19.98 and the Rose imported by Bonhomie wines for $22.99. Most of these producers are of the small batch variety.
A third course of Duck Rillettes again came with two wines, a Reuilly from Domain Cordet 2014 and Rose d’Angou from Famille Bougrier, 2015. Rose sales in the USA continue to rise about 6% each year and the Loire Valley is now the biggest source of Rose after Provence.
A summery Crispy Rainbow Trout with haricot vert arrived accompanied with twowines- a Caves Louis de Grenelle Cuvee from Saumur and a 2015 Chinon Rose from Domaine de La Lysardiere. USA Wine West imports the sparkling Rose from Saumur that sells for $27.99. We were privileged to enjoy the one and only bottle of the Chinon Rose that made it to America from France.
The dessert course of delectable Tart Tatin with Glazed Gala Apples and Cinnamon Chantilly Cream came with a Cremant de Loire Deligeroy Brut Rose, a very dry wine with a perfect acidity to pair with sweets. The price of $12.99.
Allison Levine of Please the Palate at the head of the table. Allison did a Loire Wine Tasting later in the month for her group.
Interestingly enough, we came across in our files this dinner by a then-trendy, beloved new downtown restaurant, since closed. And it featured Loire Valley wines!
A NIGHT IN LOIRE:
Four Course Food & Wine Pairing
Join us as we transport you to the famous Loire Valley wine region with a four course food and wine pairing. Stay tuned to our social media for more details on the night. $60 pp + tax/tip. Reservations are a must: 213-626-5299