Monday, April 18, 2011

An intro to Loire Valley wines

Joker and I had an absolutely delightful mid-afternoon date yesterday: we got set up by my brother-in-law to attend a wine class focused on the Loire Valley.  It was at the Tarry Market, an Italian market in Port Chester opened late last year by celebrity chef Mario Batali.  It was a blast!

The class was in their event space, which is a really cool room upstairs from the market and adjoining wine shop.  They brought in Jenn Zala, a woman who's spent  a great deal of time in the Loire region, to teach the class.  The wine was great, and Jenn described everything from the grape growing and harvesting process to the vintners to the wines with obvious joy and regard for it all. 

French wines intimidate the hell out of me.  Something about the naming conventions (the region? the grape?) confuses me from the get-go.  Plus, knowing as little as I do about them (and having as limited a budget as I do), I find that it's easier to stick with wines from places I'm more comfortable with.  But Jenn really gave some great insight into this wine region.  Plus, she used adjectives that I could understand, describing the mood of a wine (wines were "jumpy" or "energetic") rather than sticking to pretentious-sounding language like "oaky" and "a hint of cherries" and what have you.  I'd highly recommend this pleasant experience to everyone local.  Or at least, everyone local who enjoys drinking wine.  We hope to attend the next one, too!

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