Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weekly Wine Tasting at Trader Joe's

Most Wednesday's at TJ's Ventura, we do a wine tasting to inform the Crew.  We have a fun experience and revel in "product knowledge."  The tasting notes I wrote are below, but today's tasting featured five French wines.  The surprise to me was that the favorite wine of about 17 of the 20 participants was the Muscadet from the Loire Valley.  It's from the Sevre et Maine region, which it turns out, is the premier Muscadet region in all of France.

So, check it out at your TJ's outlet.  $6.99 a bottle.  Also, check out the green tag on the top of the label.  That means the wine was intended for consumption in France.  The green sticker means the producer paid  tax to sell it in France.  If it's intended for export, the tax is not paid.  So in summary, you can get a fine wine from France that was not intended for your consumption.

Look for Chateau Des Cleons 2009 Muscadet Sevre et Maine for $6.99 a bottle and drink what the French were supposed to drink.  I would suggest having it with seafood because that's what the French pair this wine with.

As a side note, all five of the French white wines were admired greatly.  Our Crew was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the tasting and "product knowledge."  And it gets the work day off to a pleasant start.  Besides, we had cheese, bread, and different fruits to accompany the wines.  It was a delicious repast.

Here are the tasting notes....

Chateau Des Cleons 2010 Muscadet:  Muscadet is made from the Melon Bourgogne grape and comes from the most western part of the Loire Valley.  Most Muscadet is made “Sur Lie” or “on the lees” (spent yeast cells), meaning the wine was left in contact with the yeast lees for several months before bottling.  This adds extra flavor and a refreshing spritz.  Muscadet is a fabulous wine to pair with seafood.  Muscadet is rarely in oak, mostly stainless.  Alcohol=12%.   $6.99 a bottle.

Chablis:  This 2009 white wine is 100% Chardonnay and is fermented in stainless steel.  Chablis is the northernmost region of Burgundy where the weather is harsh, wet, and cold, and the soil is clay and limestone.  Makes for an often very acidic wine. Alcohol=12.5%.  $7.99 a bottle.

Le Ferme Julien 2010 White Blend:  A blend of Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, and Roussanne from the Rhone Valley.  Bourboulenc adds acidity, Grenache Blanc is the workhorse for the white southern Rhone wines and adds high alcohol and low acidity, Ugni Blanc, a neutral grape, is used as filler for inexpensive southern blends, and Roussanne, an aromatic, elegant white from the northern Rhone.     Alcohol=13%.    $4.99 a bottle.

Mouton Cadet 2009 Bordeaux:   From the western side of Bordeaux.  A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon,, and 5% Muscadelle.  Sav Blanc adds crisp austerity, Semillon is dry and clean, and Muscadelle adds a light floral character.  Alcohol=12.5%.   $7.99 a bottle.

Pouilly Fume:  This wine from the eastern Loire Valley is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.  Fermented in stainless steel and is generally crisp, clean, and acidic.  Another great wine to pair with seafood.  Alcohol=12.5%.  $10.99 a bottle.

Get to Trader Joe's and find any or all of these very nicely priced, yet, superb wines.

Tom da Wine Guy


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