Wine Preview for Paris Cooking School on November 8…oh la la!

Wine Preview

by Heather Puffer

The first cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn will be in just a few weeks!  I have four of the five wines selected and am very excited about the pairings for the Paris cuisine:  French Onion Soup and Butternut Squash Bisque with French Garlic Sausage…oh la la!

I love kicking off the evening with some bubbly.  I’ve selected a Cremant de Bourgogne, made using the same method and similar grapes to Champagne, however it cannot be labeled Champagne because the grapes aren’t from that specific region.  This version of bubbly is worth seeking out.  It retails for around $20 or less and is often better quality than some of the similarly priced domestic sparkling wines and much more affordable than their cousins from Champagne.

The first white is a Pinot Gris from Alsace.  The region of Alsace is on the French/German border in the rain shadow of the Vosges Mountains. The mountains block the rain from the west and allowing these grapes to receive abundant sunshine needed to display ripe apple and peach flavors.  These wines are generally dry but there are some off-dry (containing a little residual sugar) styles as well.  Taste what makes this wine different from those versions found in Italy and California.

The second white wine will be from Burgundy (Bourgogne).  You’ve got to give this Chardonnay a chance.  This wine is from a region nearby Meursault, renowned for its premium-priced, age-worthy white Burgundies.   It has the perfect combination of citrus and green apple fruit balanced with vanilla and subtle toasty oak.

The first red is from Morgon, a Cru village in Beaujolais, just south of Burgundy.  Made from the black grape Gamay, these wines are packed with ripe red berry fruit, soft tannins and slight minerality from the granite soils.

The second red wine will likely be either a red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) or something a little more full-bodied like a Cotes du Rhone, typically a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvedre.   I’ll just surprise those of you joining us on November 8.

When selecting wines for the cooking classes, I’m aiming for that magical pairing where the food and wine complement and enhance one another, but more importantly for everyone to have fun and enjoy the wine, food and the company.

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