Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 104.5FM. The live stream feed is online at www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”. The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 11:00AM MST.
Good Sunday morning and welcome back to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Last week on the show I shared with you a few basics of pairing wine and food. One of the important points I mentioned focused on balance, weight, and texture of both food and wine. Ah yes… a harmonious balance of wine and food, it’s a beautiful thing when it all comes together. Perhaps it is like a well written song; rather like beautiful music in your mouth.
One of my goals for this year is to drink less of what I’m familiar with and more of that which I’m not, bringing me to this week’s show. There are two new grapes that I believe we should pay attention to. One a red varietal from Sicily, Frappato, and the other, Jacquère, a white grape from a little known wine region of France.
On last week’s show I mentioned a new little known red grape native to Sicily, also a great wine to pair with food. It is one of those varietals like Barbera, Gamay, and Pinot Noir that when you hold your glass up to light you can see through it. Generally speaking this would be a suitable wine to enjoy with your dinner. The new up and coming grape that is native to Sicily is known as Frappato.
The Frappato grape varietal has been around a long time and until recently has been used as a blending grape with the well known king of the island, Sicily that is, Nero d’Avola. The Frappato grape is very thin skinned and one of the problems in making wine from this grape was getting any measurable color extraction from the grape. This problem has been solved through the advancement of winemaking technology though. Temperature controlled stainless steel tanks allow the winemaker to macerate or leave the grapes with the skins longer at a cooler temperature and extract the desired coloration without imparting unwanted nuances such as too much tannin into the finished product of the wine.
Frappato is a semi-aromatic grape varietal that present subtle floral and blossom aromas. This grape that basks in the warmth of Sicilian sun at the base of Mount Etna maintains a perfect level of acidity which makes this an up and coming wine to pair with foods. Frappato wines also have very supple tannins which also make it a perfect complement to foods. It wonderful profile and beautiful Cherry blossom floral notes are the reason this grape has been traditionally used as a blending grape for the powerful Nero d’Avola.
The second grape I would like to share with you is also an amazing wine to pair with foods. It comes from the little known wine region around the Rhone Alps, Savoie and the predominant grape grown in the region is Jacquère (Jah-KEHR). This white grape varietal covers about 50% of their vineyards in the region.
Growing grapes dates to the 1st Century B.C. in the region. Greek influence was strong and their knowledge of making wine steeped in experience. The Savoie region has been growing grapes since antiquity and mentioned in writings by
The church was amongst the largest landowners during the period of the Middle Ages. The Monks were very advanced in their practice of viticulture and making wine and as a result implemented a system of designating the wine regions within the Savoie. By the 18th century vineyard acreage increased as grapes were being grown from the valley to the foothills of the mountains.
After the annexation of Savoie to France in 1860 competition of the inexpensive wines of southern France became strong and it was also during this period that the phylloxera vine louse infested the vines and devastated the French wine industry. By the end of the 19th century vines had been replanted utilizing more modern knowledge and techniques allowing the vineyards to become prolific again.
During the first half of the 20th century the wine industry was hampered by World War 1. Scarce labor forces were another contributing factor to the decline of the wine industry as meaningful work drew laborers to city centers. The wine industry continued a downward spiral until well after the end of World War 2.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s when this area became a popular destination of skiers from around the world that the wine industry really began to recover. Today the region is well known for its indigenous foods and draws travelers near and far seeking gastronomic delights.
Savoie’s vineyards have always played an important role in the farming economy and remain an integral part of the agricultural industry. It is not until recently that the wines from the Savoie region have shown up at our favorite wine shops.
Wines from the Savoie can be exceptional with the Jacquère grape varietal which produces wines that are pale-colored, delicate, fresh, and sometimes a slight effervescence. The nose of the Jacquère grape exudes beautiful aromas of wild flowers and earthy mineral notes. The palate this wine is light with well balanced fruit and acid leaving you with a finish that is clean and dry. This inexpensive wine from the Savoie is exceptional to pair with food.
Well friends it has been fun this week introducing you to a couple of new grapes, Frappato and Jacquère, which you will definitely be seeing more of. Remember to continue to broaden your wine palates and be sure to check out my wine blog at WineGuyMike.com for wine suggestions. I’ll see you on the radio friends.
For a great selection of wines to pair with your food with be sure to visit Liquid Planet, Missoula’s “Best of Beverage”, located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.
The wines suggested today receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™ www.wineguymike.com is your wine resource.
From my table to yours,
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This Weeks podcast on “Two New Grapes”; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2013/01/13/wine-guy-mike-for-january-13/
Last weeks podcast on pairing wine and food; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2013/01/06/wine-guy-mike-for-january-6/
This weeks WineGuyMike YouTube preview on pairing wine and food; http://bit.ly/pVLaBr
Recent podcast with wine visionary David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyard; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/12/23/wine-guy-mike-for-december-23rd/
Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/
NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html