Who doesn’t love a good wine party? We think wine parties are the best way to learn about wine, and wine for food. With that in mind, we bring you Wine Party of the Month, a monthly article detailing wine and food recommendations from one wine varietal or region. Each article suggests three categories of wine that will pair beautifully with food (seasonal recipes included). All wines are likely to be found in your local wine shop in a range of prices. So grab your friends, take our recommendations, and throw your own Wine Party of the Month. Be sure to take pictures and tag us @Wine_4_Food!
September’s Wine Party of the Month explores Vouvray, made in the Vouvray district of France’s Loire Valley. If you like Chenin blanc, you’ll love Vouvray since they’re made from the same grape varietal. This exciting wine can be found in sparkling, dry (sec), and semi-sweet (demi-sec). All styles generally have notes of green apple, and pair nicely with food.
For a more in-depth look at Vouvray, check out “Vouvray is the Late Summer White You’ve Been Looking For” by our digital editor, Siobhan. After our tasting of over 20 wines, we created tasting notes to represent the common flavors we found.
Vouvray Tasting Note
Vouvray is typically clear gold, with aromas of floral, citrus, and minerality. On the palate, the wine has flavors of green apple and pear. The wine varies from sec to demi-sec, is medium-bodied, and has high acidity.
What you need to know about Vouvray:
• It’s generally made from the Chenin blanc grape varietal.
• Vouvray is best fresh. We recommend that you drink vintages made within the last two years.
• Contains high acidity which makes it food friendly.
• Best paired with salads, fresh vegetables, goat cheese, poultry, duck, and fish.
1. FIRST COURSE: Vouvray Sec
Ask your local wine store to show you their Vouvray secs, or dry Vouvrays. Pick one that fits your budget. Or choose the one that we love: Champalou Vouvray, $15 (Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant). We like this wine because it is a great representation of a dry Vouvray with crisp green apple, honey, mineral notes, and a vanilla finish. Raw vegetables in the crudité bring out the freshness of this wine, and the herbs in the Greek Goddess Dip pair well with the herbaceousness of the wine.
FOOD: The Mercury News’ Picnic Crudité with Greek Goddess Dip
2. SECOND COURSE: Sparkling Vouvray
Most sparkling Vouvrays are made in the traditional champagne method (“méthode traditionnelle” or “méthode champenoise”) where the first fermentation makes a base wine, and the second fermentation occurs in the bottle to create fizz. This method creates bubbles that are tighter and more fizzy. Domaine d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut, $17 (Fruit of the Vines) is our pick for a sparkling. It pairs well with fried chicken and has with a bit more minerality than the Champalou Vouvray from the first course.
FOOD: Andrew Carmellini’s Fried Chicken posted by Serious Eats
Serious Salads: Stone Fruits with Ginger-Lime Syrup and Mint Recipe on Serious Eats
Food Network Alex Guarnaschelli’s Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread
3. THIRD COURSE: Vouvray Demi-Sec
Demi-sec or semi-sweet Vouvrays are generally not too heavy, nor syrupy sweet. They represent the Vouvray category of wines well, and pair nicely with spice. Our top pick was Domaine François Pinon Les Perruches (Louis/Dressner Selections). Apricot, peach, or apple notes are the perfect match for Ina Garten’s apple turnovers.
FOOD: Food Network Ina Garten’s Apple Turnovers
We hope you enjoy this picnic-friendly menu of bright, seasonal, Vouvray-friendly foods. By the way, each course is easy to purchase (just in case you don’t want to cook). So pick up some wine, pack your basket, and head to the beach. Let us know how you like Vouvray on our Facebook, or over on Instagram!