Sep 19 2008

Wine that tastes like chicken

OK, maybe you say it would taste good WITH chicken. But I think this bad boy is a flavor experience all by itself.

Famed blogger Dr. Vino, aka Tyler Colman, was in Chicago today at Just Grapes speaking about some wines coming out of France that do more than part with tradition—they go running from it.

Our fifth wine was a Thierry Puzelat Pineau d’Aunis from the Loire Valley in France. It’s a limited-production wine from an organic and biodynamic winemaker using an obscure, ancient grape from Touraine. They don’t get much more exotic than this.

We all stuck our noses in our glasses and then took a swig. It was quiet for a moment, as we all tried to absorb what we were experiencing. Colman said, “Don’t you want to have a roast chicken right now?” Why, yes! Pepper. Some tannins. A rich, deep color. It might as well have been the roast chicken itself; maybe just a wee bit more dry.

Thierry Puzelat’s rogue choices in grape varietals mean he often falls outside French laws requiring the use of certain grapes to be able to label a wine with the appellation, or place. He still dares to be different, which holds a certain appeal for those ready to get off the beaten Pinot Noir path. “It’s a total hipster grape variety,” Colman said of the Pineau d’Aunis.

And while it’s light and lively enough to play nice with food, it’s interesting enough to stand alone. You can have this one with the chicken, or you can save it for later, when the dishes are cleared and it’s time for cocktails and conversation. Certainly, this spicy renegade will hold its own at the table.  

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