Monday, December 10, 2012

French Wines

Today is the birthday of Emily Dickinson who spent most of her life writing verses and poetry.  She was born December 10, 1830.  Emily spent most of her adult life in her corner bedroom in her father's house. The room contained a writing table, a dresser, a Franklin stove, a clock, a ruby decanter, and pictures on the wall of three writers: George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Thomas Carlyle. Her favorite author was Shakespeare. She eventually wrote more than 1,700 poems. In the year 1862 alone, Emily  wrote 366 poems -- about one per day. Now that is quite an impressive amount.
This is one of her poems from the book Poetry for Young People Emily Dickinson edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
I am going to imagine behind this door lives a very wealthy family. Perhaps they even have a well stocked wine cellar. 
Unlike American wines which are classified by predominate grapes such as chardonnay or pinot noir, French wines are classified by regions in which the grapes are grown. Champagne, Bordeaux or Burgundy are three of the most well known wine regions.
In the champagne region their sparkling wines are named for the chateaux that produces them. Three such recognizable names are Moet, Don Perignon and Veave Clicquot.   
Bordeaux is the next best known wine making region. Bordeaux are full bodied red wines predominately from cabernet and merlot grapes.  
Burgundy wines are produced by a lot of small estates that combine their grapes to make one wine and often are named for the local region such as Beane, Pommard and Chablis.  
Loire Valley white wines are predominately from sauvignon and blanc grapes. Some wines that are popular are Pouilly-Fune and Sancerre 
Even though wines compliment different foods the best way to learn about wine is to buy several different ones and have fun tasting with a group. 
So I thought wine tasting with a group sounded like a great idea. I plan to ring in the New Year with a French themed dinner.
Here are some suggested wines just in case you want to host a wine tasting party. I picked wines in the medium priced range $10.00-18.00. 
Belleruche Cote-Du_Rhone
Samorens Cotes-Du-Rhone 
Chateau Argadens Bordeaux
Macon Villages White Burgundy
Chateau La Commanderie Bordeaux Sauvignon

My interest in French cooking does not end with this last blog on French wine. The fun of cooking lies in learning about new regions, experimenting with different ingredients and a willingness to try something new. 
So don't be surprised if another French recipe should pop up in the near future. After all I recently purchased Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot in Paris  and need to make good use of it.

1 comment:

  1. Emily Dickinson was my favorite poet as a teen, even though her poetry (as I recall) was often dark and depressing. I need to revisit her writing. Thank you for sharing this.

    I wish I possessed even an ounce of your interest in cooking.