Tag Archives: chenin blanc

Maui Wine Tour & Review

Wayward Wine has wandered out of its natural element the last few posts.  Apologies.  We are in Maui. We have tried pineapple and sugar cane spirits at Hali’imaile Distillery (read here), Ocean Vodka (read here), and just toured O’o Coffee Farm (read here).

We learned that Maui’s sugar cane empire collapsed last year.  The island has yet to find a viable agricultural alternative.  Could wine production save it?  California, Oregon, and Washington have found wine a lucrative shift. Could Maui?  Continue reading

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Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame: New Wine Kid on the Block

Day 91 of our EU Austerity Drinking Tour sees us leaving Nantes and the Loire. But before Bordeaux, we toast to this river ribbon of viticulture one last time.

Since this is an Austerity Drinking Tour, walking, public transport, and home-stays have helped us save money for drinking. Free tastings at Nantes’ Maison des Vins de Loire helped us visit over twenty wineries that only a pricy rental could. Of those, three came home with us.

It is our last day. Heavy rains and my wife’s emerging flu keep us in our cosy, colorful basement. Between packing, I create an advanced wine-chiller and put it outside: Continue reading

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Other Muscadets and Oddities: Coteaux de la Loire, Grandlieu, Gros Plant, Fiefs Vendeens, Chenin, and Muscadet

Yes. Winter grips the Northern hemisphere. But turn your minds to warmer weather. Our 7 month 13 country EU Austerity Drinking Tour has visited Muscadet’s famed Sèvre-et-Maine and every-day Muscadet. This Monday, we try on Muscadet’s other wine regions for size.

On the Loire’s right bank, North of Sèvre et Maine sits Coteaux de la Loire in the hills above Ancenis:

They too mainly grow Muscadet. But how do they perform:

Les Vignerons de la Noëlle’s “Folies Siffait” Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire, France 2011

Like most Muscadet, Noëlle looks pale lemon with a slight fizz. Continue reading

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Festive Fizz: Skip Champagne for Sparkling Wine from Limoux, France for New Year’s

Holiday parties, like the blob, suck all your time. New Year’s Day, like Dick Clark’s ghost, looms. Appetizers stare at us, like piranha on small plates. We need bubbly.

But we tire of bargain Prosecco. Champagne cost too much to share. American bubbly is either too cheap, or too expensive. Cava works, but seems too familiar.

Enter Limoux:

The Pyrenees Mountains cut France and Spain apart. Their foothills form Limoux: a region just south of the medieval fortress town of Caracassonne. Inland and high up, both Mediterranean warmth and Atlantic cold make Limoux the coolest region this far south in France. Its soil is equally rough: full of rocky, sandstone, limestone, and clay.

Cold temperatures, challenging soil, high elevations: the perfect recipe for quality bubbly. Continue reading

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Wine Tour Made Easy: Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours, France: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #49

This Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour takes us on a whirlwind wine tour of the Loire…indoors.

Last Monday’s postcard post saw a sun-drenched bike ride.

But, back in Tours, while enjoying its centuries-old city center…

The clouds open, drench, and, drive us…well…into a bottle shop (surprise!):

Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours. A group of winemakers and negociants wanted to educate visitors about the Loire’s many wines, grapes, and regions. So they set up tasting rooms in Tours, Saumur, Nantes, and Angers.

Yes, it’s for tourists. But mostly locals popped in: partly out of pride, partly because the prices are low.

Overwhelmed by their range, hospitality, and knowledge, we visit it twice. Here are some highlights: Continue reading

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