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Alsace - where to start?

discovery

#1

So as mentioned on numerous other threads, although not exactly new to wine, I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to understanding the different regions, their specialties and the peculiarities of terroir that express in the wine.

So, I’ve bitten the bullet and bought these two cases to to some Alsatian #discovery, which arrived today:

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start? The whites are all different grapes so I suppose we just start anywhere and work our way through, noting which we like and which we don’t really.

For the reds, should we tackle those in any specific order?


#2

Alphabetical order? :wink:


#3

With the whites, started with the driest and head to the richer end.
With the reds, why not just blind taste?


#4

Ok, sound like a plan. However, I’m not much further forward as I don’t know what order that implies!

Maybe its:

Pinot Blanc
Sylvaner
Guwurtztraminer
Muscat
Riesling
Pinot Gris

?


#5

That’s quite an expensive option.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could order a mixed case of small blind samples and then choose what we wanted to buy more of on that basis?


#6

There is someone doing that but not related to TWS as far as I know

Actually, not exactly the same thing as they are not blind samples. But similar I guess.

(I’m not related to the above website except that the founder worked at the same place as me once, and I found out about them from the ex-employee association)


#7

How brilliantly fascinating and as you have asked the question, I do hope that you get many, many exciting answers before you decide on how to proceed. Personally, I wouldn’t rush and if, as you mentioned, you’re thinking of making notes too, I would probably just get started with what I believe would be right at the time, (considering what I knew about each one from TWS). Although they will all be deliciously fresh, fruity and reasonably dry, (I believe), otherwise they are all very different and bursting with their own character, which I’m sure TWS will have indicated.
If you don’t mind me asking: What originally drew you to them, in particular? How much do you already know about Alsace wine and in what circumstances, will you be consuming them? by yourself? With friends? With dinner or as an aperitif?


#8

Well, good questions.

I saw the offer and though that since I didn’t really know an awful lot about Alsace wines, I could broaden my horizons. The mixed whites case looked interesting as there were several different grapes represented and I usually find that I need 2 bottles of something new. The first one helps to know what I’m expecting from the second one, if you see what I mean.

I’ll probably be trying them with my wife - most likely the first bottle of each would be on its own, the second might be with food if that’s what we thought would be most appropriate.

As for the reds, I’ve had some mixed fortune with Pinot Noir recently - a couple of young Burgundies that I really liked; one from New Zealand (not from TWS) that I could have cleaned the drains with; a blanc de noirs Champagne that I immediately went back and bought 6 more of. (To be completely honest I don’t know that the Champagne was definitely all PN.)

So I thought I’d try some other PN from another region to see how it expresses differently.


#9

That all sounds great and certainly explains how it will work for you. I can relate to your Pinot Noir dilemma myself. I enjoy slightly richer, Pinot Noir based Champagnes and have enjoyed, but not been over awed by all, of the red wine I have tried, but I have not tried one from Alsace. However, I am easily inspired and will get a couple ordered. Similarly, I too always like to try at least two bottles of something new, so that once tried and familiar, I still possess some of it, while obtaining more if I want to, something like that.
With your whites, personally, how you’re going to enjoy them, I wouldn’t be too worried about an order. I love these wines on their own and I’m sure that they’ll all be individual and delicious.
Maybe someone from TWS will have an opinion?


#10

yes, I will second that — Honest Grapes also has a similar box


#11

I’d probably use the guide in the Wine Society listing of 1 being bone dry through 3-4 at the “rich” end through to the 7-9 very sweet.
With your white selection, the Sylvaner and Pinot blanc would be first, then the Riesling and muscat then the Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer- now this is if you were doing an expensive tasting of the whole case - A good vacuvin and a fridge to keep them in if there’s anything left.


#12

On further reflection, you could break it into 3 sections - the Sylvaner and Pinot blanc, Riesling and muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.


#13

Yes that makes sense - thanks. Looking forward to this adventure over the coming weeks.