Alsatian Wines, the region itself tends to roll off the tongue. When it comes to Alsace, many people are unaware of the beauty unless they are fully immersed in the wine world.
Let this Somm just tell you right now, Alsace is one of my favorite wine regions! This is where I demystified the Riesling grape varietal and found out that it is not all sweet.
Alsatian Rieslings are crisp, dry, and so full of life and beauty.
Helfrich, a family owned winery in Alsace is one of the many amazing wineries you will find there. I had the pleasure of meeting Anne- Laure Helfrich over lunch at Jean Georges the other day and it was an experience I will never forget.
Here we tasted through a Crémant ď Alsace, Pinot Blanc, Riesling’s, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer’s. For starters we tasted the Tuna Tartar, which was oh so perfect with the Pinot Blanc and Crémant ď Alsace. Alongside were other appetizers, which consisted of Basil Powered Fried Calamari, Asparagus, and a Beet Salad with Ricotta.
Now these wines were all absolutely stunning, as dining with a wine maker is always such a pleasure and an honor at the same time.
The Salmon with Fingerling Potatoes, Black Olives, and Passion Fruit Sauce arrived next, which made it easier to depict the perfect pairings. The salmon was cooked perfectly (although, I would expect nothing less from a Jean George restaurant) and the passion fruit with potatoes was absolutely unreal in the most sensual and playful way.
The Riesling, which was a Grand Cru 2012, was bright, with peach, pear, and apple notes. When tasted with the salmon, these underlying notes of butter and smoke came through on the palate, which was pleasant and surprising because the passion fruit took over most of the dish when tasted without wine. When paired with the Pinot Gris, which was pretty powerful, the freshness of the salmon and the light fruit forward notes in the potatoes, sauce, and fish came through to a point where it was almost as if you were in heaven floating on a cloud; it was simply superb.