Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trying Something New

We went for dinner at L’Artichaut in the old city centre. Modern design. For aperitif, I asked the waiter for a dry white wine from the region. Was it because of my Anglo-Canadian accent that he served us Chardonnay? Definitely an example of an oaky chardonnay from a warm climate: peach and butter aromas. But a disappointment. We didn’t come all this way to drink chardonnay.

For our mains, Michèle ordered salmon and I ordered a mixed seafood grill. Learning my lesson, I then asked the waiter for a wine that was more specific to Languedoc and that would match our food choices. He suggested a Terret Blanc, which I had never heard of. Yes! I love trying new varietals, so of course we had to try it. It turns out that Terret is an old varietal from Languedoc that comes in Gris, Blanc, and Noir. (Terret Noir is one of the 13 varietals allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.)  This medium-bodied Terret Blanc had flavours of tree fruit and ginger, with good acidity and was slightly (deliberately?) oxidized. It was a good match with both the seafood grill and the salmon.

One of my favourite rules when ordering wines:  If you haven't heard of it, try it!

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