A dry white wine from Alsace; that’s all we need to know.

The Wine List: the retirement project to sample a wine made from each of the main grape varieties listed in Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book.

Pinot Blanc

Vielles Vignes Pinot Blanc 2014, Alsace, France.

Alc Vol: 12%

IMGP5813HJ says: “Similar to but milder than Chardonnay. Light, fresh, fruity not aromatic.”

What it says on the label: “Dry white wine”. That’s it? Really? Oh, and some stuff about how to dispose of the bottle responsibly.

Food combination: Nothing suggested (hardly surprising, given the above). We drank it with bowls of honey roasted jumbo peanuts.

Retired Bloke Verdict: I picked this bottle up in a local Lidl store. The discount groceries chain has been attracting praise (and awards) for its competitively-priced and expanding range of wines. This one cost £5.99. The information on the store shelves didn’t exactly give it the hard sell; “Pinot Blanc is not the most characterful grape,” it said, “but, particularly in Alsace, it has the happy knack of producing wines that are simply delicious to drink.” Smart marketing, that. On the first glass, I thought it a bit bland. As has often been the case on this project, I warmed to it on the second tasting the following day; dry, nicely tart, pleasantly acidic. I’d be happy to drink this on its own or with simple chicken dishes. But that is a crowded field, and there was nothing to make this wine stand out particularly from the crowd.

It’s not about the wine: The Easter Bunny was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau’s De Ovis Parchalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682, referring to an Alsatian tradition of an Easter hare bringing Easter Eggs.


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