This Wine is Funky Like a Barnyard,
With a Fizzy Mouthfeel.
It’s Weird, But Kinda Great.
A couple weeks ago, I stopped into Red & White, a local wine boutique, to taste a series of bottles from the Loire Valley. This store hosts tastings every Thursday and Saturday, usually led by a vibrant French man with great frames and passionate gesticulations. Nearly all of the unique bottles I tasted that day were from the Loire Valley, but this was one particularly striking.
This wine is so soft, it almost fizzes in your mouth like seltzer. The acidity is so high, that I detected vinegar upon first opening, which mellowed quickly into a complex stream of earthy notes. It’s one of those soil-licking wines that helps you visualize the vineyard from which it came.
But it’s weird. It’s so weird that when I opened it at home, a strong whiff of vinegar made me think it was corked. Red & White is just a two minute walk away, so I brought it back for them to try. They weren’t exactly pleased. I marched in hoping for an interactive learning experience, and they were understandably taken aback. I watched, with humiliation slowly coloring my cheeks, as each wine professional swirled and tasted, referring to it as an especially good bottle. It’s OK, you live and learn. Besides, embarrassment is great for the character.
After taking it back home and decanting for about an hour, the wine settled down in to a complex, approachable barnyard bouquet. It’s not for the faint of palate, but it truly matches well with both goat and sheep milk cheese. Luckily, I had an extremely ripe wheel of Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery just waiting for it’s perfect match. But more on that tomorrow.
Agnes et Rene Mosse Bois-Rouge, Loire, Vin de France
Best for: wine lovers with an intense palate
Find it: boutique wine store, online
Pair it with: funky, soft-ripened goat and/or sheep milk cheese