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The Lighter side of Pinot

Northside Staff Tasters: Dave Pohl, ed., Dana Malley, Jason Wentworth, Alice
Peters, and Mickey Ireland

Alsace, the northeastern French region that borders Germany, is best known to American wine enthusiasts for its spicy Gewürztraminers and dry Rieslings. As these wines have skyrocketed in price, it's time to take a look at some of the area's more affordable offerings.

Pinot Blanc, a white relative of the red Pinot Noir, produces lovely dry white wines in Alsace that are attractively priced.

Pinot Blanc, to some extent, resembles a lighter Chardonnay, and is generally unoaked. Its wines typically exhibit rather appley fruit, sometimes with a hint of pear or citrus. The wine's low key aroma and refreshing acidity make a great choice to pair with a wide range of foods.

It is increasingly easy to find in wine shops; production has increased to the extent that Pinot Blanc vines now take up 20% of vineyard land in Alsace.

The staff at Northside Wine & Spirits recently gathered thirteen examples of Alsace Pinot Blanc for a blind tasting. The two wines that virtually tied for first place were deemed great values. The 2003 Louis Hauller Pinot Blanc, which can be purchased for as low as $9 per bottle, and the 2004 Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc, $12.50 per bottle, are both lovely wines.

The Hauller is crisp, appley, and refreshing; the Paul Blanck has a bit more weight and adds an attractive peachy note. Try them—they're both great summer whites to serve with grilled chicken or fish!

“Top Wine Picks” as seen in The Ithaca Journal 7/11/05

Northside Wine & Spirits is located at the Ithaca Shopping Plaza on Elmira Road.

Phone 607-273-7500

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