Last week I attended a very interesting dinner at one of San Francisco's most exciting new restaurants, Saison. The event was hosted by Robert Mondavi winery and celebrated the release of their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Before we got to drink wine or taste food, we were led through a special soil tasting. Here, you'll learn about the experience that involved dirt cocktails and stunning eats.
If you're looking to expand your wine horizons, you might want to consider a light dessert wine called Muscat. A white grape varietal that's grown all over the world in wine-making regions from South Africa to Serbia, the Muscat grape is known for its highly perfumed floral aroma. Typically speaking, Muscats are fortified wines with moderate sweetness and a slight effervescence.
One Muscat I recommend is Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi's 2008 Moscato. At just $8, this is a great bottle to start with. The grapes are grown in California, and the liquid is pale yellow with a fruity flavor and silky finish; the bouquet has notes of honey and orange. This lush white is enjoyable alone after dinner, paired with flaky pastry desserts, or with cheese and fruit.
Have you ever sipped Muscat? What's your favorite bottle?
An American wine term, Fumé Blanc is synonymous with the wine varietal Sauvignon Blanc.
The name was first coined in 1968 by winemaker Robert Mondavi, who made Sauvignon Blanc inspired by a Pouilly-Fumé he'd tasted from France's Loire Valley. Looking to differentiate his wine from the sweet-style Sauvignon Blancs in the US, Mondavi changed the name on his label. Rather than copyrighting the name, Mondavi allowed anyone to use Fumé Blanc to market dry-style Sauvignon Blanc.
Fumé Blanc, which often has notes of tart fruit, pairs well with creamy cheeses and fish, and is best drunk young.
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