Get Chilly with Alpine Wines

By Allegra Angelo | October 15, 2013
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Alpine wine in a glass

For those of us who grew up in northern climates (myself included) it's hard to imagine holidays without the cold. As the holidays approach, I admit I get a little nostalgic for the darkness and quiet of winter. For me and other fellow cold babies, I have a consolation. All you need is $30, some stinky runny cheese and a back porch. Are you in? Congratulations! You've just won a ticket to see the premiere of "Alpine Wines."

Alpine wines are made from high-altitude vineyards planted at the foothills of mountains (like the Alps) that rise above the clouds and touch the sky with their fuzzy white peaks. Colder climates typically yield wines that are super fresh and alive. Another bonus is low alcohol levels – numbers like 11, 12 and 13% instead of tiresome, weighty 14, 15 and 16%.

The only setback is in the name. From the isolated skyscraper pockets of France and Italy, you find unusual suspects like Jacquère, Altesse, Petite Arvine, Mondeuse, Fumin and Freisa, rather than the more familiar Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet. These grapes have distinct, charming personalities and express a good balance between their fruit and their earth (that stone-y, mineral-rich mountain ground). You'll rarely notice these grapes blended with other grapes. These wines are for purists and believers. If you can see beyond the strange name and peculiar face, you'll be rewarded. Make your holidays right this year – go home with Alpine wines.


{ Five Alpine Wines }

WHITE RED WINE: Roussette de Savoie made by Eugène Carrel from Savoie (France)
GRAPE: Altesse
PERSONALITY: Stone fruits like peach and white plum with a mineral-y rock-y finish
MARKETPRICE:$15

WHITE WINE: Petite Arvine 'Vigne Rovettaz' made by Grosjean from Valle d'Aosta (Italy)
GRAPE: Petite Arvine
PERSONALITY: Orange and lemon, stone-y, touch of creamy, subtle licorice spice
MARKET PRICE: ~$25

RED WINE: Vin de Savoie 'Mondeuse' made by Jean Vullien from Savoie (France)
GRAPE: Mondeuse
PERSONALITY: Bright red cherries, touch herbal, touch floral, super fresh
MARKET PRICE: $15

RED WINE: Fumin 'Vigne Merletta' made by Grosjean from Valle d'Aosta (Italy)
GRAPE: Fumin
PERSONALITY: Deep and broad with wild berry fruit and savory full finish
MARKET PRICE: ~$30

RED WINE: Rosso made by Cave de Donnas from Valle d'Aosta (Italy)
GRAPES: Nebbiolo & Freisa
PERSONALITY: Plum and blackberry fruit with floral + tobacco undertones
MARKET PRICE: ~$25

Article from Edible South Florida at http://ediblesouthflorida.ediblecommunities.com/drink/alpine-wines-for-holidays
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