Wine Picks- July 2011

Posted on July 4, 2011 – 3:39 PM | by Admin
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By Michele Hébert


Varichon et Clerc, “Cuvee Privilege”
NV Savoie Blanc de Blancs
Ella Dining Room $7/glass

In France, upon being seated at a restaurant, you are offered a “coupe de Champagne” to start off your meal. It is usually not supreme Champagne, but it is serviceable and affordable and very welcome upon arrival. The equivalent is difficult to find in the States.  Usually Cava and Prosecco, tasty and humble sparkling wines from other parts in Europe, work in their place; but Ella’s wine list features a methode-Champenoise sparkling wine from the Savoie region that is a worthy alternative to Champagne’s traditional “coupe.” Local Savoie grapes, Altesse and Molette, are blended with Chardonnay to make a refreshing, lightly fruity wine with a hint of brioche. The beauty of sparkling wine is that it works with almost any dish, but the appley acidity of the Varichon et Clerc NV Blanc de blancs ($7) is a perfect match with the salty and rich wild boar paté ($15).

1131 K St, (916) 443-3772




Domaine de la Pepiere
2009 Muscadet
Tuli Bistro  $9/glass

Muscadet is one of the most refreshing wines around, and seeing such a stellar example on Tuli’s wine list is just the thing on a hot summer day. I feel obligated to point out that Muscadet is not Muscat, because that is a persistent misunderstanding among people I meet. Muscat is a grape that can be sweet or dry or sparkling. Muscadet (notice the extra “de”) is a type of wine from the northwest corner of France, made to go with the bounty of seafood fished out of the Atlantic Ocean. This wine is salty, fresh, and zingy; it is so lively it feels like the droplets of wine are bouncing on your tongue.  But there is a solemn side too. It is deep and serious if you really pay attention to it. The wine is made from Melon de Bourgogne, and less conscientious winemakers don’t coax much personality out of the grape. Domaine de la Pepiere’s Muscadet ($9) is made authentically by allowing the wine to mature on the lees for nine months before bottling. This process adds an oceany complexity and highlights the crispness of the wine. Salty and crisp goes well with seafood: drink it with the ceasar salad ($9) for a light lunch.

2031 S Street, (916) 451-8854

  1. One Response to “Wine Picks- July 2011”

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    By Sacramento Taxi on Sep 6, 2011 | Reply

    Drink responsibly do not drink and drive.

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