There really are no consistent rules for naming wines. What they do in one country is considered gauche in the next. We refer to wines by the name of the grape, the French refer to their wines by where they are from. This tradition started as a simple agricultural designation—whichever grapes were growing well became the economic mainstays, and over the centuries, the styles became synonymous with the towns or regions. This month’s wines are from Haskell’s with several metro locations, haskells.com.
Cuvee Catherine Vouvray 2012
(Loire Valley) $10.99
Location: Vouvray, Grape: Chenin blanc
The Loire Valley is known for wines of quality and character, and is home to many varieties of grapes. Sancerre grows sauvignon blanc, Mont Louis grows chenin blanc, Chinon is known for cabernet franc. This wine is all chenin blanc from the commune of Vouvray, which produces multiple styles from very dry to very sweet. This one is dry with a slight earthiness, a bit of chalk, and a hint of toasty hazelnut. Try it with grilled pork and apples.
J. Moreau & Fils Chablis 2012
Location: Chablis, Grape: Chardonnay
Both a wine region and a little town at the northern most tip of Burgundy, Chablis only produces chardonnay in three categories: Village ($15–$20), Premier Cru ($24–$45), and Grand Cru ($45–$70). The busier the label, the more complex, elegant, and expensive. This wine is not your California butter-oak bomb, but a clean sip with stone fruit and mineral notes, plus limestone and tart lime acid. It’s great with a summer salad or seafood risotto.