My friend Ed asked me the following question in response to my post on choosing a wine for Thanksgiving in which I mentioned my choice of a French Vouvray: "What is a Vouvray like? What is a good vintage and label for to try?" This is an interesting question.
Most people in the US don't have much knowledge of Vouvray or what they can do with it. I know other bloggers may want to chime in on this question. But I will take a stab at it. Vouvray, to my knowledge, is similar if not identical to Chenin Blanc. This very versatile grape is originally from the Loire Valley in France and is now grown in California and South Africa, among other places. It can range from sweet to dry depending on growing and harvest conditions. If memory serves me, Mary and I first tried Chenin Blanc with our good friends Alden and Maureen a few years ago. From there I researched it with my wine consultant at Villa Wines on Jericho Turnpike in Garden City Park. In my experience with Vouvray, I have found a difference between the California Chenin Blanc and the French Vouvray. The California variety has a more flowery sweetness to it, a honey like taste with melon, apple and pear overtones. The French Vouvray has less sweetness and honey like reminders. Vouvray can go with mild to spicy dishes, seafood,and salad.
One of my discoveries is that it Vouvray goes well with Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. It is a great compliment to the power of this holiday combo. We usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Florence and Dan in Brooklyn. I have made it a custom to bring a nice French Vouvray for dinner. I think Dan still likes to have a glass of imported beer with his meal.
I will leave the answer to the second part of the question as to vintage and label to other bloggers. I hope this was helpful Ed.