After indulging in many terrific wines at the Alsace Festival in Anderson Valley, Calif., we have a new appreciation for the wines and cuisine of northeastern France. There’s Alsace, the area that’s known for bright and aromatic white wines like riesling, gewürztraminer, and pinot gris. Next door, Lorraine is the home of all sorts of delicious porky products like smoked bacon and Andouille sausage as well as zesty white cheese.
But to our tastes, the flavors of the region come into focus with the combination of eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese, and onions found in a traditional quiche lorraine. If we had to pick just one varietal for pairing with quiche, you can’t go wrong with a dry riesling made in the Alsatian style. Here are a few to try — two from Alsace itself, and two from the United States:
WILLM Reserve Riesling 2011 (Alsace, France) $12 — A sommelier at the acclaimed Aubergine restaurant in Carmel turned me on to this bright and very affordable dry riesling that’s full of flowers, honey, and subtle stone fruit aromas and flavors.
BROOKS “Ara” Riesling 2009 (Willamette Valley, Ore.) $25 — Featured at a White House state dinner, this complex wine offers all the things I love about riesling — minerality, honey, spice, and fruit. Brooks has a cool design style and distinctive wines that are worth checking out.
TRIMBACH Riesling 2010 (Alsace, France) $15 — Trimbach is a classic name when it comes to Alsatian riesling, and this wine shows why. It’s light and fresh with flavors of grapefruit and quince.
GREENWOOD RIDGE White Riesling 2012 (Anderson Valley, Calif.) $18 — While it’s not made in Alsace, this white riesling is inspired by the wines of that cool region in France. With hints of apricot, mango, and pineapple, this is a wine that’s easy to love.