Alsace Wines in the American Kitchen #Winophiles #AlsaceRocks

The French Winophiles Dig Into Alsace with #AlsaceRocks

This month the French Winophiles are collaborating with the kind folks at Alsace Wines in their summer promotion, Alsace Rocks! If you live in New York City, there are activities all through June.  If not, read our posts, pick up a wine from Alsace and join in!

A variety of Alsace wines

My wine grouping was the “Alsace Wine Pairing Challenge”. Four delicious but very different white wines from Alsace, I paired them with four different meals. Warning: you may get hungry if you continue reading!

The Wine Pairing Challenge of One Post or Four?

Everyone in our Winophiles group received several wines for our posts this month. My group was the “Wine Pairing Challenge”, and we were tasked to match meals with each of our wines. Too many great pairings for just one post, I decided to turn this post into a summary of all four, with links to each of the individual posts.  I haven’t done this before, so let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: The wines for this post were provided as samples by Alsace Wines. No other compensation was involved.  All opinions are my own.

(click on any photo to start each of the slide shows, click on ‘escape’ to return)


Pairing #1: Alsace Riesling Loves Pork

Unlike their German cousins, Alsace Rieslings are usually dry or nearly so. A classic regional pairing is pork, served in any number of dishes. Are you looking for a great recipe for pork on the grill? Try our pork country ribs with Julia Childs’ sauce nénette recipe, linked here.

Charles Baur Riesling Cuvee Charles AOC 2015 (sample, $23 SRP)
Eye: Clear, pale lemon
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. A touch of petrol / rubber hose on the nose but just a touch. Fresh lemons and lemon rind.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. Tart lemons, with medium+ acidity, medium- body, medium alcohol. Youthful. Tart with a lingering refreshing finish. Very enjoyable Alsace Riesling, just what I would hope for.


Pairing #2 Alsace Pinot Blanc Paired with Shrimp Pasta with Peas

Enjoy bright spring flavors with shrimp, pasta, fresh peas and basil for dinner over a bottle of Pinot Blanc from the Cave de Ribeauvillé. Pinot Blanc is refreshing and crisp, but quite different from Riesling. The best way to learn is to try a bottle yourself while you link to the post here.

Cave de Ribeauvillé Pinot Blanc

Cave de Ribeauvillé Pinot Blanc

La Cave de Ribeauvillé Pinot Blanc AOC 2015 (sample, $18 SRP)
Eye: Clear, pale lemon with clear legs
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity. Fresh crisp red apples and underripe pear with a bit of chalk behind
Mouth: Dry, medium+ acid, medium body, crisp but not bracing or tart. Medium alcohol. Strong fruit impressions with apples and more pear with a definite chalky note. Lingers into a medium+ finish. Gives me an impression of quinine (like tonic).


Pairing #3 Crémant d’Alsace with Steamers

Nothing better on a summer evening than a bottle of sparkling wine and a bucket of steamers.  Details in the post here. This is such a great combination, you should plan on a bottle of wine for each 2 people with a bucket of steamers.  There is no way to hurry a meal of clams, so sit back and enjoy the evening on the deck.

Pierre Sparr “Brut Reserve” Cremant d’Alsace AOC NV (sample, $20 SRP)
Eye: Clear, pale lemon with an initial very active mousse with very fine bubbles.
Nose: Clean, Bright fresh lemons with a touch of bread dough behind
Mouth: Dry but not austere, tart high acidity, very fresh. Medium+ intensity, medium body, medium- alcohol. Flavors of bright ripe lemon, shortbread, persist in a medium finish.


Pairing #4 Alsace Gewurztraminer with Savory, Smoky, and Hot Spicy

This was our favorite challenge of our assigned four bottles of wine. Gewurztraminer (no ümlauts in the Alsace spelling) is little known in the US. Super aromatic with spicy fruit aromas, the wine is often a bit sweet and not overly acidic. If you have a dish with some spice, however, Gewurztraminer can be a stellar pairing.  Give it a try, the recipe is here.

Domaine Pfister Gewurztraminer AOC “Tradition” 2013 (sample, $30 SRP)
Eye: Clear, pale lemon color. Wine sheets immediately in the glass with no legs.
Nose: Clean, high intensity, rich fruit with clear, clean, fresh lychee fruit jumping out of the glass. Also backed up by ripe cantaloupe, honeydew, a bit of pineapple.
Mouth: Off-dry, high flavor intensity. Luscious texture hides medium acidity. Wine tastes sweet but is nicely offset by good acidity, lively flavors in the glass. Fruit flavors of ripe melon, lychee, carry into a medium+ length finish that ends with just a touch of bitterness, very nice.

Every village has a story, ruins, winery, restaurants for you to explore

Winophiles Investigate the Breadth and Depth of Alsace From Afar

If you see this post early enough, please join our chat on twitter, Saturday 16 June at 10am CDT. Look for the hashtags: #winophiles and #alsacerocks. For all the details, take a look at the posts below. You’re sure to find something irresistable!

Even if you can't get to Alsace, you can visit virtually with a bottle of Alsace wine. Great ideas at


27 Responses to “Alsace Wines in the American Kitchen #Winophiles #AlsaceRocks”
  1. Lynn says:

    Pairing #1 answer- yes it does! What I found irresistible- Pairing #3, can’t turn down steamers, especially with an Alsace Crémant 😉

  2. Wow, Jeff, you’ve really outdone yourself this month! Each of the four pairings is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Jumping over to the individual posts to read and salivate some more! Thanks again for hosting!

  3. Great wrap up of four pairings that look delicious. I am in love with Alsace Gewurz – especially with cheese. We had dinner with Arnaud Baur on Tuesday night. He is delightful. We did not taste the wine you shared but the wines we tasted were wonderful. Cheers!

    • Thanks, Michelle. Of all the wines of Alsace, Gewurztraminer is still a taste I’m learning to love. The aromatics are fun, but the acidity sometimes is a bit lacking. The Domaine Pfister was definitely on point!

  4. lizbarrett says:

    Wow – you practically opened a restaurant with all these pairings – nicely done! I can’t wait to try some of the other wines from Alsace. I got four Grand Cru Rieslings – which were awesome – and now I want to try Alsatian Gewurz and Pinot Blanc.

    • Thanks, Liz. I loved the wine pairing challenge, but I have to admit I was drooling at the Grand Cru crowd. We don’t often have the opportunity open several at once. Still, we sure had fun!

  5. Delicious looking pairings, I am all in for the steamers with the Alsace Crémant. I also had the Crémant and it was the first to disappear! I had the Domaine Pfister Gewurztraminer too, and while not expecting to like it, had fun pairing it with the pork, Indian spices, and pickled peaches – something outside my norm was a good thing! Thank you for hosting a great adventure of Alsace wines!

  6. Payal says:

    Love the pairings, especially the steamers with the cremant d’alsace! I’d received the same flight and enjoyed every single one of the wines. What I love most about Alsace wines is the expression of the soil + weather: terroir, in each varietal or blend.

  7. wendyklik says:

    Thanks so much for hosting Jeff. I paired my Brut with steamers also but used mussels in place of the clams. We loved the pairing.

    • You’re welcome Wendy, never a problem when it’s French (or Italian) wines! I’m so glad you had the opportunity to try a dry Alsace Riesling. Now we just need to get you a Grosse Gewachs German Riesling – they are dry as well.

  8. I love the pasta with peas & shrimp dish, and definitely putting the steamer pairing idea on my list for the summer!

    • Thanks, David. I love anytime we can incorporate fresh local foods into our meals – not so easy for those winter months in Minnesota. Come spring,we are ready!

  9. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    Ooooh these all look so good! However, those steamers with the cremant are really calling to me today!

  10. Okay, first, I really love the breakouts! It let me read through all your pairings and then go back for the details and recipes in the order of my choosing. And, it kept this initial post to an easily readable length so that it left me wanting more (which you happily supplied with the additional links!). Your photos are stunning. I really want to come hang with you by the grill!

  11. What a great round up of food and wine pairing Jeff! Hard to pick a fave for me though I am partial to bubbly and clams. Mouthwatering photos as always. Great job hosting this month too…you affection for Alsace shone loud and clear (rightfully so)

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