Alpine wine is like a breath of fresh mountain air, especially if you can find one without added sulfites. This Jacquere from France is unique, but it may be hard to find like many other godforsaken grapes.
Jacquere is a native grape from the Savoie region of France, known for the famed mountain range known as the Alps.
A Godforsaken grape
Jason Wilson mentioned Jacquere in his book, Godforsaken Grapes. This book is actually one of the more interesting reads about one man’s wine adventures. He’s got some Sideways, self-deprecating flair embodied by Paul Giamatti’s character in the movie.
Here are some of his notes about Jacquere:
like a bright, tart lemon fetched from a stone cistern
2,500 acres planted in the world..in relation to, say, chardonnay – grown on more than 400,000 acres worldwide
People don’t buy what they can’t pronounce
Wilson also shares an anecdote about his local wine shop in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA where Jacquere wine apparently does not sell well because “folks couldn’t pronounce it.”
For the official record, it’s pronounced JAH-KEHR.
Worth the sticker price?
For $24, I bought the 2018 Des Vins d’EnVie “D’être Sous Acide” Vin de Savoie from my local wine shop I love to hate but keep spending money at.
All I have to say about this 100% Jacquere wine is:
- It pours brown. Well, like it has an odd bronze tinge. It’s like those sulfite-free apricots at Trader Joe’s that are brown, but you still buy them and eat them because they don’t have sulfites.
- It’s like a breath of fresh air. It hits you in the face, and you enjoy the moment while it lasts. Others might call it one note.
- Zip-a-Dee-Do0-Dah! This wine uplifting. It’s got zip, lemon, and Lyft – as in you don’t have to think about it, you just enjoy the ride.
Sulfites make the wine whiter
While sulfites are naturally developed in wine as part of the fermentation process, additional sulfites are usually added as a preservative.
I often see sulfite free red wines but rarely find a white one. Usually, more sulfites are added to white wine since any flaw in color would be so transparent. I was delightfully surprised to find this Jacquere without sulfites.
Was it worth $24 when I could have gotten another Jacquere wine for $14?
Just not adding sulfites seems like less effort on the winemaker’s part. However, I appreciated the winery’s commitment to making natural wines, even if it means showcasing a somewhat oddly colored wine.
Since this grape hails from the alpine region of Europe, I thought of pairing with winter citrus fruit. Something like yellow orbs of pomelo with puffy, pink flesh with a Thai fish sauce dressing. I also thought of the zip and lemon in a chicken piccata.
Or I would really just like this as an apres ski wine, waiting for me after an all day shred session on the snow slopes.
I do like pairing wine with food, but in this instance, I just wanted to pair this Jaquere with winter activities that involve snow.
Just as a snowflake is a unique, pure, and unadulterated, so was this sulfite free, hard to find Jaquere wine.
Learn more about indigenous French wines
Check out these posts from the French #winophiles to learn more about Godforsaken grapes from France:
- A Special Wine for A Special Night by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Aligoté Emerging from the Shadows by Food Wine Click!
- Asian BBQ Sauce-Glazed Pork Chops + Domaine Trosset’s Mondeuse d’Arbin by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- A Wine Geek Explores Jura’s Native Grapes, Part I by My Full Wine Glass
- Cooking to the Wine: Clos Cibonne Tibouren Cuvée Tradition Rosé & Savory Citrus Chicken with Couscous by Somm’s Table
- Drinking Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie Jacquère and Eating Homemade Fish Paste by Chinese Food & Wine Pairings
- Forlorn in France, Flourishing in the New World? Malbec! by Wine Predator
- Great French Wines You Might Not Know…But Should! by Cooking Chat
- Tannat and Pasta, a Surprising Combination! by Our Good Life
- Time to Give Some Love to Godforsaken Cinsault by The Corkscrew Concierge
- Though the Mountains May Crumble…Apremont and Some Alpine Pairings by Crushed Grape Chronicles