Friday, January 24, 2014

Wine from the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival

Free Run Cellars' pinot meunier rose: a pale, rich rose color, very light and dry, with a steely taste that grew more intriguing with each sip. $12.99.

Pinot meunier, a relative of pinot noir, is one of the grapes of Champagne -- the others being chardonnay and pinot noir. According to the Herbsts of The New Wine Lover's Companion, its fruitness, high acidity, and high yield make it valuable enough to be the most widely planted grape in the Champagne region. It does well in very cool climates, which explains its presence in snowy Michigan. Meunier's unusual name comes from the French word for "miller," and refers to the underside of the vine's leaves looking as though they are covered in flour.

The fascinating steel-and-fruit taste of Free Run's example seemed to just ask for a pairing with something lusciously fatty -- deep fried county fair food, perhaps? -- and indeed the winery website suggests shellfish or cream based sauces to go with.

More good news: yes, Free Run Cellars can ship to Illinois.

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