So I used to avoid French wine because the labels were confusing and I never knew what to expect. But I decided to pick up this white from the Vielle Vigne commune in Touraine, which is a popular sub region of the Loire Valley in France. They primarily grow Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc in Touraine, and since I’d never heard of this varietal – Fie Gris – I figured I’d give it a try.
As it turns out, Fie Gris is a distant cousin of Sauvignon Blanc that somehow missed being wiped out when a bug called phylloxera devastated French vineyards back in the 1800s. It is not widely planted or exported so if you’ve never heard of it or come across it, you are definitely not alone. I picked up at a small wine store I frequent in Chicago called Lush Wine and Spirits for about $18.
Because this is not a popular grape, I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by the complexity and uniqueness of this wine. When I smelled honey and hints of fruit I figured this would be on the sweeter side. Then I tasted it – and was immediately smacked in the face with tartness and acidity. It eventually resolved into a softer mouth feel with a slightly citrusy and sweet finish.
I’d liken it to eating a sugared lemon!
Because it’s a white, I thought it’d go well with the scallops and pasta I was making. I was wrong. This wine needs something with way more body and fat content to balance out the acidity – like shrimp alfredo or a subtle cheese. I would not recommend pairing with desserts: I initially thought that cheesecake would go great with this, but the cheesecake was sweeter than the wine and it just ended up tasting like a sour lemon.
Overall, I’d recommend giving it a try if you love Sour Patch Kids, Lemonheads, sour beers, or have cheese lying around like I did. Otherwise, this is probably not the wine for you.