France’s Loire River Valley has been all over the wine news of late, as much for the artistry of certain winemakers as for the controversy generated by others. The Loire is considered by many to be the birthplace of biodynamic winemaking, yet it is also known for being home to a number of industrial wineries that are much less concerned with their impact on the planet. Needless to say, this collection is highly skewed towards the former.
The Loire has been on my own mind for a simpler reason: thanks to a tasting group that I sometimes attend, more wines from this area have crossed my path recently than ever before. Honestly, I’ve loved all of them. This valley can produce world-class wine in every single category: sparkling and still, dry or sweet, white, rosé, or red.
The path of this river takes it through land that is densely populated with idiosyncratic wines; within the valley, there is fodder for many Le Metro collections. While I was researching this edition several sequels came immediately to mind – Holy Chenin!, anybody? This volume is only an introduction to this dynamic region, and I hope it whets your palate for more.
This month also brought me the opportunity to share Le Metro with a sommelier I deeply admire: the endlessly charming Tami Wong, Service and Beverage Manager at San Diego’s brand-new Juniper & Ivy Restaurant. Tami’s enthusiasm for the Loire has been clear to me since we first tasted together and is reflected on her brilliant wine list; she was kind enough to provide food pairing suggestions for this month’s selections. Keep your eyes on the blog for my interview with Tami as well as her pairing recommendations! And as always, I owe a great debt of thanks to Elaine Chukan Brown for the remarkable illustration that she contributed to this wine zine.
Aaron Epstein, Curator