What you need to know about this under the radar red wine for summer BBQ drinking
Mondeuse, pronounced [mohn-deuhz] is a French red grape variety that’s gathering a cult status within the world of wine lovers. Called Mondeuse noire, it is grown primarily in the Savoie region of eastern France. It also thrives in California, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland and Sicily.
This is not a new grape variety, rather an ancient wine from the Savoie region dating back to the Celtic Allobroges who cultivated the vine long before the Romans ever showed up. The Romans took to the wine immediately, seduced by the aromas and bright fruits.
If you enjoy wines from Beaujolais (Gamay grape), Grenache or Syrah, this is for you. Mondeuse is the sassy, fresh love child of these grapes, combining the juiciness and acidity of Gamay and Grenache with the spice of Syrah.
The red version is plummy-purple in color, with a variety of aromas and flavors – ranging from summer fruits: red cherries, strawberry, redcurrant, raspberry, sour plum and blue flowers (violets, iris) to fleshy, smokey and spicy (pepper, cinnamon, cloves) like we associate with Syrah. Tannins are present, but not harsh and your teeth won’t feel like they’re covered in little wool socks.
This is a wine to drink when you’re savoring ribs, chicken, steaks, sausages or grilled vegetables.
Like other red grapes from Savoie, Mondeuse is also vinted into a white wine, usually only found in this local region. Factoid: I mentioned that there is a Syrah relationship with this wine and it’s no accident. The white version, Mondeuse blanche, is the mother of Syrah, so there you go!
So, where to find this wine:
Restaurants and wine shops around LA and the country are beginning to feature this wine. Can’t locate it locally? Online you can find plenty of offerings delivered to your door within two days.
Here are a few versions of Mondeuse to seek out ranging in price from $20-$45:
Lagier Meredith, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley $44.
Edmund Jaquin, Savoie, France $20.
Arbin Mondeuse, Savoie, France $27.
L’Ardenza, Sicily $29.
Go ahead and ask the Somm about Mondeuse at your favorite restaurant or wine bar and instantly you’ll be put onto the “insider” list. Show up with a bottle of this wine at this weekend’s BBQ and you’ll pretty much insure appreciative, lip-smacking smiles all around.
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Contributor: Stacie Hunt, Certified Silver Pin Sommelier/AIS
Image Credits: Vinodiversity.com; GoodFoodRevolution.com; WineForNormalPeople.com; VineWine.com