Swiss wines, pure excellence!
Switzerland is an absolutely marvellous country that is worth exploring. I went there for the first time this year and I’ve fallen in love with it.
The Québécois have a lot in common with the Swiss. First, we love to laugh! We take our work seriously without taking ourselves seriously. We are very open to the world. In short, the culture and lifestyle are similar.
The Swiss are definitely world-famous for their watches, cheeses and chocolates, but their wines are almost unknown: only 2% are exported internationally. Nonetheless, the Société des alcools du Québec offers around 18 products, a nice selection with which to discover the taste profile of Swiss wines.
If you’re fond of matching wines to food, the country will be featured at the Montréal en Lumière festival, scheduled for February 19 to March 1, 2015 (montrealenlumiere.com). This will be a unique opportunity to discover the virtues of Swiss wines and to savour traditional dishes in participating restaurants, like Auberge Saint-Gabriel, which will be serving signature Swiss cheese fondues and dishes.
As well, world-champion sommelier Paolo Basso from Switzerland will be in Montréal for a few days to give public presentations. Wine lovers won’t want to miss this event.
If you want to travel, Switzerland should be on the top of your list! I’ve never seen such lovely countryside, vineyards as far as the eye can see on terraces like rice paddies! I met great wine producers, like the Rouvinez family, and I visited magnificent estates, like Provins, Bonvin and Cave St-Pierre.
If you’ve ever been to Switzerland and you like light white wines, you know that they say that Fendant is good! The
Fendant is a sort of grape that produces appetizing wines. Carbon dioxide is often added to make them a bit bubbly
and festive, ideal as an aperitif. Bur if you want to taste the quintessence of Swiss white wines, try La Petite Arvine instead. It tastes of peach pits, giving it an unequalled uprightness and style. Absolutely delicious with filets of perch, a regional speciality.
I have to smile when people ask me if Switzerland produces good red wines, because in reality the Valais region is quite near the Rhône Valley, so the Syrah is sublime! In Neuchâtel they make an excellent Pinot Noir, as delicate as what comes from Burgundy, which isn’t very far away. There are also local vintages that will pique your curiosity, including Cornalin and Humagne Rouge. In short, Swiss wines have a lot to offer. Cheers!