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A New Wine Must-Read


Au Revoir to All That

© Bloomsbury
Michael Steinberger's Au Revoir to All That

Over on Mouthing Off, I've just posted about why Slate wine columnist Michael Steinberger's new book, Au Revoir to All That, is required reading for anyone who cares about food, wine or France (as an added bonus, it's well-written enough to qualify as fun summer reading, too.) The abridged version: Steinberger compiles devastating details on, among other obstacles, France's crippling appelation system, to show why we're looking, well, anywhere but France for culinary innovation. But he also offers a few glimmers of hope. In honor of Bastille Day, after the jump, Steinberger offers a cheat sheet on four maverick French winemakers worth watching.

1) Jean-Paul Brun
At Domaine des Terres Dorées, the very gifted Brun makes supple, lip-smacking Beaujolais—Beaujolais the way it's supposed to taste (even though French authorities have in at least one instance ruled that it was "atypical of the appellation" and therefore not allowed to be labeled as Beaujolais). He also has a superb Beaujolais Blanc, a Chardonnay that offers great value.

2) Marcel Lapierre
Georges Duboeuf may be known in the press as the King of Beaujolais, but in the minds of many Beaujolais fans, Lapierre is the real king. His Morgon, a cru Beaujolais, is unfailingly delicious and arguably the region’s single greatest wine.

3) Jean Thévenet
Based in the Macon region, at the southern tip of Burgundy, Thévenet is a brilliant craftsman whose wines are not just benchmarks for the region, they are among the world’s finest white wines.

4) Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat
Les Frères Puzelat have often run afoul of appellation authorities, much like Jean-Paul Brun, but have steadfastly refused to compromise their winemaking in order to be able to qualify for AOC status. They have a portfolio full of interesting, thoroughly toothsome wines. - Michael Steinberger
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