Regina Leader-Post

Tempt your palate with a cheap, tasty French white

- By James Romanow

Do you find yourself longing for a salad or thinking maybe that Belgium endive has appeared before you for a reason? Too many people are very lazy wine shoppers. When was the last time you bought a white wine that wasn’t pinot grigio, moscato or sauvignon blanc?

There are over 1,000 wine grape types out there and about half of them are white. What are you waiting for? There is an entire galaxy of wine to pursue. Go forth boldly and drink where you never have before!

The best choices are NOT wines from California, Australia and Canada, at least not in the SLGA. Although all of these regions have enterprisi­ng vintners playing with entertaini­ng varietals, they seldom are produced in commercial quantities. (Willow Park, Ingredient­s and Co-op all carry such wines to differenti­ate themselves from the mainstream stores.)

However, if you chase wines from Spain, Portugal, France or Greece, you can find some of these wines at the SLGA. What’s more they are often value priced.

My favourite example is Vieille Ferme. Made by Perrin, this white is both cheap and very, very tasty. Best of all the SLGA stocks it. Hell, even some licensees in rural areas stock it. The grapes are bourboulen­c, ugni blanc, grenache blanc, and vermentino if you care.

It has a great crisp fruity palate with a bouquet of grass, citrus and nuts. Lord knows how many bottles I’ve pressed on unsuspecti­ng shoppers at the SLGA. Nobody knows what you’re asking for when you ask for Vieille Ferme (prounced “Veeay Firm”) but they all know what you mean when you ask for “the chicken wine.”

La Vieille Ferme, France, 2013. $13.99 ****

More savings in Monday’s Leader-Post or on Twitter @drbooze.

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