On Monday, May 16th, Wines of Alsace hosted a pork-tastic party for the ages! Over 200 media, sommeliers, wine retailers and importers gathered together at Terrine in Beverly Hills to taste more than 60 wines from Alsace in northeastern France, with a variety of pork dishes from Chefs Kris Morningstar of Terrine and Chris Oh of Hanjip to pair.
Protected by the Vosges Mountains, Alsace offers a unique climate and a vast array of soil types—the most diverse in France—allowing it to produce aromatic varieties in a wide range of styles. This picturesque region is also famed for its pork-centric traditional fare like choucroute garnie and baeckeoffe, so it’s no surprise that the expressive wines find the perfect complement in the “other white meat.” With dry Riesling, fresh Pinot Blanc, spicy Gewurztraminer, rich Pinot Gris, elegant Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant d’Alsace wines served, guests enjoyed the following pairings:
- Alsatian-Style Pork with Sauerkraut
- Cuban Sandwiches with Smoked Ham, Capicolla, Gruyere and Spicy Pickle Relish
- Pork Tacos with Carnitas, Charred Tomatillo Salsa and Crunchy Pig Ears
- Crispy Pork Croquettes with Sauce Gribiche and Frisée
- Boudin Noir with Peas and Pomme Purée
- Korean-Style Pork
In addition to the walk-around tasting and pork pairings, Wines of Alsace also hosted two educational seminars. Both were led by Master Sommelier Brian McClintic of the SOMM films and ViticoleWine.com, a newly launched online retail venture featuring personally curated wine selections.
At the Alsace 101 seminar, guests explored the region’s location, history, climate, geology, grape varieties and appellations. In addition to making still wines, Alsace produces high quality, complex Grand Cru wines from 51 individually protected vineyard sites. The region is also responsible for Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wines, which are made in the traditional method and one of the top selling AOC bubblies in France.
During the Rocks & Riesling Retrospective, attendees learned about the impact of four specific Alsace soil types on Riesling: limestone, which contributes depth, balance and delicacy; granite, which brings aromatics and fine acidity; marl-limestone-sandstone, which shows powerful structure with richness; and volcanic, which highlights fuller body and smoky or briny notes. A new and old vintage Riesling from four of Alsace’s top producers—Trimbach’s Clos Ste Hune, Weinbach’s Grand Cru Schlossberg, Schlumberger’s Grand Cru Saering and Zind-Humbrecht’s Grand Cru Rangen de Thann—were tasted to showcase the grape’s ageability and how terroir’s impact changes over time.