Now that in-person media events are back I was so happy to attend Loire Valley Wines recent event which was so much fun. The event was inspired around Summer in Loire, France where it is popular to ride bikes to wineries, and enjoy food and wine along the way. The team did a great job of hosting this in NYC where we met at a wine bar and then rode pedicabs to each stop. Our tasting was led by an incredible Sommelier, Marquita Levy.

It was such a fun and creative event with incredible wines. Our first stop was Temperance Wine Bar where we enjoyed a Crémant de Loire made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc. It’s a gorgeous wine that’s floral and fruity with some tropical fruit, lime, and minerality. Paired alongside was Sardines with butter and caper raisin relish, on seeded sourdough bread. It was quite an amazing pairing! Our second wine, was an amazing Sancerre Rosé made from 100% pinot noir. It’s a pretty pink wine with aromas of orange, strawberry, and cherry. It’s nice and ripe with notes of limestone like minerality, that is just ideal for everything from a hot sunny day, to a cooler evening with a comfort food pairing. We enjoyed this wine with Tuna Tartine with gribiche, and it was just outstanding.

In Loire Valley there is a very big gastronomic culture, and areas where they grow saffron. Food, like wine is very important to the culture and so many different styles of cuisines are ideal with these wines.

Stop number two was at the famous Dirty French where we enjoyed some stunning whites from the Loire Valley. We began with a 2019 Pouilly Fumé which is 100% sauvignon blanc with nice, slightly smoky qualities. There is a lot of flint in the soils in this area as well as morning “fog” which mimics smoke, and burns off in the afternoon. This is where the fumé comes from in the name. Paired alongside were East coast oysters, goat cheese tartlets, and tuna tartare. The goat cheese tartlet and oysters were a perfect pairing with this wine and really brought out the minerality and herbaceous notes in the wine. Our second wine was a gorgeous 2019 Vouvray made from 100% chenin blanc. It’s an awesome wine with notes of pear, sage, flowers, and crispness. It has a lovely dry finish, and paired amazing with the King Oyster Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon, and Peekytoe Crab. The peekytoe crab really brought out some nice flinty notes in the wine, while the oyster mushroom just balanced everything so well.

Our final stop was a fun stop for cheese, charcuterie, and some incredible Loire Valley reds. I absolutely think if you haven’t explored the Loire through your glass yet, you must! Our first wine was the 2018 Saumur-Champigny made from 100% cabernet franc. Cabernet Franc is one of my all time favorite grape varietals, hands down.

I love it and this one was just beautiful with aromas of violet flowers, pepper, raspberry, and some fennel. It’s a bright wine with nice berry flavors and smooth tannins, making this wine ideal with the goat style cheeses offered on the board, and the candied nuts. Our final wine, but certainly not the least wine was the 2018 Chinon also made from Cabernet Franc. It’s a pretty ruby color with a full body and notes of dried plums, black cherry, and figs. Nice spice on the palate followed by nice tannins and structure; overall a gorgeous wine.

For those seeking to travel, the Loire Valley is a wonderful place to visit (I have heard) and is on my bucket list to visit one day. am always inspired by travel and love that I can at least travel to different regions through my wine glass!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!