Chasselas v Chardonnay sounds like a lawsuit, but ....
Last week I attended the soft opening of Shagbark in Richmond, VA, a terrific new restaurant with a refreshingly interesting wine list. After ordering a bottle of white Burgundy – Thierry et Pascale Matrot Meursault 2014 – I recalled the sommelier because another wine on the list caught my eye: Henri Cruchon Grand Cru Champanel 2015. It was a double-first for me as I'd never before had wine from Switzerland, nor wine from the Chasselas grape.
Since I was dining with some experienced oenophiles, I asked the somm if he’d mind serving both bottles blind. They arrived in paper bags marked #1 and #2. As the somm poured, friends turned their attention to the glasses, but one gent across the table met my eyes with a smirk as we both caught a clue: threaded bottle top. Number 2 was a screw cap wine! Immediately, we ignoramuses are thinking it's the newfangled Swiss wine. Screw caps alone can be a clincher in determining what's what, but in the case of these two white wines, the Stelvin was a red herring.
After swirling and sniffing, we logged our guesses. All six of us preferred the same wine, but there was disagreement as to which was which. “It’s much more elegant, aromatic and delicious than the other wine,” said one guest. “It must be the French one.”
You can see where this is going.
When we did the reveal, the favorite was # 1: the Swiss wine. Bravo, Switzerland!
Incidentally, while the Americans celebrate our Independence Day, maybe the British can celebrate (or lament) theirs from the EU with Grapetionary's 6-grape Brexit blend made from grapes grown by remaining EU members:
Irsai Olivér (Hungary)