Striking the perfect balance can be difficult, but when I think of Jardins en Fleurs, the most recent wine to be launched by Eagle Eye Brands, it is the first thing that comes to mind.
Vouvray, a region on the Loire Valley whose wines are made from 100% Chenin Blanc, is unique even among other areas in the Loire that produce Chenin. The unique terroir of tuffeau limestone allows them to produce wine in a number of styles. They can make dry wines, sparkling wines, “moelleux” or sweet wines, but the Vouvray that many people – especially in the United States – identify with, is an odd category. It’s not dry, yet it’s not quite sweet. It walks the line between the two, with residual sugar creating a plush feel in the mouth, but the acidity keeps the wine light and at times ethereal. Balance is key because the wine is not to taste sweet yet it is clearly not one would consider dry, either.
One of my favorite winemakers in Vouvray (François Pinon) explained it best when he told me that residual sugar in Vouvray is like the salt that we put in our chocolate chip cookies: it is not their to make the wine sweet, as the salt is not there to make the cookie salty. Rather, it provides a counterpoint for our palettes, a yin and yang affect. By having that extreme, we can appreciate more fully the entire spectrum of flavors.
As wine lovers can attest to, entertaining friends and choosing the right wine can be difficult. One doesn’t want to pull out an expensive bottle for those who won’t appreciate it, yet at their “wine expert” friend, we are still expected to serve them good wine. And we don’t want to disappoint any fellow wine lovers that might be there. The perfect entertaining wine has to be of a high enough quality that everyone will appreciate, but not so expensive that we would regret it if they didn’t (or, depending which friends, you wouldn’t mind opening several bottles over the course of the evening!)
For me, Jardin en Fleurs Vouvray again strikes the perfect balance. It’s a complex wine, plush, and pleasing. Its quality is sure to satisfy wine novices and professionals alike, and its reasonable price ensures that I will feel no guilt opening a bottle for friends who popped by on a whim on a Tuesday evening.