After touring Anderson Cooper’s great-grandfather’s house — a.k.a. Biltmore — and petting Pygmy goats at the River Bend Farm on Sunday afternoon, we took a quick tour through the Biltmore Winery. And we made it quick because our mission was to hit the tasting room for free wine! There were 26 different wines to choose from that afternoon, ranging from dry whites to dry reds. I tried to pick out one or two from each wine style. I’m sure that asking to try all 26 would’ve resulted in strange looks and possibly banishment from the winery — so I limited myself to only seven wines:
- Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc (dry white)
- Chardonnay Sur Lies (dry white)
- Chenin Blanc (semi-sweet white)
- Christmas at Biltmore (semi-sweet white)
- Zinfandel Blanc de Noir (rose)
- Limited Release Malbec (dry red)
- Limited Release Tempranillo (dry red)
I really liked the Malbec and the Tempranillo, but to my surprise, my favorite was the Chenin blanc. I usually prefer reds over whites, but this one was surprisingly AWESOME.
Delicate flavors of pineapple and pear add liveliness to this semi-sweet wine.
The flavor was really unexpected, so when I got home, I had to find out more about Chenin blanc. A Google search revealed that Chenin blanc grapes are considered the “great white grapes” from the Loire valley but grow best in warm climates (and the Loire valley tends to be cool). However, thanks to global warming, the grapes can now reach “full ripeness” and produce “wines with depth of complexity and finesse.”
That’s right. Global warming has added a welcome complexity to the taste of this usually bland wine. Also, thanks to the climate crisis, the grapes are ripening better and faster — which means I can have good Chenin blanc more often… and at a cheaper price (because a lot of vineyards outside the Loire valley can now provide the right environment to grow perfect Chenin blanc grapes).
So, as a person who likes to look for the silver lining, I think I finally discovered the one good thing about global warming: Warmer temperatures = longer growing seasons = more grapes and better grapes = increase in production = happier vinters = happier drinkers.
Merci beaucoup, le rechauffage mondial, pour le meilleur Chenin blanc!