Earlier this week, Philippe Zinck of Alsace's Domaine Zinck was in Ontario for a market visit with Ottawa and Toronto restauranteurs. To kick things off in style we hosted a Monday Masterclass Luncheon at Supply and Demand with a group of Ottawa restauranteurs who dig French wine.
Philippe himself is younger than most principals of French wineries, stylish, unassuming and a bit understated, but a complete fountain of knowledge on Alsatian wine...and the wine he produces is outstanding in its own right, but an unbeatable value when you factor in the prices. It's no secret that Alsace is one of my favourite (if not my very favourite) regions, so any chance I get to learn from one of their best winemakers is exciting.
The 'Portrait' line of Domaine Zinck wines are already a favourite in Ontario and many markets in Canada, but this was a great opportunity to re-introduce them, taste them side-by-side and learn about them from the winemaker. We showed the Crement D'Alsace Brut, Crement D'Alsace Rose, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, all of which have textbook varietal typicity and are incredibly versatile with food...as was showcased by their pairing with Supply and Demand's Chef Steve Wall's amazing menu! A 4-course sharing-feast mix of raw shellfish and pickled food to start, followed by a nod to Alsace with his Tart Flambee and finished off with a massive platter of pork stuffed with pork and sausage. One might think that such rich hefty meat would overpower the Alsatian wines, but the plump texture and crisp acidity balanced wonderfully.
We finished off the lunch with a Grand Cru tasting paired with a stinky cheese platter. Philippe's Grand Cru wines are another example of the outstanding value that is hard to ignore. For wines in the $30 range, they drink like $70+. At a tasting later that day, Ottawa restauranteur/sommelier Stephen Beckta likened Philippe's Grand Cru 'Pfesigberg' Riesling to Trimbach's epic 'Clos St. Hune', but at a fraction of the price. High praise in the Riesling world, but well deserved.
And it seems good times in Ottawa built to great times in Toronto with a wine dinner at Enoteca Ascari where many bottles Crement D'Alsace were sabered by Philippe, Vive La France!!