29 May 2024
YLC Wine of the Month: November
Culture Wine

YLC Wine of the Month: November

When days are getting darker and nights are getting colder, one might want to curl up on the sofa after a big hearty meal for a chat with a friend and a nice glass of wine. YLC asked sommelier Matthias Breitsameter for his pick of the month!


This month we are going to the Rhone Valley in France which is named after the river Rhône. This is the month when leaves start to fall and autumn is knocking on our doors – and if you open it, cold winds will blow into the hall. The first thing to do is to go to the radiators and turn the heat up, grab a blanket and cosy up on the sofa until you warm up. The choice of wine is therefore easy:  a nice glass of ruby red wine rather than a cold sparkling or white wine.

In the autumn there is also a change of food from the light dishes of the warmer months to more full and earthy dishes. It is the time when mushroom picking and the hunting season starts.

The Rhone Valley region shows up in the map between the Beaujolais to the north and the Provence and Languedoc in the south. You can divide this region into south and north Rhone, which both have different climates.  The north has more continental and the south a more Mediterranean climate, which affects the amount of sun and therefore the body of the wine. In the red wine production in the north the grape variety Syrah is mostly used. This is also the case in the much larger southern area but here, Grenache and Mourverde are also common. Mostly, however, wines from this region contain all  three types of grapes in different blends. This month I recommend:

Name of the Wine:  Xavier

Vintage: 2010

Grape varieties: 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah

Region: Rhône Valley, Cotes de Rhône

Ageing: one tenth in oak barrels for 12month

Description: The colour of the wine is ruby red and the nose is full of aromas of forest berries, especially black berries.  At the same time it is spicy and has a slight scent of oak. At the first sip of the wine the dark berries are confirmed, but after a moment  a harsher tannin comes and gives the wine  an earthy taste which goes nicely with game and mushroom dishes. It is a medium bodied wine, low in acidity but enough to keep the wine alive. There is also a good balance with the sugars and fruit. The wine was tasted at 16 degree Celsius, but it may be worth noting that as the temperature rises the wine gets fruitier.

All in all –  good value for money and perfect for autumn dishes or accompanying a hard cheese like Comté.

Matthias Breitsameter

Matthias is a sommelier and has spent the last few years traveling around the globe, working in 5 star hotels and Michelin star restaurants. He is passionate about what impact wine has on both food and culture.

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