WSJ: Don’t Miss the Swiss Wines

 


Caricatures of pig-tailed hot chocolate girls and watches aside, the Wall Street Journal said in an article this past week that the wines of Switzerland are fast-becoming a product worth noticing – and drinking. 
 
“Switzerland’s wines may be a mystery to most, but the country’s delicate reds and aromatic whites are light and refreshing and perfect  for summer drinking,” wine expert Will Lyons wrote in the story published this past week.
 
Lyons admitted that the mention of Switzerland as a legitimate source of quality of wine may be  a surprise to some oenophiles.
 
“If you ask a wine lover what they know about Swiss wine, you're more than likely to receive a blank stare,” he wrote. “Despite Switzerland’s position on the heart of Europe, compared with its neighbors, its wines are relatively unknown.”
 
The country of the white cross-on-red flag doesn’t take offense, Lyons said; the Alpish haven has a “rich wine culture” that reaches back to Roman times. 
 
Part of the reason the country’s wines aren’t popular outside the borders of the little nation is that the Swiss are the world’s third-highest drinkers of wine per person. 
 
In other words, Lyons pointed out, Switzerland winemakers really don’t need to export their wines because their fellow countrymen are happy to indulge in a full pour of their native tipple. 
Convinced by friends that Swiss wines were worth a gander, Lyons went on a mini-mission to learn more about the country’s quaffers. 
 
Lyons said he learned three important things about Swiss wines. First, he said, the wines are expensive. Second, he noted, there are “hundreds of different grape varieties,” and, third, “with vineyards planted on precipitous slopes, the grapes sometimes have to be transported back to the winery by monorail or even helicopter.” 
 
As for the taste of the wines, Lyons said Switzerland’s vino is quite tasty.
 
“Lighter, cool-climate wines, they come into their own at this time of year and, given the sheer number of grape varieties, are an ideal fit for those looking for something a little different.”
 
Red wines are the mainstream darling in Switzerland, he said, with wines from the Ticino region showing some nice characteristics. 
 
Chasselas is the main variety of white wines, Lyons said.
 
“I find Chasselas fascinating,” he wrote. “With subtle aromatics, it’s a light, clean refreshing wine similar to a Muscadet. Yet the noticeable thing is the relatively low acidity, which makes it soft and superb pairing with cheese, especially something local like Raclette.”
 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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