Chill Summer Red: Sancerre Rouge
Many of you know and love to drink Sancerre, after all it became all the rage a decade ago. Sancerre is a wine growing region located in the central vineyards of the Loire Valley in France. Most wine drinkers are familiar with the whites that dominate the region. Sancerre blanc is always made from Sauvignon blanc grapes. These crisp, clean, and refreshing wines have become very popular and with good reason. In general they tend to be great quality for their price point and the best among them set the bar for Sauvignon blanc globally.
What many don’t know is that while this area is heavily dominated by white wine, a decent amount of red wine is also produced (about 20% of the regions production). To be labeled Sancerre rouge, a wine must be 100% Pinot noir. As a result of the overwhelming popularity of Sancerre blanc, these Pinots have been a hard sell for the region. Much of the red wine produced is sold locally. Many vintners take their lowest quality wine and chill it down to serve to their vineyard workers during lunch in the summer time.
Just because this style of Pinot Noir is less complex than its Burgundian neighbors does not mean it is not worth your attention. Drinking them in the summer time with a nice chill can be quite enjoyable. More and more of these reds are becoming available in the states and we can be thankful for it! Like the white wines, most Sancerre rouge wines are unoaked, straight forward, and simply refreshing. They can drink like a full bodied rosé or a light bodied red. They generally tend to have vibrant acidity, which makes them perfect to drink with whatever is coming off the grill this summer.
During the summer here at Restaurant Marc Forgione, we always serve a Sancerre rouge chilled by the glass and it has become a fan favorite of our staff and customer base. Pop one in the fridge and check it out for yourself.