Friday, September 28, 2007

Nice Wine and Fun Grapes!

Had a nice wine last night that I want to share with you. And no, it did not taste like plums even though you see them in the photo. The plums were just hanging around wanting their photo taken so I let them pop in the picture. I enjoyed a 2005 Maison Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay. Vin de Pays Des Coteau De L'Ardeche. A lovely inexpensive French Chardonnay! The good ones are hard to find these days. The Ardeche Chardonnay is from the vineyards of Louis Latour that are located in the Ardeche region of France that is situated to the West of the Rhone Valley. This was a nice crisp, apple fresh flavored wine with a pleasing smooth finish. I sipped it for awhile and then enjoyed it with a simple creamy pasta dish that I whipped up with mushrooms, shallots and a few other goodies. I was so relaxed with my dinner that I did not take any photos! So I will remake my pasta dish sometime this week and post it for you. It is so simple and pairs well with white wine.

Now I must tell you about a little charmer of a fruit that I found the other day in the produce section of the supermarket, Champagne Grapes. I have never seen them before, but they were so cute that I just had to buy them! WOW, what a wonderful sweet tiny treat! They are just so small to have that much flavor in them is what surprised me. Here is the description of them that I found on

A variety of grape that is grown in clusters that produce very small diameter grapes. It is a seedless grape that provides a very sweet flavor for salads, appetizers or as a snack with cheese. The stem, which is also very tiny and tender, is often consumed with the grape rather than attempting to detach the small connector from the main stem. Champagne grapes that are dried are referred to as currants, a named derived from this variety also being called the Zante Currant grape. Although it may be confused with common black, red or white currants that grow on bushes, it is similar only in shape and size, but is not the same type of fruit. The dried grape that becomes a currant is often used like raisins as an ingredient when baking cookies and sweets. In addition to Zante Currant, this grape may all be known as a Black Corinth grape.

I have been eating these little gems just by themselves as a snack, but this morning I picked a few off of the stem and added them to some plain Greek yogurt with a splash of agave nectar for a cool fresh breakfast treat. Just to show you how small they really are, this photo has a muscadine grape sitting next to the champagne grape!

Well, as you can see, it does not take much to make me a "happy camper"! Grapes to eat and then to drink!



Nora B. said...

Nice photos. Deb, I think we'll get a long very well :-) It was such a hot day yesterday, and I enjoyed a semillon sauvignon blanc in an outdoor bar area.

I have a confession to make - during a recent weekend away at the vineyards (Hunter Valley, NSW), my partner darned me to steal a bunch of grapes from the vines along the road. Of course I am not one to turn down a good dare, so he stopped the car, I did the fastest dash and grabbed a bunch of grapes (maybe it was a shiraz, not sure). It was the sweetest tiny grapes I ever had. Maybe it was just the adrenalin! ;-)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love champagne grapes! This is the first year I ever tried them as well! The chef at the cooking school where I teach brought some in once and boy were they tasty!

Belinda said...

Oooohhh...champagne grapes! Deb, these look "almost" too pretty to eat...great photos! I wouldn't have been able to resist those either. :-) And I haven't forgotten about the "horse" wine, I just haven't had a chance to get out to buy it yet...I intend to within the next few days!

winedeb said...

Hi Nora, yep it is the time in your part of the world that those summer sipping wines come into play! Ah, Hunter Valley. I was lucky to go with some friends on a winery trip day to the valley when I was in Sydney many years ago. Have a marvelous time. That is a fun story about "grabbing" the grapes. I would be inclined to do the same!

Hey Jenn, just like little balls of candy!

Hey Belinda, if you see them in your store, they are well worth buying for a nice snack. I have not found the "horse" wine down here yet. I have one more place to try. This will be fun!

Figs Olives Wine said...

I love, love, love champagne grapes! What a beautiful post and photo. And that apple note in the wine has my mouth watering at the moment! Lovely post, Deb, as always.

Valli said...

I'm not sure if I have had Champagne grapes or not. Summerhill winery makes sparkling wines (cannot call it Champagne unless it was made in the Champagne region of France), but not sure what type of grapes they use. The grapes are so tiny I suppose I would have remembered trying them from your description.Great writeup Deb!! I always enjoy your posts!

katiez said...

I've had champagne grapes and they are fun! I always thought they would be perfect for the Spanish tradition of swallowing a grape per chime at midnight on New Year's Eve...the regular ones can be a bit of a challenge ;-)

winedeb said...

Thanks Amanda! The wine is quite lovely, you should pick up a bottle!

Hi Valli! Not sure if they actually use these grapes for champagne, but they would be a good candidate!

Hi Katiez! What a cool tradition! I have not heard that one yet! Thanks for stopping by!