BLESSED with an exceptional natural beauty, it seems only fitting that the fragrant wines from the idyllic Alsace region in north-east France are dressed in distinctive and elegant bottle shapes.
The Alsace wine route stretches along vine-covered hills on the west bank of the Rhine river. Sheltered by the Vosges mountains, the sunny, warm and dry climate provides ideal conditions for wine-making.
Aromatic and incredibly food friendly, these unique wines will please the palate of an angel and are hard not to fall in love with. For a taste of the Alsatian good life, gourmets should try the region’s three best grape varieties – riesling, gewurztraminer and pinot gris, also known as pinot grigio.
While these slim bottles may not be the cheapest on the shelf, your reward will be a champion glass at every level.
Domaine Mersiol in the pretty village of Dambach-la-Ville produces only a tiny quantity of its delicious nectar. Try Domaine Mersiol Riesling Cuvee Granite 2006 (£12.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) with zingy flavours of citrus fruit and heavenly mineral notes, it’s a thrilling glass and an ideal aperitif.
Fusion food lovers should try experimenting with the unmistakable taste of gewurztraminer. Try Asda Extra Special Alsace Gewurztraminer (£7.07, Asda). Crisp, scented with roses and a blast of lychee, it’s a powerful glass that will stand up to spicy curries and stir-fries.
From the celebrated Cave de Turckheim in Alsace, try M&S Pinot Grigio 2008 (£7.49, Marks & Spencer). Dry and refreshing with tropical fruit aromas, it’s a ripe, juicy mouthful that’s a perfect partner with white fish and asparagus which is coming into season.