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Enjoying Wine and Beer in the Augusta GA area

Lidl Pouilly-Fuisse Is The Real Deal

Bourcier-Martinot Pouilly-Fuisse 2015, Burgundy

Cost: $15.79

With the new Lidl grocery store in the middle of its French wine festival I thought it might be a good time to try one of my favorite French wines: Pouilly-Fuisse.

I have always liked the fresh fruit and mineral notes that I get in good Pouilly-Fuisse (pooh-wee fwee-say). And the cost usually is much less than the pricy chardonnays from the north of Burgundy.

So it was with great delight that I discovered Lidl’s Pouilly-Fuisse was all of that and more.

It is a gorgeous light yellow in the glass, with pleasant floral aromas. The first sip brings hints of citrus and white stone fruit, buttery, but with balanced acidity. Later I picked up tastes of apple and citrus. It is a complex wine with a crisp finish.

It tasted much more like its more expensive cousins of the northern Cote d’Or than I would have expected.

The wine is made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes aged in stainless steel until it is bottled the spring after harvest. No oak is used in aging this wine.

Pouilly-Fuisse comes from the sub region Maconnais, which is south of the Cote d’Or and north of Beaujolais. Wines from Maconnais often are much simpler than those from Chablis or Cote d’Or.

They usually are crisp and full of citrus, while the Cote d’Or wines often are described as opulent, butterscothy and full of oak. So to some extent it depends on what flavor profile you like, but nearly all white Burgundies are great with food.

Pouilly-Fuisse would not be confused with the legendary white Burgundies such as Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet, but no one can afford to drink those wines on a regular basis. Good Pouilly-Fuisse, such as this example from Lidl, has plenty of weight and complexity at a fraction of the cost of the high end wines.

Chardonnay is the main white grape throughout Burgundy. It is perfect for the limestone soil, and many of the prime vineyards are on hillsides facing east to get the morning sun. Because Burgundy is so far north, in some years it is difficult to get the grapes to maximum ripeness, so white  Burgundies tend to be leaner and crisper than many over-the-top California chardonnays.

There are dozens of Pouilly-Fuisse labels, and some of the wines can cost $40, $50 or more, but if I were going to pay that much for a white Burgundy I think I would look to the Cote d’Or.

Lidl also has a Pouilly-Fuisse from Louis Dailly for $10. The low prices on their wines make it easy to explore and find something you like.

Winery: I couldn’t find out much about who produces this wine. Bourcier-Martinot is on the label, and that company does produce a Puilly-Fuisse under its own label for about the same price as the Lidl wine.

My guess is that Lidl buys a large quantity of the wine with a label that emphasizes the region and not the producer. They probably get a price break for buying in quantity and then pass the savings along to the consumer.

Several other wines I have tried from Lidl follow the same pattern of putting more or less generic labels on wine made from top producers. Lidl has a master of wine named Adam LaPierre who says he has tasted thousands of wines to bring the best selection to Lidl customers.

Lidl also divides its wines into three tiers or collections. There is the everyday collection, which tend to be simple, well-made wines from popular varietals. Many of these wines are under $10.

The next tier is the wine club, which is slightly more expensive, but still affordable. These wines come from top regions around the world, such as Sonoma County merlot or Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

The top tier is the sommelier selection, which are exceptional wines from the top growing regions. These tend to be artisanal, crafted wines made in small quantities.

Michael enjoyed the shrimp and the wine.

Goes with: We had this wine with fried shrimp, long-grain and wild rice and a tossed salad. I love this meal in warm weather, but I can eat it all year long.

When we visit Edisto Beach, S.C., we always buy several pounds of shrimp and freeze them in plastic containers with water to preserve the freshness of the shrimp. Then when we need them, we thaw them out a pound or two at a time.

When I fry them, I peel the shrimp and then dredge them in a mixture of House Autrey seafood breader, red pepper flakes, Morton Nature’s Seasons and a five-pepper blend. When I have time I soak the shrimp in milk before I bread them.

Then I fry them at 350 degrees for about 4-5 minutes. I don’t like to overcook shrimp because they get chewy and lose some flavor.

The rice usually is one of Uncle Ben’s prepackaged blends that cooks up in less then 30 minutes.

The Pouilly-Fuisse also would pair well with many chicken dishes, turkey, tuna or salmon.

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