By Melissa Pulvermacher
We’re all on a constant search of high-value wines for a great price. I always say that your chance of getting a great quality wine for a large price tag is high, and although the odds are less consistent, it feels great to find a killer bottle of wine that doesn’t break the bank.
Maison Pierre Sparr, founded in 1680 by Jean Sparr, is a winery and brand located in Alsace, France. Sparr owns 15 hectares of their own Domaine, while also sourcing grapes from 130 hectares of trusted farmer-owned vines, to produce their still and sparkling wines.
Sparr produces approximately 80,000 cases per year and the current team is excited and eager to communicate the reliable quality of their accessible and food-friendly wines.
After attending a lunch at Pai Restaurant in Toronto to taste Sparr’s most recent portfolio of wines, I feel confident about the value that they are delivering.
We started the afternoon with a glass of the newly released Crémant Brut Reserve and the Brut Rosé.
The Crémant is now on the LCBO general list and delivers great quality for a crisp, refreshing sparkling at a great price of $18.95. Handpicked Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois, approximately 11 months of lees contact, no malolactic fermentation and proud utilization of Méthode Traditionnelle.
The Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir, aged in stainless steel with a second fermentation completed in bottle. You will see this wine hit LCBO Vintages on December 6th of this year, listed at $17.95. A fruit-forward and approachable wine for a great price.
Paired with the appetizers of deep fried squash fritters and grilled pork belly sausages with fresh tumeric, this wine provided the perfect acidity and flavour profiles to compliment these dishes.
The talented chef from Pai Restaurant prepared authentic, Thai dishes, including a papaya salad, Thai omelette, grilled curry chicken, green curry bamboo shoots and crispy Basa fillets. The food ended up being flawless pairings for the 2010 Granit Riesling, 2013 Pinot Gris Réserve and the 2013 Gewurztraminer.
The 2010 Riesling Granit was one of my favourite wines to pair with the food. There is now a very limited quantity of this wine in the LCBO and I recommend you check your local LCBO stock to grab a few bottles. The oiliness of this wine helped coat the mouth to make all of the spicy curry dishes feel less abrasive and more balanced.
The 2013 Pinot Gris Réserve will be in the LCBO Vintages by next May for a retail price of $16.95. That expected weight and oiliness of Alsatian wine is also present in this Pinot Gris, making it delightful for food pairings and a great value for the price.
The 2013 Gewurztraminer Sélection is the most well-known Alsace Gewurztraminer in the LCBO, retailing for $16.95. This wine has delivered great value and consistency to consumers for approximately 15 years as an LCBO general list product. Although Gewurztraminer is the most expensive grape to produce in Alsace, the price remains competitive enough to guarantee great value. This wine complimented the Thai omelette with ground pork and rice phenomenally.
Maison Pierre Sparr has proven that they can deliver fantastic food-wines with sufficient weight and desirable textural juxtaposition for a price that is more than accessible for the consumer. The next time you’re looking for good, refreshing white wine that won’t leave your pocket feeling empty, give Alsace a try.
Pursuing wine as a discipline through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), she has fully immersed herself in the industry by working for a local, Niagara winery and by taking on several projects in the discipline of wine, including, but not limited to, acting as founder and coordinator of The Vino Enthusiasts Wine Club, as well as head researcher of a wine buyers and wine agencies project.
Melissa is an active writer for Natalie MacLean and for her own personal wine and culinary blog and intends to continue on a forever pursuit of wine knowledge.