For the Love of Jura (part 2)

Do you know what day it is?!

Yes Christiane, it’s Wednesday May 25th.

Yes it is… but do you know what DAY it is…  No!

It’s National Wine Day!!

What a second best way to celebrate (obviously having a glass or 3 of wine comes first) then learning a little bit more about the new craze in the apartment- Jura wines.  Megan had the exciting opportunity to attend a Master Class on Jura wines a few weeks ago and below she not only educates us on exactly what a wine master class is… but what she learned and experienced.

The Master Class. The really intense day where I usually sit in the back with my glasses thinking “How the hell do you know that off the top of your head?” while I’m surrounded by people that are much more knowledgeable than me.
Backing up, a master class is seminar about a specific topic in the wine world. It can be a specific producer, a region or a topic that is usually a lecture paired with a tasting. They can be incredibly inspiring and informative as well as a great way to pick up a little knowledge from the greats in the wine community.
They can be a little hard to find and most of what I have attendedhas been through work. However you can find some good similar classes though places like Corkbuzz and your local wine shop that will make you a more educated consumer and give you a go to conversation topic for almost any party.
Recently, I went to one focused on the Jura region of France that I found through work. I knew already I liked Trousseau from the Jura (see last week’s post!  Check out For the Love of Jura: part 1) and I’d done some studying about the other wines but not much. It can be a little intimidating as the wine that this region is famous for is vin jaune, a traditionally made oxidized wine that people either love or hate. I’m just starting to appreciate dry sherries so this was more than a little off putting to me.
You start out with the history and geology of the region, in order to get an idea why the wines are the way they are. In this case the name “Jura” comes from the Jurassic limestone that gives the wines their unique flavors and the region is still recovering from phyloxera. Moving into the wines, you typically go from light to heavy, making the Jura a perfect region to explore as they produce Cremant de Jura, light and heavy whites, light reds, oxidized vins jaunes and a grape based spirit called Macvin.
Brief overview of the wines: Cremant is a great flavorful sparkling wine made in much the same way that Champagne is, but without the price that Champagne commands. Most producers are now making a variety of white wines. Some are made in a traditional style that makes them slightly oxidized, but there is a trend for light fresh and fruity whites to keep up with demand. Reds are light and fruity from Poulsard or Trousseau and can be great if you can find a good, well balanced one. Vin Jaune is unique and more than a little bit funky. It has a great oxidative character that is light and nutty while also having a little dried fruit and spice character. Under good producers, it’s light and very easy to drink, but it is FUNKY. If you don’t know if you like funk, then try a biodynamic Loire, oak aged if you can find it, before you try vin jaune. Personally I like it, but I know Christiane won’t. Macvin, I love. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory with a flavor that I can only identify as rye bread. Actually not made with wine, but with reduced grape musts that are fortified with grape brandy. So good.
This was a great one, as each wine was by a different producer that gave their own little spiel as to the wine making techniques and their wineries to tell us what made them different. Really interesting to hear different perspectives on what is, overall, a very small region for French wine.
Then comes the fun part. The tasting. These producers all make between 5 and 15 wines and if you want, you could taste them all. I don’t recommend it. Laugh all you want, but tasting that long is exhausting. There’s so much wine.  Narrow down to the things you like, and the things you want to explore and overall it will be a much better experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or just say that you’re taking notes. (Reminding myself of that too.) The producers want to talk and educate you about their wines so that you’ll come back and get them again. I definitely found some new favorites and am looking forward to the next one!
There you have it!  Have you googled and scheduled your next wine master class yet?  Or maybe you’ve decided that bottle you plan to uncork after work today?!
Let me know what you plan on drinking and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting posts headed your way!

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