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Announcing WBW24: Drink Loire Whites With Vinography

wbw_icon.jpg August marks the second anniversary of the blogosphere's virtual wine tasting event known as Wine Blogging Wednesday. I can remember when its founder, Lenn e-mailed me to ask whether I thought people would even participate in such an event! At the time I had no idea, but I gamely signed up to host the second ever version of the event. Now after two years we're still regularly getting twenty to forty participants every month.

The themes have ranged far and wide, from esoteric to simple, but my favorites are always the straightforward appellation tastings. So with that in mind I'm pleased to announce the theme for the 24th Wine Blogging Wednesday: White Wines from the Loire Valley. On August 2nd, 2006 I invite you to drink and review a white wine from the Loire. Any price, any appellation, any year. Send me a link to your blog post when it goes up, and I'll happily include you in the roundup. If you don't have a blog but want to participate anyway, send me your review via e-mail.

Why the Loire? For one, I think it's one of the most underrated wine regions of France. There are very few critics or major wine magazines that spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the region, which is quite varied in its wine production. The Loire is, of course, home to the famous Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Menetou-Salon, but it holds so much more. There are Chenin Blancs from Savennieres, Pinot Noir from Sancerre, Cabernet Franc from Chinon; sparkling fresh Muscadets; sweet Vouvrays, tart Gamays, and more. This month, we'll be looking at the whites, of which there are many.

The two stars of the region are undoubtedly Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, and I would encourage everyone who participates to consider seeking out the latter, especially if you don't have much experience with the region. While Sauvignon Blanc is grown elsewhere quite well and to much acclaim, there is pretty much nowhere else in the world that produces Chenin Blanc of the quality that you can find in the Loire. But if you can't find a Chenin Blanc, find there are plenty of others to choose from including some of the best Sauvignon Blanc on the planet. Whatever you choose, chill it down and enjoy it in your Northern Hemisphere Summer, or your Southern Hemisphere Spring.

If you're interested in learning more about the appellations and wines of the Loire, I encourage you to visit the reasonably good site put up by the Loire Valley Wine Bureau.

We'll see you online on Wednesday August 2nd.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud