After several wine-related excursions to the Walla Walla area, I finally had the chance to eat at Brasserie Four last month. I’ve been wanting to try this place for years because of their focus on French wine and food – two things I love. 🙂 And honestly, even when I’m tasting in one of my favorite wine regions (which Walla Walla is), it’s always nice to give my palate a break from drinking those wines. Although, I don’t recall feeling that way when I visited Champagne . . . but I digress.
Brasserie Four doesn’t have a traditional wine list, what they DO have is a large retail selection in the back of the restaurant where you can pick out your bottle(s). After spending several minutes perusing the shelves and cooler, we grabbed an Alsatian Pinot Blanc to start, and a Morgon to have with dinner.
The Morgon was earthy and funky, with dirty cherries and a black minerality to it. Super interesting, and paired amazingly well with my Beef Bourguignon. The Alsatian Pinot Blanc was . . . well, all I really recall was that it was apple-y. It was perfectly pleasant to sip on before dinner with our cheese board, but frankly it was underwhelming.
Pinot Blanc is probably my least favorite member of the Pinot family. Unlike its relatives with their complexity and wide range – cranberries to fall leaves for Pinot Noir, minerality to citrus for Pinot Gris – Pinot Blanc often to me just tastes like adult apple juice. Not that that’s a BAD thing, it’s just very one-note and boring. It’s a very meh wine.
I’d love to try one that knocked my socks off, or just made one come loose a little bit. But thus far, I haven’t. Granted, I’ve been limited to Pinot Blancs from Oregon and Alsace, and maybe an unmemorable Pinot Bianco from Italy.
I’m not adverse to continuing my quest, but after researching this varietal – there does seem to be a rather general consensus that the grape is not all that thrilling. In fact, Jancis Robinson calls it “useful, rather than exciting.” Here’s a bit more on Pinot Blanc.