30 Second Wine Advisor: Wine and ice cream? Not.*

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Wine and ice cream? Not.*

So there I was, sipping Sauvion 2010 Vouvray with a light dinner of asparagus pesto, zucchini and summer squash, and suddenly the wine's back label caught my eye: "Ideal accompaniment - wonderful as an aperitif by the glass or with desserts."

With desserts? Really? The Vouvray (Loire Chenin Blanc) was simple, rather sweet, but it also brought a ration of tart, zingy acidity to the party, and that didn't strike me as a friendly playmate with sweet stuff. Still, when it comes to playing with wine and food, I'm willing to try just about anything once, so I hit the fridge and scooped out a taste of Häagen-Dazs "Five" lemon ice cream.

This is my kind of dessert, creamy and lemony without being toothache-sweet. Let's have a taste. Mmm, ice cream good.

And now a sip of wine.

Whoa! Now, that's sour! As I had suspected, even this less than sugary ice cream emphasized the acidity in the wine. The effect was a lot like taking a bite out of a lemon, which probably isn't something that most people would do. This combination is not for me, thanks just the same. (*Footnote: On the other hand, the thick, ultra-sweet Spanish Sherry variety Pedro Ximenez makes an outstanding topping for vanilla ice cream; and don't knock a "Guinness float," a scoop of vanilla dropped right into a big glass of Ireland's finest. But that's a whole 'nother story.)

Sauvion, a fairly large production, popular and inexpensive Vouvray, is brought to the U.S. By W.J. Deutsch & Sons, the same nice folks who import the wildly popular Beaujolais of Georges Duboeuf. I suspect it may be designed for the American market as a "starter" wine to introduce nervous newbies to joys of the Loire? It's simple, fresh, accessible and more than slightly sweet.

That's all good, but I'm not sure that encouraging people to sip it with dessert is a winning way to get repeat sales. With white fish or oysters on the half-shell, sure; or with a light spring or summer feast of fresh veggies from the garden, oh, yeah.

Still, it was a good wine and a good value - see my tasting report below. And as a bonus I've included notes on a second Loire Chenin Blanc this week, Domaine Richou 2010 "Chauvigné" Anjou. Anjou is a way downriver from Vouvray, but I find its Chenin Blanc table wines similarly fetching, fresh and crisp-sweet, with a pretty "transparency" that lets hints of stones and minerals shine through.

Vouvray and its neighbors and similarly styled Chenin Blancs from around the world are the Wine Focus topic this month in our online WineLovers Discussion Group. You're invited to become a part of our friendly international crowd of online wine lovers as we taste and talk about the joys of Chenin. To participate in the conversation, simply click to the forum topic "Vouvray Plus!"

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Today's Tasting Report

Sauvion 2010 Vouvray ($13.99)

Sauvion Vouvray

Clear pale gold. Aromatic fruit, very ripe cantaloupe and a whiff of fresh pineapple on the nose and palate. Fresh-fruit sweetness and medium-bodied texture reminiscent of tart pineapple juice, shaped by zingy, mouth-watering acidity that keeps the sugar in balance, with subtle touches of Loire "stone" peeking out through the fruit. It's not a dessert-level sweet wine to be sure, but definitely "off-dry," although the acidity keeps it in the food-friendly category for me. U.S. importer: W.J. Deutsch & Sons Ltd., White Plains, N.Y. (May 17, 2012)

FOOD MATCH: Its tart-sweet profile would favor mild freshwater fish or oysters on the half-shell. It was just fine with a little leftover asparagus-walnut pesto with cilantro over thin diagonal slices of small zucchini and summer squash sauteed with browned onions and garlic.

VALUE: This local price falls just above the median for this widely distributed Vouvray. Wine-Searcher.com reports a large number of vendors offering it under $12, many for $10 or less, at which point it is a much better value.

Click here for importer W.J. Deutsch's fact sheet on Sauvion Vouvray.

Find vendors and compare prices for Sauvion Vouvray on Wine-Searcher.com.

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Today's Tasting Report

Domaine Richou 2010 "Chauvigné" Anjou ($11.99)

Domaine Richou

Very clear straw color. Mixed fresh melons macerated in Meyer lemon juice on the nose and palate. Bone-dry with mouth-watering acidity to frame the flavor; tart and fresh melon fruit over chalky minerality; light lemon zest and chalk linger in a refreshing finish. U.S. importer: Vintage '59 Imports LLC, Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2012)

FOOD MATCH: Perfect with spring green vegetables, white fish and shellfish or chicken; it made an outstanding match with spaghetti topped with a spring mix of slow-roasted asparagus, garlic and onions browned in olive oil and Normandy butter.

VALUE: A very good value at this price.

Anjou = "Ahn-zhoo"

Importer Vintage '59 has an extensive fact sheet on Domaine Richou and its wines here.

Unfortunately, Wine-Searcher.com provides only one U.S. vendor on its free site, holding the rest behind the Wine-Searcher Pro paywall, which is worth the $39 annual investment if you buy a lot of wine online. Otherwise, check with your local merchants or look for distributors in your state on the importer's website.

Talk About Wine Online

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