380px-800px-lakeannecyhautesavoyfromfrenchwikipedia.jpgI’ve just been reading news on Jancis Robinson’s website about plans to open a centre to research and preserve Alpine grape varieties.  It’s quite a coincidence as, last night, we drank a bottle of wine, for the first time, from the Savoie.  It was a Mondeuse, one of the main Alpine grape varieties (and Robinson’s favourite, according to her Wine Course book.  Or at least the copy I’ve got, which is more than 20 years old!)

Some French friends of our have recently been on holiday in the Haute-Savoie, a region right across the other side of France from us and famous for Mont Blanc (the mountain, not the chocolate sauce that comes in tins…or the pens), Lake Annecy and ski resorts like Chamonix.

Knowing our passion for all things edible, our friends very kindly bought us some regional gifts – four different cheeses, a spicy saucisson, a beautiful little cured and smoked ham and the bottle of Mondeuse.  After having lunch out yesterday, we decided to snack on the cheese and meat last night and, as only seemed appropriate, to open the Mondeuse.

Robinson talks of “the curious deep-coloured, racy, slightly bitter red Mondeuse”.  I didn’t get much bitterness, to be honest.  We found the wine quite light (unsurprisingly more Burgundy in style than Bordeaux), very fruity and exceptionally fresh.  You could almost taste the mountain air!  It was delicious and, though I think it might be tough to find in supermarkets this far west, I shall definitely try to hunt some down.