Friday, February 7, 2020

Garlic Buttered Shrimp over Polenta with the Wines of Savoie #WinePW

One of the most exciting aspects learning about wine for me is trying new wines, new wineries and new wine regions.  With a focus on Italian wine I don’t break outside the mold too often unless the opportunity presents itself, which I welcome with open arms.  This month’s feature of the Wine Pairing Weekend group of food and wine lovers brings you to the wine region of Savoie in southeastern France.  Let’s dig in! 

The Wine Region ~ Savoie, France  
Savoie is quite a mountainous region in France in the French Alps.  It’s located right on the border with Switzerland.  As you can imagine it’s rather known for its skiing.  In 2019 Conde Nast also named this region one of the “Best Wine Regions to Visit in 2019”.   The wines here are made from small winegrowers and unfortunately not much of the wine is exported so to get the opportunity to try these wines are a treat.   
Map of Savoie France
Copyright of Vin de Savoie
The Wineries 
Domaine Jean Vullien & Fils is owned and operated as the name states by Jean Vullien and his two sons, David and Olivier.  The vineyards span 69 acres amongst the hills of the Combe de Savoie.  The family practices sustainability at their estate.  Even they have been producing wine for 40 years the Vullien name is best known for providing vines to growers within France since 1890. 

Royal Seyssel has an interesting back story to its origins.  It’s had a great reputation since 1901 until it was purchased by a large negociant from Burgundy back in 1990 and closed its doors in 2007.  The Lamberts came in and partnered with the great grandson of the original founder, Olivier Varichon, and restablished Royal Seyssel.     

The Grapes 
The wines I’m sharing today are mostly grapes native or primarily found in the Savoie region.  Jacquere is a white grape that is used to produce more then 50% of Savoie’s wines.   It’s a high yielding grape that produces wines that are refreshing and crisp with high acidity showing flavors of citrus, green apple, pears and some minerality. 

Molette and altesse below are blended together in the sparkling wine.  Molette is native to Savoie and provides great acidity.  The Altesse, a grape grown in Savoie for producing sparkling wines.  According to Kermit Lynch it is “remarkable for their aromatic finesse, elegance, and great aging potential.” 
Savoie wine region in France
Copyright of Benson Marketing Group
The Wines 
2018 Domaine Jean Vullien & Fils JacquereThis wine is made 100% of jacquere on about 5 acres os land in the Montmelian cru.  Fermented at low temperatures spending 2 weeks in stainless steel.  Straw colored with golden hues.  A floral nose of pineapple and green apple.  A light, delicate wine, crisp up front showing more tropical and stone fruits near the finish.  I was pleasantly surprised by this new to me grape and at a great price point.  ABV 12% SRP $14 
2018 Domaine Jean Vullien & Fils Jacquere
The Pairing: I paired this wine with a garlic butter shrimp dish served over polenta with chopped tomatoes and green beans.  Although this isn’t a typical dish of the Savoie region I thought the jacquere seemed to pair naturally with the dish.  The complemented each other well. 

Lambert de Seyssel Petit Royal – Made from 70% molette and 30% altesse.  This wine spends 10 months on the lees and comes from a single vintage, but is not labeled as such.  It’s a dry, crisp sparkling wine that had a nice finesse to the mousse.  Showing notes of citrus and apple.  For me it’s all about the softness of the bubbles so I found this wine rather enjoyable.  SRP $21.

Savoie food and wine pairings are abundant amongst this group of fabulous food and wine writers.  Chat with us live on Twitter at 11am EST Saturday at #winepw.

*These wines were provided as samples, but opinions are my own.


  1. Jen, this looks delicious. What a great pairing, too.

  2. That wine sounds like a steal! And I think your pairing with the creamy polenta and shrimp sounds fantastic!

  3. That Jacquere was so delicious with our lemony dish. It is now a new favorite wine.