Clean and ethereal, this wine has a lot of flavor and yet is never overpowering. I love it with chanterelle mushroom risotto, a perfect winter dish and very tasty indeed with the Babiole's red berries and pepper-like spice. It’s also a favorite to drink with good bread, olive oil and goat cheese. Plus it’s great with pizza, a dish that can be a little complicated to pair with wine. I am a big fan of our local pizza place, La Villa (they make consistently tasty pies), and this is one of the wines that I like to drink with their mushroom and olive pizza. Perfection.
I have a penchant for the underdog, the obscure, and wild-and-wooly products. This wine from the underachieving French wine area called the Ardèche is a great example. A wild, great, ethereal wine (a mix of Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache), it is produced naturally and bottled just as it is, unfiltered, unfined and unsulfured. Wild red fruit, peppers, and great ethereal minerality are present along with a signature funkiness. When I first read about Andrea Calek in Alice Fiering's book, Wine and Love, I was fascinated by his story. And after tasting Babiole, I knew we had to carry it.
|Andrea Calek is one if the great winemakers in the Ardèche, a region of France with very little quality wine. In fact, when Andrea moved there, he had to make the wines outside his Airstream trailer, since in the early days he didn’t even have a building to work from. His is an inspiring story indeed: Just move to a place and create beautiful, intense, natural wines. He’s a little wild (as you can tell by this picture!), but very cool—just like his wines. They are hard to get and often allocated, but in spite of this, we had to have them. And now so can you!|