If you are unfamiliar with our winelist, you will soon notice that other than our Sparkling wine offerings, all of the other wines featured on our list are "Rhône-Alone". To us a great meal isn’t complete without a great glass of wine. From the day we opened the girl & the fig we’ve offered a Rhône-Alone wine list, serving varietals from the Rhône Valley in France and Rhône-styled California wines.
We chose these varietals for several reasons, but primarily for their compatibility with our food. We also saw an opportunity to educate guests about varietals they might not have heard of or experienced. That’s what inspired our wine flight program(on hold during C-19), where guests can taste three different wines from the same varietal, or five different varietals. Guests love to compare and contrast the wines, and it gives them a chance to try wines they might not be familiar with.
Since we first placed Rhône varietals on our wine list we’ve become very active in the Rhône community, particularly Hospice du Rhône, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting Rhône varietals. We’ve traveled to France a handful of times and met and cooked for many winemakers in the Rhône Valley and attended the Rhône Descouvertes, a multi-day wine tasting held every other year. We became so enamored with Rhône wines that we started bottling our own!
Très Bonnes Annèes was created to celebrate our ten years in business and the name translates to “very good years.” It’s a toast and tribute to the talented winemakers, farmers, friends, family, and purveyors who work with us and support us. Each year the label is created with one of resident artist's Julie Higgins originals.
It makes a full-bodied, high-alcohol wine with nice acidity, orange and peach notes on the nose, and flavors of green apple, citrus, and anise.
Marsanne is a crisp, dry, medium-bodied wine that is very food-friendly. It has flavors of pears, melons, orange rind, peaches, and vanilla. (Marsanne from France tends to be more delicate and a bit steelier in flavor and body than California examples.)
This is an elegant, crisp white that isn’t widely made in California. Roussanne has a fragrant aroma of melons and honeysuckle, and this medium-bodied white stands up well to high-acid and herb-based sauces. It is another perfect pairing for seafood, salads, and vegetable dishes.
Of the white Rhône grapes grow in the U.S., Viognier is the most widely planted. This full-bodied white wine has flavors of apricots, figs, and peaches with a slightly floral nose. It’s a perfect match for heavier foods like crab cakes, braised chicken or rabbit, mushrooms, and creamy vegetable dishes.
Late Harvest Viognier
This s a luscious dessert wine made from Viognier grapes that are picked when their sugars are at their highest level and aged between 15 weeks and 1 year. The wine explodes with flavors of apricots, orange zest, apricot jam, and orange marmalade.
This red varietal (using the California spelling) makes big red wines with concentrated fruit, deep color, and high tannins and alcohol. This wine boasts flavors of clove, chocolate, spice, and earthy fruit.
Cinsault is probably the least known of the Rhône varietals. It’s often blended with other red varietals to add flavor and structure, but true Cinsaults are a true pleasure. This is a light-bodied wine that boasts flavors of strawberry, spice, and earth that is light-bodied with low tannins.
I am particularly fond of wines made with the Grenache grape because they pair perfectly with
More and more I am reminded of why I like the Grenache grape so much. The approachable flavors and mouthfeel create such a nice addition to so many meals. Grenache is used in many white and red wines throughout the world, including the famed Rosé from Provence and the explosive reds from Gigondas. But on its own it makes a lush and rich wine bursting with blackberry and herbal flavors.
Mourvèdre is a robust, inky wine full of flavor. This full-bodied red should be served with a hearty meal and savored with dishes like seared, grilled, or braised meats and even with dark chocolate.
This grape produces robust wines with smoke, spice, and tar elements on the nose and earthy, spicy, black pepper, and black raspberry fruit on the palate.
Red blends play an important role in the Rhône Valley, where winemakers carefully blend the varietals to bring out the best in each one. The most famous red blend combines Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. (Blends from the Southern Rhône generally use Grenache as the dominant grape, while the Northern Rhône uses Syrah as their primary grape.)