Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tasting #5 - Saint Croix Vineyards Marechal Foch

From the Saint Croix Vineyards website ( "Our Marechal Foch Reserve is a dry, medium bodied red wine with a black cherry nose and an intense color. It is aged in American oak barrels and is the perfect choice for those who prefer a classic red wine."

The other characteristic of this wine that we picked up right away is that, typical for Marechal Foch, it is somewhat acidic. We drank this with grilled lamb loin chops and herbed vegetables. Our meal didn't bring out the dark fruit we were hoping for, but we drank a little more anyway, and saved the remaining wine. (Thanks again VacuVin).

The next day I made the family chicken and grilled a ribeye liberally seasoned with pepper and coarse salt for myself. I poured the last glass from the bottle and had a completely different experience. My seasoned beef and the somewhat salty rice dish we had changed the character of this wine completely. It was very good, and the two separate pairings were a really interesting experience for a novice like me. In subsequent research I learned that acidic wines pair well with salty food. This is proof. We'll buy some more of this and will look for it blended with other wines as well.


  1. Marechal Foch is one of the most challenging wine grapes to make into decent wine. Many wineries of the Midwest have given up on this grape, although some have not, because of the difficulty in crafting good wine.

    Vintners whose patience with Foch can be rewarded with an interesting red wine. From a winemaker perspective it is critical not to extend the maceration time with this grape which imparts an unfortunately characteristic "foch-funk" (e.g., heavy earthy, gamy, coffee, leather characteristics).

    One way to avoid the Funk is to shorten the skin contact time. Because color extraction is never a problem with Foch, skin contact in hours rather than days helps.

    I'm a fan of Foch, the underdog of cold-climate wine grapes, and our wine competition (Eastern Iowa Amateur Wine Competition) even has a special category and trophy -- The "Fochy Trophy" for the best foch wine.

    Brad Johnson

  2. "Fochy Trophy" I love it! Thanks for the comment, Brad! Cheers to you!