Swiss Wine Regions

Swiss Cuisine

While influenced by neighboring France, Italy and Germany, Swiss cuisine has regional specialties not found anywhere else.

Wild Time in Switzerland

Swiss autumn colors and wine glassWhen the leaves on the Swiss hillsides start flaunting their autumn color, there’s a snug pleasure in burrowing into an old sweater (jumper) and passing the evening with good friends, keeping the chill out by lingering over a cheerful meal and a bottle of wine. Autumn is “wild” time in Switzerland, which means hunting season, and that means game meat is on the table. At this time of year the restaurants and markets around Switzerland start offering venison, wild boar, hare, wild fowl, as well as wild mushrooms, red cabbage, chestnuts, and Spätzle*. The portions are big, the fare heavy, and the sauces heady. So what kind of Swiss wine goes with it? Read more »

Züri Geschnetzeltes

(pronounciation: Zsur-ē-Gshnetz-lets)

A satisfiying speciality of Zürich , Züri Geschnetzeltes is a ragout made with veal, a white wine sauce and mushrooms. It is traditionally served with Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns). There are variations with onions, parsley, lemon zest, etc...

As to which wine, well, in that battle I claim neutrality. One side opts for one of the elegant Swiss white wines such as a Pinot grigio or Grüner Veltliner. The other side prefers the subtle Blauburgunder (Pinot noir). In either case you won't have trouble finding one made locally. Read more »

Gasthaus Bad Osterfingen

The Gasthaus Bad Osterfingen is a large Inn and small wine producer in Schaffhausen (which is close to Zurich). This county restaurant has a beautiful garden, cozy “Säli”, an Art Nouveau banquet room, and two “Bauernstil”, or country style rooms : a “Stüblli”, and a tasting room.

Have a designated driver, it is not easily accessible with public transport. Read more »

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Muscat

A very ancient grape probably from Greece, Muscat Blanc is a delicate, difficult variety to cultivate. It is an aromatic specialty limited almost exclusively to Valais. Producing a fine, perfumed aperitif and dessert wine, Muscat Blanc should be served in its prime.

Sylvaner

Originally from the Danube basin, Sylvaner is widely planted in well-exposed locations in Valais where it ripens later than Chasselas, producing wines with good body, bouquet and acidity. It is also used, although rarely, for late harvest wine.

Gouais Blanc

A promiscuous grape. Not good for much, but with a long, long line of descendents, including the noble Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Possibly from Croatia, it’s called Heunisch Weiss in Central Europe.

The name Gouais is comes from ‘gou’, which is a scornful word from old French referring to its standing as the grape of the peasants. Very prevalent in the Ile-de-France and in the Champagne during the Middle Ages and perhaps brought into Valais by the descendants of the Ligurians.

Acidic and with little residual sugar, it’s primarily used to blend with low acidic wine to give it a bit of liveliness. Ampelographic studies in the old vineyards of Oberwallis have found a red Gwäss with the same characteristics as the white Gwäss. Almost abandoned, it survives in Haut-Valais hiding under the alias of Gwäss, thanks to Mr. Josef-Marie Chanton, http://www.chanton.ch/home.html

Wine is sunlight, held together by water!

Galileo Gallilei

Swiss Alps, cows, wine bottle and large clock face in Bern, Switzerland

Fine Swiss Wine

Discover Switzerland’s odd grapes, small producers, and eclectic tastes