I'm in Zurich for a week and a half, and I was interested in trying some swiss wine, since almost none of it makes its way to the US.
Does anyone here have particular recommendations with regards to regions/varietals/wine bars worth exploring? Maybe even daytrips to particular vineyards.
I generally like dry alsace-style rieslings for whites and southern rhone reds, if that makes any difference.
Thanks in advance!
You are in for a treat. The Swiss keep all the best Swiss wine for themselves, and this country has undergone a very quiet wine revolution in recent years. For local grapes, I second the heads up on Humange Rouge and Arvine, and also recommend Riesling-Sylvaner -- which is neither Riesling nor Sylvaner, nor a cross of the two, but a grape known also as Muller-Thurgau. The best examples make a fresh, delicate, pretty white, often with floral notes and a slight hint of sweetness. The Swiss versions are in general much better than the German takes on this grape-- it does better in the Alps, methinks.
FYI I recently came across a lovely Pinot Noir- bright, clean, fresh, spicy-- from a winery called Obrecht in Jenins, about an hour SE of Zurich, near the Austrian border. They have a website, though it's all in German, here, FYI...http://www.obrecht.ch/. But it made me wonder about the region and Swiss wines in general...Have fun, please report back!
There are several varieties grown in Switzerland that you won't find elsewhere so I'd suggest you try anything with a name you don't recognise.
In the southern Rhone style look out for local variety Humagne Rouge and for white lookout for Arvine.
Pinot Noir tends to dominate restaurant local wine lists and you'll find Syrah -- but since you can get these varieties anywhere it'd be foolish for a winelover to miss a chance to try the rare Swiss varieties -- IMO
Wines have always seemed quite pricey for what they are. But chasselas, the ultimate fondue wine, both cooking it and drinkng with it is prominent in many regions. Aigle de Murailles is the most famous and Dezaley, IMO, is the best.
Reds are pinot noir or gamay or blends often and quite ' thin ' as those in Alsace. As mentioned by
PP Merlot from ticino is indeed wonderful.