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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Entries in Prima Pils (1)


Wine of the Week: Victory Brewing "Prima Pils"

Sunday is Super Bowl XLV--the Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers--and as much as I've tried to delude myself into thinking I (or you) might pop the cork on a bottle of wine during the game, chances are the beverage of choice in your house, as it is mine, is beer. But not just any beer will do. It has to be low enough in alcohol to drink a few without falling asleep before halftime, and it has to be crisp enough to pair well with all of the salty, savory snacks like pulled pork sliders and spicy Sriracha Buffalo wings spread across your coffee table like a Roman feast. Without taking sides in this match (loyal readers will know that I'm actually going to be rooting for Green Bay), the best beer for the job is, as sure as Aaron Rodgers is in the pocket, Victory Brewing Company's "Prima Pils" (12oz $1.49) from Pennsylvania. 

The Prima Pils is what Brits like to call a "session" beer. According to the BeerAdvocate, the term used to refer to a beer style preferred by shell production workers during World War I, which was light enough for them to drink copious amounts in the 4-hour off "sessions" between shifts without getting arrested for being drunk and disorderly. In modern parlance, it generally refers to a beer that's lower than 5% ABV, that's balanced, finishes clean and is inveritably gulpable. That's the Prima Pils to a tee. The beer uses German pilsner malts and Czech and German whole flower hops, creating a beer that's hoppy but smooth, with floral and citrusy aromas, round biscuity malt flavors on the mid-palate and a super clean finish. At just over 5% ABV, it reminds me of the utterly quaffable Czech beers I drank at breakfast, lunch and dinner (they were cheaper than a bottle of water) touring around the technicolor Czech town České Budějovice, where the original Budweiser (Czechvar here in the states) is from. 

Learn more about the making of Prima Pils with this fun little video below. And stay tuned for our Super Bowl pick on Friday.

Leah Greenstein