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What Is Aligoté? Burgundy’s Up-and-Comer

What Is Aligoté? Burgundy’s Up-and-Comer

There are so many types of white wine. From Pinot Grigio to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, there are many types to choose from. However, one variety of wine you probably never heard of is Aligoté. 

Aligoté is probably the most underrated, overlooked, and forgotten about white wine. It’s often called the other white grape, the other white wine, or the sibling of Chardonnay. 

Unfortunately, Chardonnay often steals the spotlight from Aligoté, but not today! It’s all about Aligoté, so let’s find out what this delicious wine is. 

What Is Aligoté?

Aligoté is a type of white grape that is used to produce to make dry white wine. In fact, if Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc were to have a love child, Aligoté would be it. 

Aligoté has a light yet acidic and citrusy flavor. Moreover, Aligoté grapes can survive freezing temperatures making it a subject of special interest. 

Where Is Aligoté From?

Like many great wines, Aligoté’s history is up for debate. We know that Aligoté was first recorded in Burgundy, France, in the 18th century. 

However, some people allege the Aligoté variety of grapes appeared in the 17th century. In addition to this, others also suggest that Aligoté originated in the Saône River in France. 

Nevertheless, Aligoté is mostly cultivated in Burgundy, France, these days, specifically in the Côte d’Or region. Aligoté may also be grown in the Chablis province. 

Since Aligoté can withstand cold weather, it can also be grown in Eastern European countries. In fact, in 2004, Aligoté grapes were the 22nd most cultivated vine grape in the world. Approximately 45,000 hectares were planted. 

Since Burgundy produces the ever-famous and in-demand Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, Aligoté grapes are often limited to low-quality portions of vineyard land. This is why Aligoté grapes are considered to be Chardonnay’s less fortunate sibling.

There is some demand for Aligoté as it is one of the types of grapes used to produce Cremant de Bourgogne sparkling wines. In addition to this, Aligoté is also one of the ingredients used to make the cocktail Kir. 

Nevertheless, the demand for Aligoté is growing. The more people discover it, the greater the demand for Aligoté wine grows.

What Wine Is Similar to Aligoté?

If you want to taste Aligoté after reading this article but can’t find it, there’s no need to panic. Sometimes, finding a bottle of Aligoté can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It is even rarer than Chardonnay.

Luckily you can easily find a substitute that is just as delicious as Aligoté. All the substitutes mentioned below are actually Aligoté wine. 

Wine producers can label Aligoté a different name to escape high taxes. Substitutes for Aligoté include Blanc de Troyes, Griset Blanc, Plant Gris, Giboudot Blanc, Vert Blanc, and Chaudenet Gris

What Does Aligoté Wine Taste Like?

Aligoté flavor is extremely complex. The aroma has citrusy, lemony, honey-like notes. 

You will be hit by citrusy fruits like lemons and oranges upon tasting this delicious wine. However, you will also experience other fruity tones like apple and pear as well as a herby flavor. 

As if that was enough, there are also notes of minerals and a nutty flare. So, its flavor is really complex, but there’s no need to be afraid of Aligoté.

With one taste of this wine, you will see why it is the underdog. That is, if you are trying a high-quality Aligoté. Unfortunately, low-quality Aligoté can have a robust, sharp taste and lacks flavor compared to its high-quality counterparts. 

How Do You Serve Aligoté?

What’s a glass of wine without something to eat it with? Luckily you don’t have to search for food parings for Aligoté. 

Aligoté tends to pair wonderfully with strongly flavored foods. It dilutes their strong flavor in the best way possible. 

Aligoté pairs beautifully with spicy and salty dishes. You can even pair Aligoté with fatty foods. 

It works well with meat dishes, chitterling sausages, goat’s milk cheeses, fried foods, and cows milk cheeses. It also works with seafood, specifically fish dishes, as well as soups and salads. 

Therefore, most foods pair well with Aligoté. 

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve taken a trip to Aligoté town and you know what this wine is, don’t be afraid to try this a bottle of Aligoté wine the next time you go to a wine tasting event, liquor store, or restaurant. Happy Drinking!