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sweet Chablis?

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Jim Grow

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sweet Chablis?

by Jim Grow » Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:39 am

In a song by John Prine he mentions a bee flying around a glass of sweet Chablis. I have little experience with Chablis but always thought of the wines as very dry and his use of the word was to help the rhyme. Does sweet Chablis exist?
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kasey.dubler

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Re: sweet Chablis?

by kasey.dubler » Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:17 am

Chablis is always dry, and I do not know of any sweet wine made in the region, and I've toured through it before.

I do not from working in the industry that the term "Sweet" does not mean the same thing for everybody. I'm assuming he is using it more as a descriptor of the sweet life, rather than a level of residual sugar...

Just my thought...
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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Paul Winalski » Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:03 pm

Back in the bad old days, before the varietal wine revolution, many US producers marketed their wines under European appellation names. So you had US domestic "burgundy", "chablis", "Rhine wine", "claret", "hock", etc. "Burgundy" was sort of a generic name for red wine and "chablis" similarly a generic white wine name. "Sweet chablis" was a sweet white wine. The point behind the "chablis" part was that wine non-geeks associated that name with white wine in general. I think that's what Prine was referring to. I've read that Gallo at one point had a big tank of generic white wine that fed two bottling lines. One got labeled "chablis" and the other "Rhine wine".

Then two things happened. Varietal labeling became trendy and the old generic terms such as "burgundy" and "chablis" became increasingly associated with cheap plonk. And then the EU started cracking down on the misappropriation of appellation names. They eventually got the US to agree to abandon the practice. Use of European regional and appellation names was banned, but there was a grandfather clause for existing products. Gallo Hearty Burgundy is one of those holdovers.

-Paul W.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: sweet Chablis?

by David M. Bueker » Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:57 pm

Fake Chablis!! Fake Chablis!! :twisted:
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TomHill

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Sweet Chablis?...Yup..Sorta

by TomHill » Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:23 pm

I've not found any blatantly/overtly sweet French Chablis. But I've had a few cheaper Chablis that have been a bit too Kendall-Jacksonized for my tastes & lacking the minerality/steely character you like in Chablis.
Tom
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Peter May

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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Peter May » Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:37 am

Paul Winalski wrote: "Burgundy" was sort of a generic name for red wine and "chablis" similarly a generic white wine name.


And rose wines were Pink Chablis.
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Re: sweet Chablis?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:00 am

It’s just a lyric
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Robin Garr

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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Robin Garr » Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:02 am

Peter May wrote:
Paul Winalski wrote: "Burgundy" was sort of a generic name for red wine and "chablis" similarly a generic white wine name.


And rose wines were Pink Chablis.

As I recall, domestic Chablis was lightly sweet, whereas Sauterne (no "s" on the end) was sugary sweet. It was surprising how quickly "a glass of Chardonnay" knocked out those terms for all but the lowest shelf, but it wasn't necessarily quality Chardonnay.
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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Robin Garr » Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:06 am

Also, if anyone was wondering, it remains possible (although not desirable) to buy domestic "chablis" and "burgundy." At Walmart.

Gallo Family Vineyards Chablis Blanc Wine, 1.5 L

Carlo Rossi Burgundy Red Table Wine, 4 L (FOUR LITERS!)
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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Dec 18, 2020 4:11 am

I thought in the US you even used to be able to buy "red chablis", a term used for a light red wine.

Actually I see that in the UK it is still possible to buy a kosher red chablis". Kosher in the specific Jewish sense obviously! I have no idea how they get away with it - they wouldn't if they misused the word "champagne"
Last edited by Steve Slatcher on Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: sweet Chablis?

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Dec 18, 2020 4:33 am

David M. Bueker wrote:It’s just a lyric

I agree.

And more specifically I agree also with @kasey.dubler when he says " I'm assuming he is using it more as a descriptor of the sweet life, rather than a level of residual sugar..."

But it's still interesting to see the discussion

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