Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sipping a 2 euro bottle of Bordeaux

Not since the days of Trader Joe’s 2-Buck-Chuck have I seen anything like what I experienced upon my arrival in Paris. Once settled in at my apartment, a trip to purchase miscellaneous supplies at the Monoprix led me to a display of Bordeaux wine bottles on sale if you bought two or more. I could only carry so much, so I bought one bottle at full price: 2 euro. My goal was to unpack my bags until I found the corkscrew I had packed. By the third bag, I had found it and called it a night. I opened that bottle and poured my first glass into a drinking glass, as there were no wine glasses in the apartment (there is one now). This Vin de Bordeaux proved young, but grape-forward delicious. 

It did not have the intense complexity of a 2011 Louis M. Martini cabernet I enjoyed in the U.S. before I left for Paris, but it was definitely worth sipping. I can’t wait to try out more wines that aren’t available in the U.S., including some of the Brancaia wines I tasted in Tuscany a few years ago, as well as variations of LaMarca Prosecco. I did manage to get a bottle of 2011 Brancaia TRE, IGT Rosso Toscano while in the U.S., which brought me back to the hills of Chianti, where I once enjoyed a surreal experience dining on the Brancai Estate, hosted by the uber talented winemaker, Barbara Widmer.

Wines certainly break the barrier of communication throughout the world, but for now, I’m concentrating on Bordeaux, a destination I will surely visit soon.

My return to France

On my third trip to France, in 2009, I enjoyed a day spent driving in a convertible Citroen with a winemaker in Chablis, who toured me through the terroir and educated me in tasting some of the best white wines in the world. As far as the U.S. is concerned, Chablis brings back memories of jug wine. But that is simply not the case; Chablis is sophisticated and elegant, with perfect acidity and grape-forward loveliness in taste. So, while on a Holland America Line ms Westerdam cruise, I dined at the Pinnacle Grill, where the sommelier offered two choices: I chose Laroche Chablis 2011, and I was not disappointed.

The bright gold color gave way to intense notes of almond and white blossom, and paired perfectly with Alaskan salmon.With every sip, I was sent back to Chablis, a trip that began and ended in Paris, where I am now living for the next year, and where I plan to sip my way through every wine region possible.