Sometimes I drink a bottle of Wine
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The company today was a mixture of French and English and so some of what was said was lost in translation especially when we had got to the 12th bottle. I used to organise wine tastings in England and as you can't get a decent bottle of English wine this involved a dash down half the length of England to the channel port of Dover and a quick ferry across to Calais where I would raid the first French supermarket I came across, buy a car bootfull of wine (all french because french supermarkets by and large don't sell anything else) and then hare back up to middle England (Jonathan Coe country). One of the reasons for moving to France was to be nearer the wine especially now I am real keen about saving the planet.
The guy who organised the tasting today had in a previous life been involved in the wine trade and so he could call in a few favours and we got to taste some nice wines. Highlights today were:
Sauvignon Blanc Le Charne which is a country wine from the Gers (the department of France where I live) selling for about £10 in England but costing 3 euros in France (the rub is you can't buy it in France - export only)
A red wine called Frogs Leap was somewhat similar, but you would have to pay me to drink a bottle.
There was a very nice Mercurey (Pinot noir) From Bourgogne Cote Chalonaise, Domaine Françoise Raquillet, but we are up over 30 euros a bottle now:
Mr Raquillet looks the part
Also a good red Bordeaux from Chateau Mauvesin Barton and more affordable.
It all ended with a couple of bottles of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh which is a local sweet wine. There is an annual competition among local producers and the best judged wines get promoted by one of the big wine houses. We got to taste two of the competitors and then the brochure for the competition was handed round, which led to much discussion from a by now animated group of people (we had already tasted 15 wines) and could not believe that the winning wine was one of those we tasted. It wasn't because the brochure was from the year previously. No one was complaining we had all had a good afternoon and the only cost to me was missing my afternoon siesta.
Bottles of Malvazija istarska (Istrian Malvasia) quality wine
Malvazija Istarska got the name after peninsula of Istria shared between Croatia, Slovenia and Italy (see also Slovene and Italian varieties). It represents one of the main white wines of Croatian Istria and the north Dalmatian coast. The vine was introduced to the area by Venetian merchants who brought cuttings from Greece.3 The malvasia is called malvazija in Croatian language. It is the main white wine in the region.
So says wikipedia. I am sure I have drunk some malvasia down on the mediterranean. Although I am usually a little suspicious when a word begins with mal in France
Later we visited the Bodega Torre de Oña
where we discovered we could buy a barrel of wine (240 bottles) if we were resident in Spain. The discount worked out at about 40% per bottle so we hunted around for a Spanish resident and found a charming young lady who said she would store the wine for us and bought a barrel. The Bodega bottled the wine for us and it was ready earlier this year and so we drove down to collect it. We had no trouble selling some of it on and I have 30 bottles in my cave.
I have been crisscrossing the area between Aube and Troyes for more than 10 years. ( twice a year )
St Mont along with its neighbour Madiran have been noted for their red wines and over the last few years have been trying to produce more fruity white wines with some success. However les vignes retrouvées (rediscovered vines) is not one of them. This is the old style white wine from the area, fairly high in acidity with little fruit. But it is a nicely balanced wine and goes well with fish especially oysters. This 2017 vintage was a good year. mmmmmm I need to get some more.
Maybe I will see you up there(down there for you) one fine day.
But I buy for myself 50-60 bottles / year. So at 6 bottles per Vigneron, it makes 10 visits to different vineyards.
I specialize in low sugar ( extra brut or brut nature ) qualities from houses that make champagne in an ecological and bio-ethical way.
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits 2018, Morin Pére et fils, bought from my local supermarket, half went in the stew, we drank the other half and it was a very drinkable pinot noir. It was the only bottle of Bourgogne in our local Super U and so there wasn't a choice.
I needed a bottle of wine tonight to go into a wild boar stew. (there is plenty of wild boar around at the moment and our local hunters are selling it for 3 euros a kilo.)
I was following a recipe from Rick Stein's new book
This called for a bottle of Pinot Noire, but as I was making it in the slow cooker you only need half the liquid and so I got to drink the other half of the bottle.