Thursday, October 6, 2005

Thursday Night Wine Blogging

Oh what a week. The return to work brings with it early morning rising, reduced workouts and most alarmingly, no golf. It is times like these that we appreciate the consistency of life's simple pleasures. Your children's happy voices, the love of your wife, the loyalty of your dog.

Oh who are we kidding, I'm talking about Thursday Night Wine Blogging!

Tonight my fellow tipplers we're sampling Beaune, which I believe is a town in the Rhone region of France. Either that or Burgundy, to tell the truth, in all the excitement I clean forgot. Yet we should be able to tell from the taste of the wine itself. Burgundy, of course, will be made from the delightful, yet tempermental Pinot Noir grape, while Rhones as we previously discussed will be a blend of Syrah and Grenache and perhaps Mourvedre.

So hows about a little taste, eh?

After removing the foil we get quite a loud pop from the bottle....perhaps too loud. Is something not right here? Cork looks ok. How about the nose?

Very light, some fruit a little earth. Not much more. The taste? Again very light, I think it needs to open a bit. I have some fruit, a nice finish but little or no complexity. This is a pinot, quite clearly. None of the spice that one expects from a Syrah, none of the depth and dryness from a Grenache. I think I'm going to let this breath for about 15 minutes.

So lets discuss the wine.

Tonight's bottle is a 2002 Savigny-les-Beaune, "Aux Vergelesses". I'm not good on my French lableing, but it appears the vintner is one Simon Bize & Fils. I'm sure he is a marvelous gentleman, but thats not really a lot to go on. To be honest this is one of the delights of drinking French wine that I think I've alluded to before.

The French can be maddening because, unlike Americans, they don't spell everything out on the bottle for the consumer. Wines are named by region instead of varietal and worst of all, they say everything in French! Le Bastards!

Marvelous bastards though, cuz they do produce some lovely stuff and the beauty thing about it is that most of the world increasingly doesn't appreciate their magic. So, while the rabble consumes the fruit bomb in your face stuff that the loathsome Robert Parker claims is great, the rest of us get good French wine at reasonable prices. Magnifique!

This bottle tonight is not quite the $69 or whatever I paid for last week's wine, and I believe I paid a cool $29. More than I like to pay for a weeknight sampling but if we can always give the kids bread and water tomorrow.

Ok, it's been about 15-20 minutes lets give it a second go. I hate to say this folks, but not much here. I begin to despair. Mostly fruit, some mineral. Clearly a pinot, but not a very good one I'm afraid. I'm not saying this is a bad wine, its not. It just isn't very distinguished. I can't really distinguish any particular fruit, and the forward taste is pretty much what you get. A little mineral on the finish that lasts and thats it. I would be pleased if I paid $15 bucks for this wine.

Well, that is the beauty of the whole process, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but it is always an adventure. Along the way, we learn a little bit the regions of the world that are producing wine, and the various grapes that go into it.

We've now done my three favorite French regions, so maybe next week we'll move on to another country, I'll give it some thought. Until then, bottoms up!

UPDATE: I just found this. I think he/she may have liked it more than me, but then again the rating wasn't all that great.

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