We have all tried really great wine and sometimes really bad wine and sometimes we don’t care about the wine because the company is so great. So- can a bad or mediocre wine change with the company? This past week a friend and I went on a relaxing vacation to Seignosse, France. A small town right on the Atlantic coastline mainly for tourists and summer vacationers, we went for a week of relaxation and just resting on the beach. Unfortunately, it was maybe the worst week weather wise to vacation at the beach! But we made the best of the 5 hours of sun we had all week!
So, back to my question… can the company change the wine? After this week I think there might be something to this thought. I went with a friend who is a sweet wine fan and maybe not as enthusiastic as me ;), we made our wine selections from the grocery store in the area- not top quality, but we weren’t there for a wine week, and we chilled.
So here are the 4 bottles we consumed and some thoughts on each…
Chateau La Croix de Berny, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion 2011
Yes, 2011, but like I said it was just the grocery store and limited options. I actually chose it because I had just tried a Lussac-Saint-Emilion and thought why not continue with that theme… The big difference between the two was that in this particular bottle I think they forgot to add the alcohol. It was super light and grapey, juice. In general, it is one of the smaller villages just north of the great Saint-Emilion and creates similar blends, but at a lesser quality and price (however, there are always exceptions). Anyway, this was a basic blend at the very best. Not so impressed. Even with my friend, we decided this was not the best way to start the week…
Wine one- MF. Massive fail.
Chateau de Respide, Graves 2009
Now, just a heads up- when ordering wine at a restaurant to share with someone, make sure beforehand that the other person will actually drink! My friend has a one to two glass limit… meaning I had to have a five to six glass limit (let’s be honest, no problem, but still).
Anyway, Chateau de Respide makes standard bottles of wine. What I mean by that, is they make a good and correct quality to price ration with good representation of the terroir, maybe a little on the fruit side, but still correct. I was looking for a basic Bordeaux red and this bottle was fruit forward, finished well, and balanced. Went extremely well with my magret du canard! We really enjoyed it!
Wine two- MS. Massive success.
Tariquet, Les Premières Grives, Côtes de Gascogne, 2012
So, Tariquet is a bit of a ‘crack’ wine in France. Along the same lines as we say about Rombauer, Frank Family, Wente Riva Ranch, and the list goes on. For French woman their ‘crack’ of choice is Tariquet. This is definitely not my first or last experience with this wine, and each time I am not a fan.
Translated this bottle is called ‘the first frost’ making it between a late harvest and sweet wine. Not my favorite, but I enjoyed it this time! The company I shared the bottle with, changed my prejudices toward this wine. We drank it colder than normal, slightly on purpose to cut a bit of the sweetness, and ate it with spicy sausage and veggies. Have I mentioned we only had a very small BBQ for cooking and since it was raining like crazy we had to BBQ inside?? Anyway, with the company and the conversation- the wine was pleasant, dare I say, but I enjoyed it. Super weird… but then it got weirder…
Third wine- MS. Massive success.
Tariquet, Rosé de Pressée, Côtes de Gascogne, 2012
Now, this is where is got interesting… Rosés and France. We will have to take this into a deeper conversation a little later…
This was by far the best night with my friend. We laughed, cooked a great meal, talked, and drank rosé. I mean rosé is rosé, but this was great! Critically- no, it was not the top ranking rosé I have had, but there is something about critiquing all the time that is tiring. So, I gave up and just enjoyed my surroundings and really, the company changed my opinion of this wine and I really enjoyed sharing it with my friend. We again tried to barbecue, this time couscous with grilled veggies and grilled chicken. The rosé and bbq is something I think might become a friend of mine (more to come…), in this case the smokey of the bbq and the light fruity of the rosé was nice and refreshing.
Fourth wine- MS. Massive success.
So… what do you think?
Am I completely full of it, or do you think the wine, when shared with specific company, can change? I feel like there are many ways to drink wine… drinking to critique and judge, drinking to discover, drinking to forget (not recommended.), and drinking with company are among some of them. My week in Seignosse was the latter, drinking with company. The wine was not the focus- it was the company and conversation.
For myself, the critique of wine will always be there and I could always just focus on that aspect, but it is the overall experience that sometimes (and should) trumps the critique- did I drink the best wines, no, did I drink with great company, yes, therefore I drank great!
Overall week in Seignosse- MMS! Massive massive success!