And on the 8th Day…. God created Poitiers…

When living in France you quickly learn that the French are attached to their roots.  That where each of them was born is the BEST place in France, the MOST beautiful place, and sometimes you get the feeling that if God where to flood the world again there is no way in hell he would take their hometown.   Ironically it is rare to find these people still living in those towns… oh, the French…

This weekend I had the chance to visit one of those amazing, majestic, even God wishes he lived their towns…

Poitiers.

Never heard of it?  What?  Never heard of Poitiers?  Well, if you have never heard of it you are clearly not living life to its fullest potential.  Bah ha ha.  You’ve probably never heard of Poitiers because you have probably never met Nico, Simon, Thierry or Momo.  These are the boys within my circle of friends that think Poitiers is God’s gift to everyone.  Really, Poitiers is just another small town with a lot of history about people dying and then monuments constructed to mark their death.  Ironically, not a lot of monuments marking people who lived…

What is in Poitiers however, is Nico’s father’s wine cave.  And IT is a thing of beauty!  An entire basement dedicated to wine.  Oh, mon rêve!  I had the pleasure of participating in a wine tasting with Patrick (Nico’s dad) last year and was SO impressed by his nose and ability to pull out all types of aromas from the glass.  I found myself by the end wanting to verify everything I smelled with him!  It was really fun!

Anyway, this weekend Patrick generously opened up his wine cave and gave us a tasting tour… Now, I don’t know about Poitiers as a town, but Poitiers as Patrick’s wine cave… Majestic.

Here’s what we drank day one

Chateau Phelan Segur 1994Chateau Phélan Ségur 1994 Saint-Estèphe

Drank for the aperitif with charcuterie and smoked duck.

 Tasting Notes:   Unfortunately, this gem was a little past its time.  The color a brick ruby red.  The nose still very vibrant with hints of fresh red fruits and vanilla, a little bit of tobacco, but not as much as one would expect to find from a 1994.  The palate soft with little expression of Saint-Estèphe on the back of the throat.  Still pleasant and light of an aperitif, but definitely not the expression of what it was, or what it could have been.

Corton-Charlemagne 2009Domaine d’Ardhuy Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2009

Now, my love for Chardonnay is limited, I’m not gonna lie to you I would actually rather eat my foot.  BUT when given a Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne for lunch, my love for Chardonnay increases 10-fold.

Tasting Notes:  This little gem was creamy and smooth, but not aggressive.  These days Chardonnay is being so over chapatilized that the grape is dying and creamy, buttery, sugar bombs are whats left. This was in NO WAY like that.  It was complex on the palate.  Round and finished for a long time.  Very agreeable for a non-Chardonnay drinker.  Now, if I could only get my husband to buy some…

Oh- and for lunch we had rabbit.. LIKE the ENTIRE rabbit.  I like to think that I do well with French food and their sometimes funny and stomach turning combinations… BUT, nothing prepared me for what part of the rabbit Nico’s mother liked best…. Corton-Charlemagne 2009 and Rabbit Head I did try it.  I had some of the poor guys cheek (delicious by the way), but oh man… that’s a rabbit head.

Moment to pause while you stare at the picture contemplating how someone would go about eating that… and right, we aren’t done yet…

Pommard Tete de CuveeJacques Girardin Pommard Tête de Cuvée 2008

The wine with cheese… the cheese was green.  Literally.  Green.

Tasting Notes:  Pommard and I have an amazing relationship.  I love it and it loves me.  Something about the velvet cherry of Pinot Noir with the strong tastes of goat cheese make for a harmony on the palate.  The nose slightly hidden, strawberries and cherries with a hint of herbs behind.  Smooth on the palate.  Coating the entire mouth in harmony while presenting with a complexity that begs for another glass.  In general, Pommard is a stronger Pinot that needs time in the bottle to settle and round out.  Only 6 years old, this wine is just going to become more and more developed.  Yummy!

That was just day one too… Sunday lunch to come… I can still taste some of these wines as I write this.

Putain, c’était bon.  Merci Poitiers.

Challenge Part 2- Gewurztraminer and Mexican

Grocery Store vs. Small Producers

 gewurztraminer and tacos

Challenge Part 2- Gewurztraminer and Mexican

Oh man.  On a list of bad ideas in life this off beat pairing is by far the worst!  I decided to use the same wines from Monday night, but this time I paired them with tacos.  Man, that was stupid.

I started by again blind tasting these two wines.  Again missed which was which, and with people in front of me this time it was a lot more embarrassing.  Trying to give myself some grace… but ouch that hurt.

Anyway, I am sure most of you have tried wines and thought in your head immediately what you would like to drink with them… then other times tried a wine and thought to yourself that you need to remember the name of that wine so you never drink it again!  Today I would like to advice / warn you all NEVER try gewürztraminer and tacos…  It is a combination that will make your stomach churn.

So, now I have finished these two bottles… on to the next challenge?  Any suggestions? Criteria: 1) store wine vs. small producers, 2) French wines, and 3) within a newlywed, unemployed, opening her own business budget 🙂  What do you think? Go…

Val des Rois 2010 Valréas

Valéras

Val de Rois 2010 Valréas

Côte du Rhône Village

Out with a friend Friday night for a little dinner and wine- nothing fancy and we didn’t want to think to much, but it was Friday, both are other half’s where out, and we weren’t about to cook, we also weren’t about to pay an arm and a leg to eat out. So we settled at a little place at the bottom of Croix Rousse, near the Rhone River. Nothing to write home about, but we did have a really simple, easy drinking bottle of red. And can you guess what it was?!? Yep- Côte du Rhône, shocking I know.

Quick notes-

This wine comes from a small village in the Southern Côte du Rhône near Vinsobres, called Valréas. It is made with 75% grenache noir and 25% syrah. It started out pretty spicy on the tongue… really bright with dark fruits. Not at all was I was expecting from this little region. There was not a lot of finish, that was something I was expecting, but was happily surprised by the linger on the tongue. It was chalky… made me want food.

Fortunately, I had choosen ad chorizo pasta and the spicy chorizo with the wine worked wonderfully! My friend however chose salmon pasta and the wine pairing was (and I quote her) ‘well, the wine takes over completely’. Hahaha- an example of the food being good, the wine being good, but when put together- I think it killed her meal.