Burgundy&Rhone, Gastronomic Adventures
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Côte de Nuits Villages 2009

french wine

I am so excited! Last night while having salmon dinner and Doluca Öküzgözü-Shiraz-Alicante 2011, which I will write about shortly, lamenting my low stock of wines, Mr.O checked my CS messages on my iPad to find a god-send opportunity sitting in the inbox smiling.
“Guests are coming!”
“Oh, from where?”
“Oh, really?” “Cool!”

German bread, pumpernickel, blue cheese, Riesling, wein trocken, sausage, strudel streusel cake! The foodie part of my brain instantly lit up processing my wish lists from Germany. So he hurriedly replied to my prospective wine and cheese suppliers(?) not to miss the chance as they’re coming in two days. It was good that they got as excited as me.
Of all the things I wished to have, we put in orders for wine, cheese and bread as usual.
So at the thought of not having to save the comte I’ve been eating for the last week, gnawing sparingly, I cut a big piece and devoured it.

So this morning, with a Eat with Me session at a friend place ahead in the evening, I thought I’d better finish off the drafts about the wines by my previous suppliers as I will have more wines to review in the coming days.

So, starting with Côte de Nuits Villages 2009 from Burgundy, it was dry, medium bodied, red fruit driven and perfumy wine, exhibiting typical notes of delicate and elegant Pinot Noir. However, it didn’t have the earthy, woody and gamy flavours I detected in Gevrey-Chambertin, which rather took me by surprise as I hadn’t tasted powerful and oaky Pinot Noir up to that point.

If I compare myself with wine, lush, fruity and spicy Shiraz might come closest on the outside, but on the inside, I also have Pinot-like versatility, which makes me very adaptable. I love red wine, but sometimes creamy, soft ripened cheese doesn’t agree with reds. So when I desperately wanted to eat the cheese gift pack, this Pinot came to my rescue. So I took out the last quarter of frozen German rye bread and indulged myself again. Is it a sin to indulge?


What I am trying to do here is far from reviewing wines because even if I say this wine is good, people outside France have no access to this wine, therefore the review will be meaningless. However, what I want to achieve through my wine chats is to put my words out to the world about how important the food you eat in order to appreciate wines you drink. Considering the amount of work going into bringing the magic juice to your table, we should tune our noses and palates to it for better appreciation rather than take it as the liquid you wash down your food with.

I think the more I know about wine, the bigger pleasure I get from it and the more motivated I become to create recipes to compliment the wines that I get my hands on. Especially, I have to go through a lot of trouble to get hold of them. Living in a country where wine is still a rare commodity has helped me appreciate wines more than when I was living in Australia where I could try different labels in different styles anytime. However, it was great having tasted different wines made with different grape varieties back then, which gave me a lot of knowledge about world wines and the confidence to speak up on my last wine course. wine-rhone

And my experience of immersing myself in the life of Bordeaux for many months at the beginning of my adventure and then recently exploring wines from Burgundy and the Rhone region has not only expanded boundaries in the French wine, but has also solidated the jumbles of information on wine and accelerated my enthusiasm. So the person who had suddenly left for France in pursuit of culinary art, putting everything on hold is now finding herself falling into a seductive, destructive(?) and dangerous(?) relationship with wine.

I have to say that I really enjoyed Terroir de Galets 2009, Côtes du Rhône-Villages, and I started to wonder if Cotes du Rhone style would be “the one” as I previously loved Château de Cabran 2008 so much. There is definitely something to do with Grenache, the big, intense fruity and floral juice with distinctive licorice flavour. However, it’s not just that because I’ve had some boring Grenache based wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. So what I think is the stringent quality controlling AOC system of the Rhone wine region where only 70 something villages out of 170 something are qualified and only 20 something out of 70 odd wine makers and put their village names on the bottle. So for consumers, when you buy something, you know exactly what to expect. And it is convenient having French insiders to hand-pick wines for you like Julien did. He thoughtfully picked bottles of different styles from each region for my experiment.

So now I need to start my preparation for this evening. Curried Salmon Pie and Spicy Chorizo Paella are on the menu, and of course an assortment of French and Turkish cheese. I am sorry you can’t taste them, but hopefully one day. So which wine would I take with me? Something fruity with medium tannin and high acidity will do to compliment both dishes. Grenache! 🙂 Sorry for Grenache haters.

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