Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Writing about wine is a really easy way to either put people to sleep or make people convinced you are trying to make them feel stupid. Wine is a very ordinary thing. Or more accurately, wine should be an everyday occurrence, spoken about in plain English (if spoken about at all). But too often wine discussion becomes a battle of the snoots with people saying things like "The wine begins with a jaunt through a field of frostbitten arugula and ends with a box of Louboutins on Easter Sunday."

Really? What the hell does that taste like. And more importantly, why would you ever want to drink that?

The Pope knows people. This happens when you are elected by the College of Cardinals. So a few weeks ago, we met one of the Pope's "Wine Guys." Discussions about wine began and the following idea was hatched. The idea is simple, if you remove pretense and preconceptions can someone write about wine without sounding like an asshole?

Last week, Joe the Wine Guy dropped off a case of wine for us. The labels and any other identifying marks were either removed or covered up from the twelve different bottles in the box. Once a week, Peter and I get together, and open the wine. We take a few sips and without consulting each other write down our most basic thoughts. We aren't trying to guess the vintage or the grape or whether the winemaker used new oak or whether it was bottled under a new moon. Nope, we just want our gut reaction to the wine.

Wine is made to go with food. So we also want to know, what kinds of food would this be good with. So, we both write down the name of a restaurant and a dish at the restaurant. Again just collecting our stream of consciousness.

At the end of article, Joe the Wine Guy gives us his notes on what the wine really is and where you can find it. By the way, we don't know his thoughts until after we have tasted and written down our own.

That is it. The point isn't to get it right. It is just to keep it simple, stupid. Ohh and drink some wine; that is the real point.

Peter: Not surprisingly, this red wine tastes fruity - grapes, blackberries, blueberries. Not tannic enough for a steak, but maybe game birds. Roasted simply where the wine could act as the fruit sauce. Cafe Atchafalaya's Boudin Stuffed Quail or Cafe Minh's Lacquered Duck come to mind.

Rene: A red wine. Not heavy, but coats the mouth well. Fresh, blackberry flavor with cedarwood flavor at the end. Light tannins, good acidity, palate cleansing. Would want to drink this with something braised. For that, I go to the root beer braised short ribs at La Petite Grocery.

Joe the Wine Guy:  This week's wine is a 2008 Termes from Bodega Numanthia, a wine made from the Tempranillo grape. This selection features intense fruity aromas such as raspberry and cherry along with flowering ones like violets. When you taste it, you first get an explosion of fruit then you get spices, tobacco, raspberries, and blackberries. The wine is aged in French oak Bordeaux style barrels for 16 months. You can find it at The Wine Seller, Galatoire's, French Market Bistro, and Elios. Retail price is $29.


KF said...

Good addition to the blog.

fmcgmccllc said...

I really like this.

William said...

well stated....keep it simple and under $20 is my slogan. Chile and Spain

prestose said...

Great idea--I'll look forward to your future posts.