I recently had the pleasure of attending and writing about a very unique type of wine tasting event called Bordeaux Matchmaking at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan.  The wines were all selections from Bordeaux, an often overlooked French wine region.  The reasons?  Well, over the years Bordeaux had taken on a stuffy and unattainable stature.  The purpose of the campaign (which is sponsored by the French Council on Wine & the EU) is to reintroduce Bordeaux to the US as a fun, casual, and affordable wine. 

The event was a blast!  I enjoyed some amazing wines, met some very cool people, sampled some delicious food, and walked away with a new appreciation for Bordeaux wines.  You can read about the event here and here.

Because of the success of the event, and my enthusiasm towards the product and campaign, I was given yet another unique opportunity – to host a Bordeaux tasting event in my home.  Of course, I jumped at the idea.  We had a small gathering planned for this past Thursday that I thought was perfect for the pairing. 

I was provided with six bottles of Bordeaux, a poster (which I hung in my hallway & have yet to remove), information cards, holders for the cards, and give-aways including ice buckets, cork screws, t-shirts, pourers, and aprons.  I kept a t-shirt, an apron, an ice bucket, a cork screw, and some pourers for myself.  Wouldn’t you?  The rest I gave away, and my friends were more than thrilled to take a bit of it home with them.

I opened each bottle prior to the arrivals of my friends, and had them set out in the kitchen.  Once a small group had arrived I gave a description of each bottle and poured some for whomever wanted to try.  After that it was everyone for themselves.  I was happy to see, though that everyone refered to the information cards when pouring themselves some more.  Oooh’s and ahhh’s filled the room.  We listened to festive music, and munched hors d’oeuvres while slowly savoring each sip of Bordeaux.

 It took some time before we’d finished all six bottles.  I provided whisky, vodka, and other spirits, plus some additional wines I had in the apartment.  We opened a bottle of Charles Shaw from Trader Joe’s, a wine I normally enjoy, which after drinking six amazingly delicious and affordable Bordeaux wines tasted flat, bland, and cheap.  There is a difference, and there is a reason you pay a bit more for quality.  But it really is only a bit, in wine terms.  The Charles Shaw is famous for costing only $3.  Normally I buy $10-$12 wines.  Today’s Bordeaux wines cost anywhere from $8 – $35 per bottle.  Still reasonable at any level.  My favorite of the bunch, the Larose-Trintaudon Haut Medoc 2004 costs $18 – deep ruby in color, its nose is smoky roast coffee bean with vibrant black fruit.  Supple texture & gorgeous freshness.  The other reds were Chateau Clarke Listrac Medoc 2006 for $20, Chateau Sainte Marie Vielilles Vignes Bordeaux Superior 2006 for $12, & Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux 2006 for $14.  The two whites were Clarendelle Bordeaux 2006 for $20, and Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux 2008 for $13. 

For more information on each wine including food pairings and where to purchase visit www.enjoybordeaux.com.
While on the site, be sure to click on Le Wine Buff to chat live with wine experts who are available to answer any question you may still have about Bordeaux.

For more about the Bordeaux Matchmaking events visit www.bordeauxmatchmaking.com

Happy Holidays!

~Sam

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