This segment will soon be known as “What I’m drinking right now”. FYI, that’s a 2005 chateau-bottled Bordeaux, Chateau Pierredon to be specific. I picked up a few of these in the $9 to $13 range recently, in response to my spouse’s desire to have more French wines on hand. We have been drinking a lot of California and Spanish reds of late, most of which tend to be somewhat fruit forward, and said spouse really wanted to get away from all that sweetness.
I was sitting around with friends Wednesday night, having opened a Cotes du Rhone (also 2005 vintage, I believe), and was surprised by how different it tasted vis-à-vis my recent wines. I had almost forgotten the pleasures of a dry, slightly tart, airy French red, and was quite pleased to re-discover them.
Now, I’m always one to rant and rave against the Parkerization of red wines (that being the high-alcohol, high-sugar, fruit-forward style preferred by so many winemakers these days that tends to yield those “scores” of 90), but of late I had only been doing that in the context of California wines. Having plunged back into French reds, I’m reminded of the joys of these wines. It’s almost as if they taste older (even though they’re not) – and not “older” as in a complex palate (although they often have those also), but “older” in terms of the overall flavor profile. Something just tastes more ancient about these “old-world” wines. It’s as if the wine is telling you, “Hey, nice work in California, but just to remind you, this is what folks have been drinking for millennia, and that many wine drinkers can’t be entirely wrong.”
Oh, and the food element of this entry – dinner tonight was a “pizza puttanesca”, a homemade pizza crust topped with leftover homemade puttanesca sauce, mozzarella and parmigiano-reggiano cheeses. For those not familiar, puttanesca sauce (literally translated as “the way a whore would make it”, presumably because of the spicy ingredients) features tomatoes, olive oil, capers, peppers, and copious amounts of garlic. Let’s just say it works really well with the cheeses as a pizza topping. (And yes, I left out the semi-traditional anchovies…sorry, Greg.)
I’ve been considering adding a wine & food element to my blog for a while now, but I don’t want to be diligent enough about wine blogging to compete with the super-serious wine bloggers out there. So, dear readers, you’ll have to be content with an occasional mention of good affordable wines that I’m currently drinking – and if you want more, just speak up.
One final note – I did attend a Beaujolais Nouveau release party last night. The 2007 Nouveau is….well…another Nouveau. It was not remarkable, in either a good or a bad way, so I suppose there’s some hope there. Just don’t make me drink it at Thanksgiving.