Sunday, August 06, 2006

You never forget the first time taste a first growth Bordeaux. I had mine last week! Went to a Bordeaux vs. Hawkes Bay wine tasting (paid for by work, thank you very much as a part of training). We had to taste 10 wines blind and try to identify which were Hawkes Bay and which were Bordeaux and whether they were right bank (merlot based) or left bank (cabernet sauvingon based). We had a list of what the 10 wines were but didn't know which was which. But for one, they said they had to make a last minute substitution, and they'd tell us what it was later.

Most of the French wines were 2nd, 3rd, or 4th growths, which ranged from $100-200 in price for the 2002 vintage that we were tasting. Anyway, I sniffed and tasted as best I could, but when I got to wine number 10, my first comment on the nose was "Whoa! smoke, tobacco, cedar and dark fruit, interesting!" I guessed that it was probably a left bank bordeaux. Overall, the wine tied for 2nd place in my top 3 wines of the night. I found the nose really interesting, but my coworker next to me nudged me and asked me if I thought it was corked, he didn't like it at all.

Well, turns out wine number 10 was the last minute substitution and it was a Chateau Lafite Rothchild, which would cost about $295 if you could find it! If I ever see one of those somewhere for a good deal, I'll have to buy it. It's a wine that you'd want to put down for a bit longer though but it was just so interesting! My top wine of the night was a little more approachable and was a Chateau Gazin from Pomerol (right bank) which retails for about $105. But the good news is that the other wine that tied for #2 for me was a Hawke's bay wine that retails for about $40, so I'm going to go out and get some of that to put away today! It was a Newton Forrest Cornerstone, in case you ever come across one.

Anyway, I was so excited about tasting a first growth, which is the highest classification in the French wine system in which there are only 5 Chateaus, that I asked the organizer if I could take home the empty bottle. And now I have to think of some good use for it. Maybe I'll get one of those oil candle wicks for it. It's a beautiful bottle.

p.s. Note the purple teeth, it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it!


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