Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spring Wine Club

You are probably wondering why I have a wine page on this blog since I rarely ever blog about wine.  Maybe it was a little over ambitious...  However, things are about to change.  The Mr. and I just joined a wine club and went to our first "pick up" party last night (a little soirée that the wine club has each month to pick up your monthly wine).  I am très excited about all the sipping and sharing to come! 

Spring is a really popular foodie restaurant in Paris featuring the esteemed American chef, Daniel Rose.  It's one of those restaurants where it is impossible to score a reservation etc... etc... Since we aren't really that committed to being foodies, we were excited to hear about the no-reservation wine bar that opened in the basement last year.  Long story short, they started a wine club and we joined. 

Everyone knows about the ubiquitous wine of the month clubs... a couple bottles of wine come in the mail each month with a leaflet giving you some background and a few food pairing suggestions (if you're lucky).  There's nothing wrong with them, and I'm sure some are better than others, but the reason I am loving Spring Wine Club is because it is more than just a bottle of wine in the mail with a print out.  Each month, they host a pick-up party to debut the monthly wine selection, including a tasting and assorted apps from the restaurant to pair with the wine.  Not to mention, each month's wine comes with a recipe from one of the hottest chefs in Paris.  Ohhh, and did I mention it is a wine club in Paris featuring French wines, in English.  Clearly, they had me at English. 

At last nights pick-up party (above), they brought in the wine maker from the vineyard in Bourgogne (where the wine selection came from this month). It was nice to hear about the wine straight from the horses mouth.   So... I will quit rambling and tell you about the wine. 

This month, both selections came from Bourgogne (aka: Burgundy).  Both selections came from the winery Domaine des Croix.  First of all, it's important to realize that a winery is simply the place where the grapes are barreled and blended etc... it doesn't mean all of the grapes are growing out in their backyard.  A lot of times they are, but it's also common for wineries to bring in their grapes from vines they own in nearby areas.  Now we know the distinction between a winery and a vineyard.  

One other important point - all classified red wine in Bourgogne is typically 100% pinot noir.  In my head, the word Bourgogne and pinot noir are one in the same.

Bourgogne, just like Bordeaux and many of the wine regions in France, has a hierarchical and complicated wine rating system.  (Hopefully I will have some cliff notes re: this system after our trip to Beaune {the wine capital of Bourgogne} next weekend).  For now, I'll just give you the basics regarding this month's wine.

1.  2009 Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine des Croix

Domaine des Croix has two parcels of vines in Pommard and Savigny-les-Beaune (villages in Bourgogne).  To make the Bourgogne Rouge, they blend the grapes from the two vines together.  This is technically just one step above table wine because it doesn't have any classification other than being Bourgogne AOC.

2.   2009 Beaune Premier Cru 'Les Pertuisots'

Pertuisots is on the southern side of Beaune on a hillside.  Premier Cru is a classification that denotes that a wine is grown under the strictest conditions which theoretically equals a higher quality.  (More on the complicated classification system later...) For now, all we need to know is that Premier Cru = better quality (arguably) = more expensive = safe dinner party bet.

I have mixed feelings toward pinot noir.  For a few years, I wouldn't touch it because I thought it was too light and didn't have enough body and complexity.  I'm a full bodied, hearty Bordeaux girl.  However, since moving to France, I have a new found love for this complex grape.  If blended, aged, barreled etc...  correctly, it can be absolutely delicious.  Both wines from Domaine des Croix were just that.  The Bourgogne Rouge is earthy and full bodied, and tastes nothing like I would expect a pinot noir to taste and the Premier Cru was subtle yet complex and as smooth as could be. 

So that is it for now but stay tuned for more on Bourgogne wines.....and if this is boring and you only read this blog to scroll through the pictures, stay tuned for some fashion week wrap up.

Biz x.

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