Even if you are not a wine expert, if you hear the word Bordeaux the vision of a great red wine may spring into your mind. This Friday — October 12 at 6:30 — at Cooking by the Book, we have our Wine Tour de France offering a guided selection of 11 wonderful French wines. David Hamburger, from the famed Acker Merrall & Condit Company here in New York City, will lead the tour. Two of the eleven wines are from Bordeaux. Here are all the wines we will enjoy:
- Doyard Cuvee Vendemiaire Brut Champagne
- Crochet Sancerre Croix Roy Loire Valley 2010
- Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran Burgundy 2010
- Mittnacht Freres “Gyotaku” Alsace 2010
- Roilette Fleurie Beaujolais Burgundy 2011
- Gros Frere et Soeur Hautes-Cotes-de-Nuits Burgundy 2009
- Clos Magne Figeac Saint Emilion Right Bank Bordeaux 2008
- Moulin de Tricot Haut-Medoc Left Bank Bordeaux2008
- Mas Champart St Chinian Languedoc Roussillon 2008
- Gour de Chaule Gigondas Southern Rhone 2007
- Benoit Roseau Syrah de Rosette Northern Rhone 2011
Plus, we’ll have a sampling French dishes, too.
Bordeaux may be famous, but it is not the most heavily touristed wine area in France. It lies on the southwest coast, up from the Spanish border. The Atlantic Ocean moderates the maritime climate, but the truth is that enough sunshine for really “great” wines occurs only every three years or so. Those other “great” years? That’s people who went to college in marketing.
While winemaking has occurred there for over two thousand years, Bordeaux really became commercial, and English, in the 12th century. For centuries, Bordeaux was controlled by the English crown, not the French. The English controlled the wine trade and consumed the bulk of the exports — much like their domination of Port.
Development of the land in Bordeaux also took centuries. There was, for example, plenty of land that was boggy or swampy. Engineers from Holland were the solution. Today, there are 250,000 acres of land devoted to wine. And, 20,000 grape makers. Since there are many huge winemaking estates, a most of those 20,000 winemakers are ones you have never heard of, folks with passion, a couple of acres, and a shed.
Bordeaux is famous for its red wines and indeed 80% of the production is red. But there are whites [Sauterne], roses, and sparkling, too. The reds are always mixes of multiple grapes including:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Petit Verdot
With such a large area, both near the sea and inland, there are obviously many microclimates. Combine that fact with the use of multiple grape varietals, and every one of the those 20,000 winemakers has a story or stories to tell about their terroir and their particular flavors.
Our tour on Friday night will be a tasty introduction to Bordeaux and the other French wine regions. You are sure to be inspired to sip more and perhaps journey to this wonderful wine area.
Class Cost: $75