This Vino Voices website/weblog is being redesigned by a professional (finally!)
It will soon be more compact and include a visual menu of previous posts.
Also, the Etalon Rouge wine website is also being redesigned, and is temporarily offline.
Forthcoming Forbes posts will include the story of a natural-wine loving Swedish entrepreneur who just launched a range of luxury electric boats, as well as notes about a vertical tasting of Ausone and Smith Haut Lafitte wines in Switzerland. There will be an article about the mutual influence of the French and Chinese in the wine world, and a list of five wineries (and their best wines) that are worth watching right now—including selections from the islands of Sicily and Majorca, as well as from the French Languedoc.
When spring erupts in southwest France, so do social events. This post covers a few of the usual wine and food events here.
ONE: Open Doors in Bourg.
This is an annual event in the nearby region (and town) of Bourg where wineries open their doors for two days to visitors. This year it was was renamed ‘Tous ô Chais’ (all cellars) instead of ‘Portes Ouverts’ (open doors).
The premise remains the same.
First, pick up a map listing participating wineries. Next, call friends to join you in visiting several wine châteaux for long tastings in a gorgeous rolling countryside.
Five of us spent an afternoon exploring, and met some local characters shown below.
Not surprisingly in France, the first winery we visited was closed for lunch. However, at the second winery (Château Lamothe) the owners let us unpack our own picnic at this massive indoor table, where we opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed an impromptu off the beaten track lunch of baguettes, cheeses, saucisson, tomatoes and chocolate. Parfait.
The below list includes a selection of good quality wines scored for value using my proprietary Vino Value algorithm. In general, wine values in this region are excellent
|Vino Value™ Scoring of Selected Wines – Open Doors Bourg 2019|
|Winery||Wine||100 Point Score Equivalent Range||Retail Price – Euros||Retail Price – US dollars||Value Score|
|Château Lamothe||2016 Grand Réserve||92+||8.10 €||$9.07||Excellent Value ♫♫|
|Château Lamothe||2015 Grand Réserve||92+||8.30 €||$9.30||Superlative Value ♫♫♫|
|Château Fougas||2016 Organic||92+||8.00 €||$8.96||Superlative Value ♫♫♫|
|Château Fougas||2016 Forces de Vies||92+||19.00 €||$21.28||Excellent Value ♫♫|
|Château La Croix-Davids||2016 La Croix-Davids||92+||9.00 €||$10.08||Excellent Value ♫♫|
|Château Sauman||2018 Rosé||92+||5.00 €||$5.60||Superlative Value ♫♫♫|
|Château Sauman||2017 MM Émotion||92+||9.00 €||$10.08||Excellent Value ♫♫|
TWO: Dinners Asscociated With Primeurs Wine Tastings and VinExpo 2019 Trade Fair
The April ‘primeurs’ wine tastings and this year’s earlier than usual renowned VinoExpo trade fair in Bordeaux city also coincided with dinners throughout the region. Many were formal, with excellent wines and food. I was fortunate enough to attend a Lynch-Bages sponsored dinner in Bordeaux city, as well as the renowned ‘Jurade’ dinner (this year at Château Soutard) in Saint-Émilion. Château Angélus also hosted a rather amazing dinner/spectacle titled ‘Dinner Under The Stars.’
Below is a quick video provided by Château Angélus in Saint-Émilion of their April ‘Dinner Under The Stars’ during ‘primeurs’ wine tasting week. This was was quite the exceptional event—where magnums of wine from past three decades were served.
THREE: Impromptu Social Events
Warmer weather brings everyone out and together. This year has included exceptionally longs spells of sunny days in February, March, April and May.
In our town of Blaye, new South African neighbors recently held a bubbles and cake gathering, to which our French winemaking friend brought several classic old vintages. This is part of the local culture. Wine, cheese, dinners, desserts and social events seep into many aspects of life here in the spring (as well, honestly, during all other seasons).
There was also that memorable recent hippie dinner in Blaye.
This brief post was just a visual whirlwind to demonstrate social spring highlights around Bordeaux.
Remember—this site will soon be redesigned.
Regardless, upcoming posts cover Majorca, Sicily and Tuscany—and will provide more details about their dynamically changing food and wine cultures.
Again, thanks for visiting this site.