by Paige Donner
Welcome to Season 6 of Paris GOODfood+wine
For the kick-off episode of our 6th year in podcast production, we take you deep into the heart of Bordeaux.
For many, Bordeaux is a wine mecca. But for some, it’s as intimidating as facing a Master of Wine exam. For this late August trip, Paris GOODfood+wine takes you to Pomerol & St. Emilion on the Right Bank and then the Medoc, namely St. Julien, Pauillac and St. Julien-Beychevelle, on the Left Bank.
One of the conversations that has stayed with me from this tasting tour and press trip I led to world famous Bordeaux estates is the following: When it comes to music, or food or films, people aren’t shy or ashamed to express their tastes and preferences. So why are they when it comes to wine? If I like rock music and you like classical music, does that mean one of us has superior taste over the other? So why, then, when it comes to wine do we seem to immediately categorize people’s level of sophistication in terms of whether they prefer a Margaux to a Condrieu, a Médoc to a St. Emilion?
Read more of Panos Kakaviatos’ wine tasting notes, esp. on Bordeaux ’18 at Wine Chronicles and Club Oenologique.
When you reflect upon a person’s taste in wine in this context, the whole super-imposed pecking order of wine does start to feel a bit absurd. But more to the point, this accepted form of intellectual and sensorial snobbery is perhaps blocking a lot of potential wine lovers from ever taking their first sip!
On that note, I was able to spend two days in the Bourg and Blaye regions in July this summer. These Bordeaux regions, known as much for their whites as their reds, are often overlooked on the world stage when it comes to Bordeaux wines. But they shouldn’t be because they have oodles to offer. In fact, for their September issue, the French wine critics, Bettane & Desseauve curated a whole magazine just on these two apellations, singing the praises of these crisp, fresh and often surprising wines.
Another hot topic of discussion among these esteemed Grand Cru Classé Bordelais wine estates was the trending topic of natural wines or ‘vin naturel.‘ Without going too deeply into this topic here, and now, the one comment I heard that seems to sum up a centuries old wine region’s candid thoughts about this, is: What do you get when you do nothing to wine (the ‘vin naturel’ philosophy being do naught unto wine)?
You get vinegar when you do nothing to wine!
However, far be it for me to be anything more than an intrigued eavesdropper on this ongoing conversation. If you’d like to hear what Alice Feiring has to say on the matter, catch her with Evan Kleiman on KCRW’s GOOD Food show September 6th edition. You can also find our Paris GOODfood+wine show from last season, Episode 41, that focuses on vin naturel.
So on that note… I turn to my second interviewee – she’s the author of The Chinese Wine Renaissance. The book, released by Penguin earlier this year, has already been shortlisted for a Roederer Wine Writer’s Award. We hear from the 36-year old first-time author, Janet Wang, about China’s thousands of years old history with wine.
This is the first book of its kind to be written and published in English. Entering onto a Tabula Rasa is a rarity in the world of wine, where all and sundry have written tomes about the elixir. But this book is the first of its kind on its topic. Hence there is no context in which to compare it.
If you are interested in tasting Chinese wines, Janet will be importing a container of wine to the UK, where she resides, this Fall and hosting wine tastings. Her website: winepeek.wordpress.com/
Season 6 of Paris GOODfood+wine has been generously brought to you yet again by IoTShipping. Never lose track of your assets. Real-time monitoring with smart sensors by temperature, movement and geo-location throughout the transport process. Contact them at IoTShipping.xyz.
This Kick-off episode of Season 6 has been brought to you also by Bordeaux Food And Wine. See more on BordeauxFoodAndWine.com. Contact Bordeaux Food And Wine for wine tasting and wine excursion bookings. BordeauxFoodAndWine.com
Another recent wine book is the 100 Burgundy by Jeannie Cho Lee. Hers is published by Assouline, and has just been released this September. It details 100 significant Burgundy wine producers.
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