Monthly Archives: June 2010

Have a heart.

Talented wine maker Denis Durantou also has a talented wife – but as an artist rather than a wine maker. His famous Eglise Clinet may have a classic Bordeaux label but one of the other wines from his stable the Saint Emilion Saint Ayme is anything but classic.
It is even interactive. Once emptied peel off the heart and present it to your loved one – the perfect wine for a romantic diner à deux, A bit of competition for Calon Segur on valentines day?


Before and After

A Little Lion with a big roar

On a French Wine Explorers prestige tour this week we tasted the 2009’s from the Delon stable from Nenin in Pomerol, through Potensac and into Las Cases. A new baby has appeared on the scene. The second wine of Leoville Las Cases is now, as of the 2007 vintage, Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases. The Clos du Marquis is still there, but no longer considered a second wine but another wine from the stable; an alternative to the ‘Grand vIn’.
The 2007 Petit Lion was released just before the primeur tastings in March this year and the 2008 and will be on shelves this autumn. The 2009 will be offered as a primeur any minute now along with Its 2 big brothers.
Merlot dominated it is beautifully fruit driven with the signature elegance we associate with this property and aimed for earlier drinking will keep us waiting until the other wines from the stable are ready.
Could this be the start of critter wines for Bordeaux?

Can you spot the lion?

Golden Balls at the Pressoir d’Argent

Bordeaux Blonde finally made it to lunch at the newly stared Pressoir d’Argent in The Regent Hotel. An experience that confirms that ladies who lunch have the most fun.
The excellent value for money lunch time ‘Menu d’Escale’ at €34 provides the complete palace experience: service, décor, wonderful and original food from Pascal Nibaudeau with all the bits and pieces pre and post lunch at a price that you would pay for bad service at a bistro around the corner.
I’ll be back in the evening to try the signature Lobster ‘Pressoir d’Argent’ dish – watch this space.
Generous sized pourings for a selection of wine by the glass, sipped on the terrace accompanied by golden balls (macadamias rolled in gold dust) could this be a bling reference to the World Cup !

David Beckham would feel right at home.

A new approach to the wine list at the Pressoir d’Argent

The newly starred restaurant at the Regent Hotel has an interesting approach to the wine list for these cash strapped times. Presented by colour, no surprise there, the selection is then broken down by price. Starting at 30-60 euros and going up in increments of 65-95 and 100+ for the whites and 30-50, 55-100, 105-150 + of course – we are in a Palace here after all. Heavily weighted towards Bordeaux, as you would expect, the list is nevertheless eclectic and reflects and very interesting selection of reds for a fish restaurant.
The cuisine of Pascal Nibaudeau however lends itself to experimentation even with red wines. Still not sure then ask the sommelier, Vincent Delort, as he will select generous pourings of wines by the glass for you to accompany your chosen menu from €45.

Menus start at €34 for lunch but try the signature Homard Presse menu in the evening.

Cocktails with a Bordeaux twist

Bordeaux Blonde test drove the cocktail selection at The Regent Hotel last night with a Sex and city (Bordeaux city of course) clones. The bar has a great selection and although they might not have Bordeaux wine as an ingredient they certainly play on a local theme. The bar is named after Architect Victor Louis responsablre for building the hotel and the Grand Theatre facing it across the Place de la comedie.
Aside from the classic selection, cocktails have a regional flavour using famous local names such as Montaigne and Montesquieu. Our favourite : Bordeaux Bombay looks like Bordeaux tastes like something much more exotic -if only I could remember the ingredients ………………………………….

How versatile is my cepage?

Could Cabernet Franc be the most versatile grape variety?

So often relegated to being the backbone of the Merlot driven right bank wines of Saint Emilion and surrounding satellites, Cabernet Franc does of course shine in some of the leading right bank properties such as Angelus and Ausone where it reaches about 50% and on the famous atypical gravels of the appellation on the Pomerol border in Figeac (30%) and Cheval Blanc (58%).

However 100% Cabernet Franc is rare, Le Dome from the Maltus stable reaches about 75% which I think is the highest proportion in a blend in Bordeaux – unless anyone out there knows better?

It was therefore quite a discovery today at lunch in the Comptoir de Saint Genes in the Côtes de Castillon. Their house pour ‘Le Banc du comptoir’ is 100% Cabernet franc but guess what – white ! Yes a white from red grapes, not a Bordeaux appellation of course (that would never do!) but a table wine produced in the Entre Deux Mers by Vincent Galineau, husband of the restaurant’s owner Anne-Marie.

After having tasted last week a 100% Cabernet Franc ice wine from Peller Estates I’m beginning to think that it really is a most versatile varietal.

White Cabernet Franc – a great wine for blind tastings.

Have your cake and drink it.

Spotted in several Toronto restaurants whilst I was there, liquid (and alcoholic) desserts. Flipping through a recent copy of the LCBO Food and Drink Magazine I spotted a clue :
Black Forest Caketail.
Here’s the recipe from Michelle P. E. Hunt and Laura Panter
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine ½ oz Drambuie, ½ oz cherry brandy, 1 oz dark crème de cacao and 1 oz cream. Shake sharply and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a Drambuie-soaked maraschino cherry.

So does this have less calories than the solid version?