Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cork Poppers: The Taste of Bordeaux

Sure, I love the malbecs and the pinot grigios. A nice Chianti is always good. But if I had to choose one "group" of wines to have those and only those for the rest of my life, it would be those from Bordeaux.


This region in France is noted for its fine wines, both reds and whites -- and they were the featured wine at our September Cork Poppers gathering.

First, the whites, and the first of those was Montieur Touton 2013 Sauvignon, using 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Bordeaux and offered by Dick and Cheryl. When tasted the words heard were "Yum!" and "Oooh!" It was very cold and crisp. Rick noticed a strong grapefruit flavor. I found it very "clean" tasting and smelling and Cheryl said "This is the best wine so far. (Generally, that's Barb's line!)

Roger said he was going to get this while Dick added he served it first because he felt the second wine, another white from Roger, would be better. That question was up for debate. And at $11, the price was clearly right!

So, it was time to see if Dick was correct in his assessment of Roger's offering -- Chauteau de Fontenille 2012, a blend of sauvignon blanc, sauvigon gris, muscadet and semillon grapes.

I think we all found it a little sweeter than the first. I found it as heavier and not as light -- I preferred the first. Rick, on the other hand, preferred this one. "You could use this as a pillow," he said. "It's feathery." Other comments included "It's stronger but softer" and suggestions that it would be good with cut-up fruit or fish. It's possible I liked this less because it was served a bit warmer than the 53-57 degrees recommended. At $14.99, it's still a good buy. If you prefer a lighter taste, I'd recommend the first, a richer taste, this one.

For the first time since we started individually bringing wine to Cork Poppers, we had a duplicate from both Barb and from Anne and Clayton. It was Chateau La Lauzette 2010, a combination of Cabernet and Merlot. This is a Haut Medoc wine from the Medoc region of Bordeaux. and a Cru Bourgeois wine. They aren't in the top group of Bordeaux heavy hitters like Margaux or Mouton-Rothschild, but nonetheless delicious.

Clayton called it "One of my favorites," while Barb noted it was sharper on the tongue and suggested "You have to have something with this -- cheese or bread." To which Clayton replied, "Or another bottle!" At $25 (Clayton paid $20 on sale), it was a very good buy.

I was up next with Chateau de Trousse, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux AOC 2010. This red blend combined merlot and Cabernet sauvignon grapes and was from the Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux region. This was dry, very mellow and with good legs (the drips down the side of the glass when you swirl it). Rick noticed that it had a lot of tannins, which he liked and said "This is the best I've had today by far." At $12.99 it is an excellent buy and would be wonderful for sipping, dining or used in a recipe.

(Barb said the highlight of my presentation was, after handing out my two-sided description of the wine and region and introducing the wine, said "You folks know how to read, whatever!" Well, I wasn't going to read the whole thing to them!)

Pat wrapped up the tasting with Beau Mayne Bordeaux 2011, a combination of Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon grapes -- the same as in the wine I brought -- but with a different balance. This affected the flavor. This wine came from old vines (vinable) and I felt was in the same league as the others, definitely dryer than Barb and Anne/Clayton's wines. Barb said it was very good and Clayton offered he would be "happy to drink the whole bottle by myself." Rick replied, "Not the whole bottle -- after the third glass I'd be really sorry." Pat acknowledged that "In my opinion, it's not very good." This one cost $14.99.

We must have gone through four pounds of cheese during this tasting! The cheeses were outstanding, including a triple cream Carabanzola, Loyn Wide Cheddar, Abbeydale yellow with rye and Comte were delicious!

While Meredith was getting the stew started the rest of us set out on the Grand River for a boat ride with Captain Roger.

The river rides never disappoint. A heron was on view and it was a gorgeous day. Perfect for a cruise!

We saw the earliest bits of autumn and celebrated the beginning of fall -- even if it isn't official!

And of course everyone was having a glorious time!

Then it was time for dinner. Frogmore stew and a dazzling salad!

Fortunately, there were a few of Rick's baguettes left from the tasting!

It was beautiful sitting at Meredith's fall table. Our takeaway was a jar of homemade salsa!

And of course, dessert was delish -- summer berries over sponge cake with apricot sauce and whipped cream.

We wrapped up the day with a birthday celebration and a grand toast to hostess Meredith who that week learned that she was officially in remission from her cancer!

What's not to love -- time with the Girls of the Grape (below) and Men of the Vine, a wonderful afternoon with Rick and a boat ride and dinner to die for!

That I'd enjoy any day of the week!

I'll be linking this post with Paulita's Dreaming of France project this week. Come back here once she gets the link up for this week's posts to find fun posts from other bloggers about France.


Joanne Huffman said...

These cork popper events always look like so much fun. Obviously, a good time was had by all.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Well, I'm just so impressed by you and your fun loving friends! What a wonderful event. We seem to have the same tastes in wine. But I have completely neglected the Bordeaux. We'll have to try some! SO nice that you stopped by!

anno said...

Yum! You know I collect your wine notes -- I keep them on my google drive -- so that if I'm out and need a glass of wine, (you know, just in case), I have some handy recommendations!

Bella Rum said...

I may try the Montieur Touton 2013 Sauvignon. As always, the food looks as good as the wine, and your friends look like a fun bunch.

Marilyn Miller said...

How wonderful to be able to enjoy time outdoors with the Cork Poppers. Then the stew, salad, and table all looked just amazing. You have a wonderful tradition and I always enjoy reading about it even though I am not into wine. I can enjoy it anyway and think it would be the same for a tea group.

Mae Travels said...

what fun!

Tracy said...

LOVE your Popper posts, Jeanie! Bordeaux--oh, yes! Love me a red or a white Bordeaux. For a while we really latched on to the white ones... LOL! Wonderful discoveries, those. Oh, the food... YUM! And such fun with the river cruise! You guys have the best times! Such good news about your friend Meredith--may she be well and keep well now! :o) ((HUGS))

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

What a fun time. This sounds like my kind of group!!

Anonymous said...


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WOW Jeanie, this is lush living! Bordeaux-born wine, friends, good food, FALL? What more could you want other than to BE IN FRANCE!

Lovely times.

must love junk said...

You just have so much fun! Love all the 'river ride' pics and your celebration with friends! :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

First off, how wonderful that your friend is in remission! Cheers to that wonderful news! Sounds like another super fun night with friends. I'm glad you got a boat ride in as I think nights where boat rides are comfortable are numbered! Hearing about the cheeses has me dreaming of the ones we'll have on Julia Child night!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Reading these posts of yours always makes me yearn to go out and find a wine group! I would have so much to learn, but it all looks so enjoyable! I'm going to use some of the info in this post to make a better wine selection next time. :-)

Tamara said...

I always enjoy reading about your Cork Poppers events - food, wine, fun, fellowship and interesting decorations. I'm inclined towards a dry sparkling, a reisling (which we do very nice here in Aust), and then the cab merlots or straight merlot. As spring is rolling in here in Aus, I'm feeling the call of a sparkling shiraz too. Thanks for these reviews.

21 Wits said...

I'll drink to that too! Lovely photos of fun times, tasty corn and what a lovely heron too!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I may not be a drinker but man-0-man, I might start if it included an invite to one of your dinners. The stew looks delicious and the dessert-- swoon!

LOVED seeing the Grand River. My grandparents and my dad had a book on that River and I spent my youth hanging and going for rides. What a sweet reminder.

So glad you are feeling great and loving your retirement!

littleRamstudio said...

Looks like a great get party.

Do like a drop of Medoc here. We know the area very well, especially around the Arcachon basin. The Bordeaux ring road is memorable too, fast and furious!

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, I've been meaning to stop by for weeks, and I could not have timed it better. You know how I love your wine tasting posts. Must try some of these. Currently, Mr G and I are hooked on Riesling, particularly Chateau St Michelle. First time I'm actually liking white wine...absolutely zero headaches. Yay! :)
Looking forward to staying in touch.

Arti said...

I'm not a drinker but I love your cork popper posts. Again, the colours, the convivial festivities, and the fall images. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us, Jeanie!

The Artful Diva said...

I like the reds but prefer the whites :-)

Esme said...

This looks like so much fun. What a lovely group of friends you have.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Yum Frogmore Stew!!!

Louise said...

What a great event- it would be fabulous as a once off, but it looks like you do this all the time- how fantastic. It's such a great idea, and how lovely to combine it with boating, and great food with friends. I've never heard of frogmore stew but it looks delicious. I'm glad your friend got such good news.

Paulita said...

Wow, I'm so impressed with the amount you all must know about wine. I really enjoyed your post and all the photos of the fun. Thanks so much for playing along today

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