Bordeaux & Gin

So I’m writing a column on under $25 Bordeaux (appearing June 9 in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix if you’re curious) and this required drinking a dozen of them.

Left Bank, right bank (Cabernet/Merlot respectively) young, old… send me your poor, your tannic, your wines yearning to be drunk!

Of course this was a wildly different set of wines than say, your cheap Oz/Chilean/Vietnamese shiraz. Oldest wine was ’01, youngest an ’06. Some had clearly been tamped down with new world oak. Some not. (The ’01 in the tasting only started smelling of vanillin at day 4 on the counter. Several newer wines smelled of vanillin when opened, something you wouldn’t have smelt as little as ten years ago.)

Anyway, rather than opening another bottle that may be more appealing at the moment, I tend to drink whatever is open on the counter, a matter of inventory control: otherwise every surface in the place would be covered with half drunk bottles. .

Tonight they were just all too much of a muchness. Too heavy, too overbearing, just too damn much.

In this mood I’d normally open something like a rose, or a bardolino, slightly chilled. Tonight, I made myself a nice Gin & Tonic.

The interesting thing is, after a good stiff gin, a Bordeaux seemed an excellent gear shift. Moreover the lingering bitterness made the Bordeaux taste even better. So back to inventory control…

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