From Rooftop Tastings and Loft Parties to Speed Tastings: The New Approach to Discovering Bordeaux

Suggest a Bordeaux and someone is likely to think there is some special occasion. Or they think something awful has happened and it is time to drink that special bottle saved for a celebration that will never come. Think the apocalypse. But the region of Bordeaux is actually a varied one that yields many good varietals of every price range. Even affordable. Bordeaux’s venerable history and stringent production standards has made it synonymous with superior quality.

However on the flip side, Bordeaux wines are also seen as rigid and unchanging. In response to this, The Conseil Interprofessionelle des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) has launched Today’s Bordeaux, an advertising campaign designed to introduce white and red Bordeaux priced under fifty five dollars, to an international audience of wine aficionados and novices alike, from New York City to Shanghai and virtually everywhere in between. If notions of the “old” Bordeaux consisted of complicated vintages that required years of aging before it should be opened and drunk by rigid “Old Guard” types, then Today’s Bordeaux is anything but that, if this year’s events are any indication.

This Spring and Fall featured several unique events in different venues across New York City. One, held high above at Gary’s Loft on 28 West 36th Street, featured a tasting of over one hundred Bordeaux from different areas including Graves, Sauternes, Entre Deux Mers, Cotes de Bordeaux and Castillon Cotes among others.

These bottles demonstrated the broad range of flavors and consistent quality inherent in Bordeaux wines that make this region a great candidate for any occasion. Among the highlights were a delicate and floral Chateau La Dame Blanche comprised of one hundred percent Sauvignon Blanc with bright refreshing notes of lemons and peaches as well as a subtly sweet finish. Another notable selection in the one hundred percent Sauvignon Blanc category was a Saint Glinglin with pronounced citrus, lemon and rosemary notes, a touch of salinity and a clean finish.

In a region with approximately ninety percent red wine production there are bound to be some standouts and Today’s Bordeaux featured a number of remarkable bottles especially for their price ranges including a Château Jean Faux with violet and cherry notes, soft and velvety texture and a smooth round finish. Not unexpectedly, a Domaine Barons de Rothschild Lafite Reserve Speciale with earthy notes and balanced tannins also received raves.

These were paired with a range of small bites that ran the gamut from seafood to sliders. Bordeauxs came back in the fall with a tasting event at Industria Superstudios. The wine tasting event kicked off with a media and trade afternoon and culminated in a consumer event that was as informative as it was a party scene complete with an electric violinist who performed rock renditions of classical music favorites. Meanwhile whites like Chateau Les Hauts de Smith and Chateau de Sours La Fleur d’ Amelie and reds like Clos Puy Arnaud and Chateau La Grave kept wine lovers and party goers going all night.

Once again, Today’s Bordeaux proved as versatile and diverse as their wines when they presented media with a new approach to discovering their wines: speed tasting. Sort of like speed dating but, well, with wines.

The two-hour speed tasting, held on November 19, 2014 at The Astor Center, focused on gastronomy, diversity and modernity and consisted of nineteen whites and reds specially selected by members of the CIVB. Attendees tasted three groups of six wines in quick succession, made their selections and created their own pairings out of nine dishes served in two courses ranging from oyster vichyssoise with paddle fish roe to lemongrass chicken pho.

The result was a showcase of how adaptable Bordeaux wines are to virtually all types of cuisine, from classic French to Vietnamese. Wine lovers and media alike, anxiously await what today’s Bordeaux has in store for Bordeaux and those who enjoy them, in the coming year.

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