Wine making is an art. It is also a culture, each wine region being informed by their unique history and influenced by their natural terrain. Bordeaux is one of the world's richest wine countries with 50% of its area devoted to the production of first class wine - Bordeaux Superieur.
Last Monday, Michael Madrigal, head Sommelier at Bar Boulud New York and US Ambassador of Bordeaux Superieur, took guests on a tour of the vineyards owned and represented under the Bordeaux Superieur Association. What could possibly be more pleasant, than a French meal at Troquet, (now relocating to a new space) paired to feature some of the Bordeaux region's best wines? Not much.
The atmosphere at the restaurant that evening was full of possibility. Vineyards classified as Bordeaux Superieur are found throughout the Gironde Department. They are classified as such according to their 'Appellations d'origine contrôlée'. These special vineyards produce high quality wines based on terrain, grape varietals and are built to enjoy relatively soon after being bottled. Each vineyard is part of a family lineage, passed on generation to generation. It is a family business, one of pride and honor - these qualities were clear as today's generation of Bordeaux winemakers flaunted their vintages, from white and rosé, to red.
The kitchen at Troquet, led by Chef Scott Herbert, is known for their attention to detail and fearless pursuit of classic French cooking techniques. This evening was set to a three course meal starting with a seafood dish of scallops on a bed of lobster, topped with uni...#decadent. This was paired with an organic Sauvignon Blanc from Les Hauts de Lagarde (2015).
The second course was a duo of beef from Painted Hills; short rib and this beautifully marbled sirloin were paired with a Château Recougne blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (2012) - all classic grape varietals of the Bordeaux Superieur region. A second pairing was a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Château Saincrit, Vielles Vignes (2012). The latter was my absolute favorite, medium in body, but so elegant.
Also at my table was a wine maker from Domaine de L'Ile Margaux, an incredible island in the middle of Bordeaux, completely isolated from the other vineyards and producing wine with vines from the late 1800s. Menuts by Maison Riviere presented my favorite white wine of the evening, a Sauvignon Blanc and Sémignon blend that was light and tart, something that would pair perfectly with oysters.
Wine can often be daunting. The different variables that go into making one single bottle can boggle the mind. However, even just one wine dinner, wine talk or wine event can give you some starting points from which you can begin to figure out what you like and what you don't. After all, the most important thing is to know what you like - and I now know I L-O-V-E some of these Bordeaux Superieur wines:)