Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wine in the Third Dimension

I expected to write today about how I just can’t get into Bordeaux wines. That won’t be happening.

Last night, my girlfriend and I brought a bottle of 2000 Château Pibran Pauillac to Mr. Friendly’s for their BYOB night. I don’t have very much Bordeaux, but I did buy some of the 2000 vintage (what I could afford).

For the record, I don't think the Bordeaux that falls in my price category ($10-$15) is worth the money. I'd rather spend my money elsewhere. I will say that white Bordeaux is often a really great value.

If I could afford the more expensive wines, I might buy more. The Pibran probably ran me about $20.

We both ordered steaks, and the food was excellent. The wine was really spectacular. It reminded me why Bordeaux has remained one of the most venerated wine regions in the world.

The first thing that struck me about the Pibran was the complexity of the nose. There is something very unique about the aromas you get from Bordeaux wines: leather, smoke, tar, cedar and earth. These were the smells that wafted up from the glass.

It’s still a young wine and probably could use more time in the bottle, but I don’t mind drinking my wine young. It opened up quite a bit just during dinner.

It’s a powerful wine with a mix of (roughly) 65% cab and 35% merlot. The tannins were still very firm but softened enough to reveal black cherry, currant, licorice and some pepper notes.

It reminded me that a wine like this really expresses the character of its origin. For me, it also defines what it means for a wine to be three-dimensional. It had real substance and depth. It was truly a wine to contemplate—to look at, smell, swirl, smell again and sip.

As much as I enjoy wines that are simple and easy to like, I can’t deny the allure of deep, complicated wines that draw you into layers of smell and flavors. It’s what makes wine truly magical.

Maybe I should buy more Bordeaux.

As a side note, I would be truly remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful food and wine we had last weekend (during the weekend of mourning) at Gervais & Vine. If you live in or around Columbia and you have not been there—shame on you.

I’ll confess that it’s hard for me to be unbiased about this place, because it was one of the first great places I discovered here. But—I still say that what they offer is really unique and wonderful.

No other place has their combination of quirky wine selection, cool atmosphere and killer food. Their wines change frequently. You can get half glass, glass or a bottle of wine. The menu is mostly tapas, with some other items: pizzas, desserts, etc. The servers are usually great.

You get the picture. It’s a great place to sample different wines and have some tasty food, and they have a great patio.

We were even fortunate enough to drink some wine with Kristian, one of the owners, and—hopefully—a future contributor to this blog.

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