Monday, November 06, 2006

The Wine Fair

"Boire du vin, c’est boire du génie." - Charles Baudelaire - poète
To drink wine is to drink genius. This makes sense since wine is simply the result of the fermentation of grapes, but, as I am learning, it is so much more! This year is the third time that I have attended the annual Salon de Vignerons Independents in Lyon, and the first time that I have fully enjoyed it.

In 2004, a mere 10 months after arriving in France, it was a whirlwind of different names, colours, scents and tastes that all sort of blended into one after a while. Plus I didn't make use of the buckets strategically placed for spitting, so of course I quicky became, ahem, inebriated, which didn't help matters.

This weekend though, I smartly chose to spit instead of swallow, because as Lucas rightly explained to a friend who was afraid of offending the vignerons by "throwing away" what they had worked so hard on, you taste wine in your mouth, not in your stomach. Additionally it is probably more offensive to turn up drunk at the booths asking to "taste" the wine.

My personal oenologue

On Saturday Lucas and I made the rounds just the two of us, so I got a further lesson in how to tell if a young wine would evolve or not, a lesson I was able to put to sucessful use on Sunday afternoon. Of course some wines, like those from Domaine Cazes in the south west region of France, just can't be spit out. They are among my favourites, and include a 1976 Rivesaltes of which I'm happy to say we have two bottles in our cave.

We made two kind of purchases this weekend, several bottles to keep in the cave until ready to drink, anywhere from two to five years from now, but mainly bottles to replenish our ready to drink supply of Cahors, Carbadés, and Rivesaltes among others. It looks like a lot but this will be our stock for at least a year. Not only do we enjoy wine at home with our meals, but more often than not we take a bottle along whenever we are invited out.

My education in this vast field has just begun, I can't wait to learn more!


Lynn Anne said...

Ya know...I'm not much of a wine person. I like Manichevitz heavy malaga (sweet and syrupy!) and that's about it. but I keep feeling I could cultivate the taste and enjoy it...if only I had someone around me who could teach me HOW. KWIM? Enjoy!!

L Vanel said...

I can't wait to hear how it went!