|1.45 euro baby!|
One of the things we did in Paris that was worthwhile was a wine tasting at O Chateau. We did their 'tour of France' tasting which included six wines, one of them Champagne, along with a 'wine for dummies' type explanation on French wine; the regions, the grapes, the AOC and all. I recommend doing it, especially if you don't go in knowing too much about how wine works in France. I bought four bottles--two Cotes du Rhone reds and two Bourgogne whites. All four now long drunk but very much enjoyed.
The main thing I got from the tasting, other than that the owner/founder/sommelier is a wholesomely cute, tousled hair, perfectly American English accented Frenchie who was a pleasure to listen to and watch tousle said hair, was that expensive doesn't mean good and cheap doesn't mean crap.
I should have known this already for a few reasons:
1) We've managed to drink some inexpensive red wine, wait for it.....in a box! since being here and never would have dreamed of doing that anywhere else.
2) My beau-pere (father-in-law) prides himself on truffeling out the best wines for the least money over in Texas. Cheers, Beau-Pere, I'm right there with you.
3) The wine cooperatives, who sell wine grown in the area--like within a 5-mile radius, sell 3 euro bottles of wine that are perfectly drinkable
and 4) even a tres cher bottle can turn out to be crap.And then where are you? Displeased is where you are.
My suspicions were confirmed when the hair tousling O of O Chateau told us not to be suckered in by price, that Frenchies don't like spending loads on wine, and that we should not be afraid to try the more inexpensive bottles on supermarket shelves.
I did some wine shopping with this in mind. And even though it didn't feel right to buy a 1.45 euro bottle of Cotes du Rhone red, I did it. I actually bought two. I mean, come on, if it's crap then it's crap at less than a fiver. It is wine after all.
And I tried a handy tip I've learned over here--decanting. When we tasted the much more expensive Cotes du Rhone red that I bought two bottles of for almost 10 times a fiver, it took some time in the glass to taste its best. At first it didn't really do it for me. But after a few minutes of some air getting in there, some fancy swirling and some patience, it tasted divine. I figured I could apply the same methods to my cheap bottle(s) of CduR from the HyperGeantGrande store.
And it worked. It was ok, better than just passable and quite a bargain. It even won an award, which you can see on the left-hand corner of the bottle. Who else but the French would award a bottle of wine that costs as little as a couple of baguettes?
AND, to further prove my point. I bought a bottle of 3 euro CduR yesterday and mon Mari didn't like it as well as the cheap-o one.
How's about them grapes?