01/09/06 – Bordeaux Part 1

By Jesse on January 9, 2006


It’s the general consensus among the several wine group members who live in this house that we never decided on a subject for this week during last week’s meeting.  We DID decide to change meeting night to Monday, so keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out whether or not you have anywhere to be tonight.  You do: the wine meeting.  But what will we be drinking?  That was the unanswered question.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and answer the question myself.  Here’s my response: Bordeaux.  Specifically, white Bordeaux. 

As we begin to get into this region-based analysis of wine, Max and I figured that it makes sense to move directly into French wines, since France is traditionally the place where “region” is most crucial and significant.  France’s two preeminent regions for the production of still wine (as opposed to sparkling wine, for which the Champagne region is the most important) are Bordeaux and Burgandy.  Out of those two, Bordeaux seems a more logical starting point — it’s larger and more prolific, therefore potentially more accessible.  We also thought it wise to divide each of the two major regions into two separate meetings, one for red and one for white, simply because the regions are so bursting with diverse output that each color really does deserve its own examination.  So for tonight, white Bordeaux it is, and we’ll do red next week, followed by two meetings for Burgandy.

Bordeaux is a huge region in terms of both importance and output.  It’s total size is larger than the total acreage of all the vineyards in Germany, and it has ten times as much acreage of vineyards as all of New Zealand.  As distinct from Burgandy, where all the important reds are made from Pinot Noir and the whites from Chardonnay, Bordeaux is a region known for blending.  The whites are largely made up of Semillion and of Sauvignon Blanc.  Semillion was a grape we touched on very briefly at the end of last year, and Sauvignon Blanc was our first meeting back in September, so it’s likely that these flavors won’t be anything that we’re too familiar with.

I have a recollection that someone volunteered their house for this week’s meeting.  However, neither Max nor Don nor I could remember who had done so.  I sent out an e-mail to several people who were there last week and no one responded, so for lack of any memory of who volunteered, we’re just going to have the meeting at our place again.  Whoever it was that offered their place, if indeed my memory is at least that reliable, please let me know at the meeting and we’ll be sure to have next week’s meeting at your place.  For those who haven’t been to our apartment: the address is (not for your eyes) #4, which is in 91423.  It’s in between Ventura and Moorpark, near Coldwater Canyon.  Walk around the right side of the house and up the stairs.  There’s usually plenty of street parking.

Please feel free to bring a friend; new members are always welcome.  Hillary had the hook-up with the Spanish music last week, so here’s a challenge: does anyone have any French music?  You’d be my hero.  Regardless, please bring a bottle of white Bordeaux, and we’ll see you at 9:00 tonight.