04/16/06 – The Rhone

By Jesse on April 16, 2006


Ok, first of all, I really want someone to explain what the hell happened on Saturday night.  It was a great party, and thank you to everyone who attended.  But why did I wake up at 7:30 on Sunday morning on my couch, in my clothes, with the lights on and everyone gone?  I have a very difficult time believing that I just passed out — on my COUCH, not my bed — in the middle of a lively game of Taboo.  I wasn’t that drunk (I’d had five or six), it wasn’t that late (like 2:30), and I wasn’t that tired (I’d slept during the day, as the sunburn on my face clearly attested).  It doesn’t add up.  So basically, I’m interested in knowing who slipped me the roofie.  And also, to that end, why were my clothes on in the morning?  If you’re going to drug me into submission, it’s kind of an affront to not take advantage of me.  Thanks a lot.

This Tuesday we’re doing the Rhone, our second consecutive French region that produces both red and white.  This time, we’ll be favoring the reds over the whites, as if in an ironic reversal of the last few hundred years of our nation’s history.  Rhone wines, according to the Bible, are among the world’s “most untamed.”  It continues: “flavors dart around like shooting stars.  There are whooshes of sweet earthiness and surges of smoky black fruit.  The wines’ howling spiciness has no parallel.”  I have no idea what black fruit tastes like, but I guess we’ll find out.

Rhone wines are divided into the Northern and Southern designations, and each has its own grape types.  Syrah is the sole red grape of the north, while the southern Rhone reds are usually blends of several, the most important being Grenache and Mourvedre.  When buying your Rhone reds, watch for these appellations, as the wine may not say “Rhone” or the grape type on the bottle:


Chateauneuf-du-Pape (shah toe nuf doo pap)
Cotes-du-Rhone (as well as Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages)

We’ll be meeting at Jason’s house in Brentwood.  Here are the address and some directions (not quite!).

Bring a bottle of that special Rhone red, and don’t worry about bringing extra glasses, cause Jason’s the glassmaster.  We’ll see you all on Tuesday night at 9:00.