I have no idea what is going on.
I’m in Montreuil somewhere east of Paris in someone I’ve never met before’s apartment, I was told everyone’s names, but I immediately forgot them.
My available French vocabulary appears to have shrunk to about five words, of which one is rather unhelpfully fourmi, for ant. Oh and as far as I can tell they’re discussing why they think Chuck Norris should stand for the French Presidency.
Lost doesn’t begin to describe it.
Thankfully I do have wine.
Let’s backtrack a little.
So I was in Champagne with my friend Melanie tasting lots of wines, a girl called Laure arrived who was also staying with Mel. We all got drunk. The next day there was a friend request on facebook. The French are shockingly quick to add you on facebook, regularly before I’ve even worked out if I’ve met them or not (please don’t go into the data privacy implications of this, I have long since given up). Laure sends me possibly the most bafflingly worded tasting invitation, I was free, 45 minutes of metro later I’m wandering round Montreuil.
Back to the present, Laure, the only person who I faintly know, isn’t here yet. However as I mentioned earlier I have a glass of wine, oh and everyone is being really friendly. This is a Vindicateur tasting evening. Quick disclaimer, some of the following explanation may be wrong, if so it’s because I had only the faintest idea of what was being said to me. Vindicateur organize tastings at private houses for groups of friends, everyone scores the wines between 10 and 20, rather like big Bobby Ps scale 50% seems to be the minimum possible score (nope I’ve never understood that either), and the scores are then tallied and posted alongside professional tasting notes on the Vindicateur web site.
Oh and everyone seems to know my friend Isabelle Legeron, though I did spend quite a bit of time explaining exactly what an MW was, and more pertinently why it was a very impressive thing to be.
First up was Rose d’un jour. A vin du France from Anjou, see the pun in the name, it’s not quite Rose d’Anjou… I may have to write a separate piece on the worst puns in the natural wine world. Cabernet Franc, Pinot d’Aunis, no Sulphur and a hefty whack of sugar (something like 60gl-1) actually too much sugar, which with the slight loss of Freshness rather hamstrung the wine.
Then we were into the main part of the game, a tour of the Rhone, a Grenache led gallivant round the Drone. This was a tasting of the negotiant wines made by Jean-Paul Daumen of the Chateau-neuf-du-Pape domaine de la Vielle Julienne. And a pretty neat reflection of the terroirs they were, from a juicy red fruit inflected Cotes de Rhone, a slightly hot licorice and raisiny Lirac, a nicely meaty Gigondas via an intriguing Principaute d’Orange to their main 09 CNDP (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Please?).
So we all scored the wines, I marveled at how niggardly the girls were with theirs, I would have hated to put a wine of mine in front of them. We ate ham and cheese, drank more wine, you can see where this is going.
But back to the point I was trying to make, Vindicateur, a really nice idea, like having a friend who occasionally turns up with a case of wine for you to drink. Hopefully they’re making money and it’ll continue. I’ve suggested mine for the next one…..