Monday, July 15, 2013

Vino, Parte Dos

According to my stats page here at Blogger, in the last 24 hours, I've had three page views from Spain.  Huzzah!  Bienvenidos to mis amigos españoles!

It could very well be that I have only one Spanish friend...and s/he has viewed my page three times.  Today, however, I choose to be the "half-full glass" person today and say that it is three friends.

Rather than haggle over international friends, imaginary or otherwise, let's talk a little more about wine.  Most of the wine I drank in Spain was, er...Spanish.  However, on one special night, for one special time only...I got to sit at the big kids' table (okay, with my other classmates, too) and try a couple of wines (one French and one Hungarian) that I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to try ever again.

Are you ready for this?

The Chateau d'Yquem is a...oh, explain it would require a short course in French wine appellations.  To properly explain, I'll defer to this rough-looking "flowchart".

Chateau d'Yquem (estate/house/castle/whathaveyou)
Sauternes appellation (think area less than 75 miles big)
Graves (think area bigger than above)
Bordeaux (think area bigger than that)

Now that I've mangled that for you, dear readers...just understand this - Chateau d'Yquem is really only famous for one thing, a sweet white wine that I've snapped in the above photo.  In fact, my Fine Dining textbook About Wine, refers to this tiny estate (250 out of 312 acres in production at one time) as "legendary".  Legendary, people, legendary.  I have drank a legendary wine.  It's been designated a Premier Grand Cru...which is French for Really Good Sh...tuff.  Okay, it really stands for First Great Growth, and that designation isn't just given out to anybody, you know.  A quick search online turns up average prices like $239.99 per bottle.  We're talking about a golden, thickly honeyed nectar that naturally occurs due to Botrytis, or noble rot, which grapes in that region are susceptible too.  And it was quite noble of our program director to share this Sauternes with all of us, instead of keeping it to himself (as I might have done).

So, what I know about Hungarian wines would fit on the head of a pin.  Tokaji is a region in that country, mostly famous for sweet dessert wines...again like Sauternes, made from grapes affected by noble rot.  This wine was a deep gold-amber and again, was honey on the palate...however, I also caught some apple-y flavors too.

Understand that I document this not necessarily to brag, but for posterity.  These planets are probably never going to arrange themselves in such a manner as this ever again...and I must record the fact that I did taste these wines.  If only to be able to tell the grandkids someday.

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