It’s bordeaux, you kneaux

I’m just going to throw this out there. I think a lot of winetasters are full of shit. To put it more delicately, they’re pretentious and throw around descriptive words that don’t actually say anything (other their ability to open a thesaurus). I don’t want to be that. I want to drink good wine and describe it in a way that’s understandable and applicable to the Average Jane.

In my college wine-tasting class, we had a session devoted to pairing wines and foods. I went into it thinking, c’mon, merlot tastes like merlot. Sometimes a grape is just a grape. When the professor made us take a bite of bleu cheese (oh, vomit!) and then swig some sort of red wine, I decided this whole pairing business is really just ridiculous. Then she made us take a bite of dark, bitter chocolate paired with a port. Oh. My. God. Explosions of flavor! Then the strawberries and champagne… oh ecstacy!

Now I get it.

Tonight I opened a bottle of Mouton Cadet bordeaux ($6.99 at Raley’s) and was infatuated with the first swish and swirl. Little bursts of green pepper and plum. Thick, slow legs on the glass and a full body on the tongue. Mmmmm, yes, this is good.

Then I popped a potsticker in my mouth (hubby and kids are gone for the night, so I’m dining on frozen appetizers and loving it!). I forgot about the wine as I savored the potstickers and spicy teriyaki sauce. I may have also been savoring the silence of no kids in the house. Joy! I grabbed my wine glass and absentmindedly took a sip and was stunned. The bright, peppery bordeaux mellowed under the spice of the teriyaki. It didn’t lose its body or full flavor, the pepper just stepped down a bit and made way for the sauce. Simply amazing.

I’m not very familiar with bordeaux, but I do believe it’ll be a new project of mine to understand what goes into a good bordeaux (besides the grapes, of course) and how to identify one. The Mouton Cadet is a fabulous introduction to this varietal and it will definitely be a new favorite in my wine rack.

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