By Vinously Francais AKA Stephane
I recently spent some time in the US where I, of course, had the opportunity to taste many different wines, thanks to my girlfriend, Cecilia aka Vinously Speaking, who co-owns Vinously Speaking, a San Antonio wine shop aka an Ali Baba cave for wine lovers.
As a souvenir from this Vinously Speaking ‘cavern’, I brought back a phenomenal bottle to share with my family here in France.
My parents have been Bordeaux aficionados for a long time until Cecilia and I lived in Dijon, Burgundy and brought many bottles of wine from there to share with them. Needless to say they are now in love with Burgundy wines too.
That given, they almost never venture out of France when it comes to wine, so bringing them a souvenir bottle back from the US, the 2007 Distraction from Paso Robles, California to be exact, was going to be quite the adventure for them.
The label is quite different from the traditional French labeling:
This made my parents a little suspicious at first. In fact, I am pretty sure my mother said: “That sort of design should be on a soda bottle”… lol.
I opened the bottle, let the wine air out and the truth was told: the wine was well balanced, with just the right amount of tannins, a beautiful nose, hints of chocolate, tobacco, definitely a wine to compete with some of the best Bordeaux in the same price bracket. My parents were so surprised with this wine and I have to say, fell madly in love with it! Seems like the Judgement of Paris just happened at my parent’s house!
Case in point, French wine lovers might be a little shy at first to try non-French wines, so the best way to convince them to try something “wild” like a Bordeaux blend from California, is to tell them how close it is to a French wine they would appreciate. Before you start thinking this all just boils down to the stereotypical French snootiness, you have to remember, not even a couple decades ago, French people (and most of Europe) essentially only ate and drank the local food and wine. It has been a long process, but we are finally reaching the time where we are still embracing our local food and wine but are also exploring and enjoying the vinous and culinary fare of other French regions and other international cuisines. However, I still think we could use more international cuisines and certainly more international wine options here in France. In the meantime, I will just have to keep flying my US souvenir wines to share with my parents.
Next step: getting my parents to go from appreciating Pinot Noir from Burgundy, to enjoying Pinot Noir from Oregon. I might even fool them by pretending the bottle comes from Burgundy… I’ll let y’all know how that goes!