RKS Wine: The Penniless Pensioner’s Engagement Party: Secondi (Vegetarian)

PP is a meat-eating guy who equates vegetarians as communists, socialists and hippies but he keeps his opinions to himself except for me as I am becoming a confidant of the man for better or worse. The vegetarian secondi will be mushroom ragout served over polenta. The sides will be a Greek Briam and East Gwillimbury carrots tossed in toasted pine nuts and honey.

Having eaten this dish before it is extremely rich and a full-bodied red would be needed. Of course, a Barolo or a Greek Xinomavro sufficiently aged (20 years) would be my choice but as PP is paying for the bar bill the mantra as you know is cheap, cheap and cheap so forget my thoughts on the ideal wine. PP likes the fact this wine is from Bordeaux and is from 2015. It also has Château in its name so yes he is going for the BIG Bluff! It will look so good on the printed menu for the guests!

So we try the 2015 Château Gaillot Fournier which has been rated a 91 by James Suckling PP’s favourite wine critic. I feel like saying that if he’s your favourite let him pick your damn wines.

Putting my pride and emotions aside we delve into this $15.95 wine.

There is some mould on the top of the cork which need not be fatal. The nose is earthy with raspberry, ripe local strawberries just picked, blackberry and boysenberry. As for the palate the wine is assertive but not too bold. There are black cherry, raspberry and loganberry notes. The tannins are light which cause a bit of concern with a rich dish but there is a slight peppery finish that can take the tannic slack and stand up to and compliment the dish. The 14% alcohol also will help in complimenting the dish. A quirky but delightful Bordeaux.

This is a low-level Bordeaux and I ask PP if he is willing to shell out $24.95 for A Château D’Aiguilhe a Bordeaux darling according to Wine Spectator. PP knows the winery but is convinced the “artsy fartsy” crowd of Celine Serpent’s friends, all terrible lushes, will be so pickled by the time the secondi arrives they could be drinking up wine from Carlo Rossi and they wouldn’t know the difference!

I ask PP who will be attending the engagement party as who will be his guests but as PP has been disbarred by the Law Society of Ontario he says he is poison. He does have a couple of friends who have stuck through all the shit PP has been through and will attend provided there is no media present and no one will take their photographs. PP muses, “How about that for true friendship”. In his rather low rent apartment complex which Celine Serpent describes as “sheik Bohemian” PP developed a friendship with a recent Kabul refugee who was a sommelier at “Chez Bin Laden” but his English is poor and only bathes once a week. PP says this is no guest to bring to a high society engagement party. “I mean I like the man and he knew the wines of Pakistan and Afghanistan like the back of his hand but I have to think of my reputation!”

Interestingly enough it seems from the label that Jean Luc Thunevin was involved in the production of this wine. Thunevin was known as a “garagiste” in Bordeaux in the early 90’s that term referring to a small group of winemakers flaunting the Bordeaux traditions and making very good wines in their “garages”. PP snorts at these rebels but is smirking with a little bit of low-cost gold we have hit.

(Château Gaillot Fournier 2015, AP Bordeaux, Château Gaillot Fournier, Gironde, France, $ 15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario #18640, 750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 91/100)

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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