Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bordeaux After Work at Marben is Just Around the Corner...

Bordeaux After Work Party #2
Presented by the Bordeaux Wine Council in partnership with the iYellow Wine Club

July 19th

488 Wellington Street West

Fantastic Bordeaux Wines, great food, killer music, and always a lively hip crowd! With free entry and a free drink ticket for the first 75 guests ($9 a glass after that) why wouldn't you check out this spectacular event?

Tickets are free! Just become a member of the iYellow Wine Club for free, then RSVP to the event on Facebook.

Alright folks, the second of four Bordeaux After Work Parties is coming up this Tuesday July 19th at Marben, so this means it's time to brush up on some of your Bordeaux wine knowledge! If you remember from my entry on the first Bordeaux After Work Party, I walked into my first experience with Bordeaux wine having done some research on the basics of Bordeaux wine (I call this my homework), a step that I am now learning is crucial when attending a wine tasting. With that basic knowledge I was able to walk into the first Bordeaux After Work party confident and extraordinarily excited to actually get to taste some wines from this world renowned wine region. I had originally planned on taking notes all throughout the party, expanding on what I already knew, but with the music pumping, wine sipping, hands shaking, and lots of new friend to meet, my note taking got side tracked. I realized that taking notes isn't what a wine tasting should be about. The actual event should be about tasting the wine, enjoying each and every sip, and using the wine as an opportunity to socialize and meet new people, which inevitably leads to discussing the wine. And truly, from experience I can tell you that as long as you have done your "homework", the only "work" that needs to be done at a wine tasting is simply:
  1. Reading the labels. Know what wines you are drinking.
  2. Jotting down no more than a few words on the wines you have tasted to trigger your memory after the event. Include what you liked/disliked, the price, and perhaps some flavours that you picked up.
  3. Putting yourself out there and introducing yourself to strangers. No this isn't exactly work, but it is a valuable step that many feel uncomfortable taking, but is crucial if you want to make the most of the event.
  4. Discussing the wine with others in as much detail as you like or see fit. What do other people think of the wine you are tasting? What do they like/dislike about it?
Because you have done your homework, the event will allow you to subtly apply what you have learned, and act as a test for yourself to see what areas you are still unfamiliar with. I've been out of school for just over a year now, but I haven't forgotten just how awful homework can really be. So I decided to take on the role of tutor for you guys, giving you a little cheat sheet on what you should know about Bordeaux before attending Bordeaux After Work at're welcome!

First learn some basic points on Bordeaux here in the "What I Learned" section of the post. Below I will be expanding on some of those basic points.

"Terroir refers to the vineyard-specific environmental differences (such as soil types, drainage, local micro-climates, and sun exposure). Terroir is the biggest difference as to why the same varietals all taste differently from around the world and even from back to back vineyards." (
So how do I know do I know if a vineyard has a particularly good terroir?
The French term Cru, which is often mentioned on Bordeaux wine labels (Cru bourgeois, Cru classé), is an indication of the quality of the particular estates terroirs and grape varietals, and of the producers talent and know how.

Bordeaux is very fortunate be in a prime location which has a climate and various different soil types within both the left bank and right bank, which encourage vine growth and has resulted in making Bordeaux the worlds major wine industry capital.

Bordeaux wine is known for blending various different types of grapes and amounts of each grape to create their unique and distinct wines. Because of the complexity of the process of blending the varietals, the blended wine is of a distinctly better quality than the individual qualities of the original single variety wines.
What varietals are commonly found in Bordeaux wine?
Merlot - the most widely grown variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc
Sémillon - one of the most popular and well established out of the white varietals
Sauvignon Blanc

(and their percentage of surface areain Bordeaux vineyards as of 2008)
Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur 47.2%
Médoc and Graves 17.2%
BoldSaint Emilion / Pomeral / Fronsac 10.5%
Red Côtes 14.1%
Dry White 7.9%
Sweet White 3.1%

What years were particularly spectacular for Bordeaux wine?
2009 - magnificent vintage
2008 - high quality vintage
2007 - good quality vintage
2006 - high quality vintage
2005 - exceptional vintage
2004 - high to very high quality vintage

What should you be pairing with your Bordeaux wine?
Bordeaux Dry Whites
Chicken, fish, seafood, and salad.
Red Bordeaux
Red meat (beef, lamb), grilled veal, game, poultry such as grilled turk pastas, and cheeses such as Camembert, Brie, and Roquefort.
Sweet Wines
Dessert, foie gras, and blue cheese.

Listening To: Wash - Bon Iver

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