Last Tuesday was the second Bordeaux After Work party presented by the Bordeaux Wine Council in partnership with the iYellow Wine Club, and let me tell you, after having such an incredible time at the first party celebrating Bordeaux wines, my expectations were sky high. With such high expectations it would have been really easy for Bordeaux After Work at Marben to pail in comparison, but to my delight the second party was just as lovely as the first!
(Some friends (new and old) and myself, Danielle Rose)
Unlike at the first party where I attended alone, I brought some back up with me this time, two friends who, like me, did not know much about Bordeaux wine prior to the event. I always get a little nervous bringing new friends to the events that I get invited to, scared that I may be dragging them out to a dud event. So after keeping my friends waiting for me for 15 minutes in the blistering Toronto heat, I started to feel that pressure. After no more than a minute from arriving at Marben, I knew that this event was far from a dud! No more than 20 minutes after the event had begun, the patio was already packed with a smiling, well dressed crowd, happily sipping on the different wines that were being showcased that evening. We promptly grabbed some glasses and filled them up with a light and refreshing Bordeaux white. We then began doing the rounds, saying hello to the wonderful new friends I had met at the previous Bordeaux After Work Party at Origin, and checked out the venue, looking for a prime place to plant ourselves so that we would be able to try all three of the appetizers that Marben was pairing with the wines. We found the best spot the whole patio had to offer, right smack in the middle between a wine station and a food station! Bingo! Although my friends and I all loved the Crab Cakes (almost like little soft shell crab nuggets!) and Pulled Beef on Crostini that were being paired with the wines, I think we can all admit that Rodney's Oysters were definitely the highlight for us in terms of food. But the real highlight of the whole night was undoubtedly the fantastic Bordeaux wine.
With four wines being poured it was easy to take the time with each wine and follow iYellows 5 steps to wine tasting:
These five steps help to breakdown exactly what you should be looking for when tasting each wine. This time around I was lucky enough to get my hands on the list of Bordeaux wines served that evening, and better yet, the list was accompanied by tasting notes, essential for a newbie wine drinker! The 4 wines being served were as follows:
Mouton Cadet 2008 AOC Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Château Fayau Blanc 2009 AOC Bordeaux Sauvignon and Semillon
Calvet Reserve 2008 AOC Bordeaux Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau de Courteillac 2009 AOC Bordeaux Merlot/Cabernet
I enjoyed every single wine, but of course, we all have our favourites. The two standout wines for both myself, my friends, and many of the guests that we spoke to (you can't go to a wine tasting without making new friends) were:
Château Fayau Blanc
This wine was awarded a Gold Medal at the esteemed 2010 Concours Général Agricole in Paris. A refreshing, floral nose welcomes you to lovely notes of melon, grapefruit, gooseberry and citrus with a bit of grassiness. Lots of ripe fruit in this nicely balanced, crisp white. Perfect for poached salmon in a lemongrass/citrus sauce, or pesto pasta with asparagus and artichokes.
Chateau de Courteillac
Mostly made of merlot with a bit of cabernet, this medium-bodied, easy-going red is fresh and fruity, with hints of raspberries and tart cherries. Also rustic, robust red with a touch of vanilla and spice. Dry, light body, well balanced with a smokey-oak finish.
(Me, Danielle Rose and Project Manager at Premier Productions, Rita Choi)
All in all, I'd say the second Bordeaux After Work party was a wild success. I had a wonderful time, the wine and food were both fantastic, and I truly feel like I am building on my knowledge of not only Bordeaux/French wine, but wine in general. I can't tell you how wonderful that is to say after feeling so shy about my lack of knowledge in the past. I can't stress it enough how helpful these Bordeaux After Work parties really are for those who may be new to wine tasting or just don't know much about French wine. I don't want this Summer to end, but at least I have two awesome parties to look forward to this Fall for parts 3 and 4 of Bordeaux After Work! I hope to see you there!
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