12 April 2011
My friend Olivier Aubert's 11ème bistro-à-vin Les Trois Seaux is now offering wines at prix caviste on Thursdays. This is a particularly fine bargain at Les Trois Seaux, where ordinarily the restaurant mark-up of twice retail constitutes the only teensy sticking point* in an otherwise totally charming meal.
In fact, having posted about the restaurant when it was under construction, and then later when it was freshly opened, I can attest that the place seems to be really hitting its stride these days.
The other night I popped by with my friends C, P, E, J, and IF, thinking only to nibble on charcuterie and basically exploit the new Thursday thing to the fullest. But, since I have no willpower and all my friends are enablers, we wound up having a remarkably superb three-course meal, one accompanied by a wine list that, on Thursdays at least, presents a fine opportunity to explore the wines of Bordeaux without breaking the bank, or being a banker.
10 February 2011
My friend and traveling companion J had told me serious horror stories about the darkness and freezing temperatures at last year's Dive Bouteille, the sprawling natural-focused public wine tasting that, for the second year in a row, was held in the catacombs below the Château de Brézé in Saumur. The wines were overchilled, you couldn't see, winemakers turned into ice sculptures and then you walked into them in the dark, etc.
Most of his descriptions were still pertinent this year, despite the organizers' best efforts. (They had even gone so far as to include images of toasters and heat lamps on the posters for this year's event.) La Dive this year remained drafty, antarctic, pitch-dark in places - echoes even made it difficult to hear - which numbing conditions all amount to a miserable environment in which to taste wines professionally, and a great deal of unserious fun.
This was the one tasting on our Loire itinerary where I said to hell with note-taking. Nevertheless I managed to retain very positive impressions of a few wines I tasted that day, beginning with the powerhouse Côtes du Marmandais wines of Elian de Ros.