Saturday, September 06, 2008


As debate rages on as to terroir and the word "natural" applied to wines, I have a counterpoint to my Worst Wine Ever. In the interest of this exposé, I will have to reveal at last that that other undrinkable wine was a California Pinot Noir that tasted like grapefruit and was searingly alcoholic and awful.

The next day, I fobbed the remaining part of the bottle off on Neil for independent corroboration: yes, the forensic Neil study came up positive. I believe the expression was something along the lines of "Holy screaming lord shite alcohol eau de vie Jesus Christ"...

Fast forward to sometime last week (my memory grows vague, as of someone looking back on a burning city). I proudly bring an Alsace-shaped bottle of 2004 Rouge-Gorge to the table. What are we eating? Was that when I made ratatouille? No, probably not. Maybe that was the seared chicken livers. Anyway.

I pour it with excited trepidation into the glass. I mean, I love Eric Nicolas's whites. And that's saying something for someone who has issues with Chenin.

What a tasty nose, a little candied. Bright red in the glass.

And on the palate. Oh, god! What on earth did I do to deserve to have this in my mouth? What a foul, foul thing. Bracken. Rotting moss. Broken sticks of licorice wood. Quinine. Stuff you wipe off a scraped knee with. Bad stuff. Stuff you don't want lingering on your tongue.

I fought my way through a glass.

And thus are set the bookends of the worst wines I have had the misfortune of tangling with. Bookended from California to the Coteaux du Loir.

Available at Lavinia, 15 €. I dare you.


Ben said...

Bad wines come from all over, don't they. I'm going to guess that California Pinot was from the 2003 vintage. Lots of experimentation with ripeness in a hot vintage. Made for some awful wines. Plenty of winners out there though.

Sharon said...

Actually, it was a 2005... Was 2003 hot in California as well as over here?

And while we're on the topic, what Ca. pinot would you recommend?