The Days of Wine and Roses
Enjoy my recently published article in the glossy print magazine Upscale Living Magazine
A fine wine is like the perfect rose: simple but with depth and grace.
The “Days of Wine and Roses” is more than a movie title. It refers to the centuries-old custom of a rose planted at the start of a trellised grapevine row. The rose not only added beauty to the vineyard, but it also attracted honeybees for pollination, leading to a bountiful harvest. Thus, the rose helped the gardener grow the perfect grape.
Finding your ideal wine is much easier than growing the perfect bunch of grapes. Sometimes the best wines can be right in your own backyard. Other times, it may take you on a longer journey. Let us journey around the world to find the perfect red, white and rose luxury wines for your enjoyment.
Red wine – can have multiple aspects, depending on the age. When young, it can be fruity and subtle. After aging in oak barrels, it can be much more intense and defined. Reds are known to accompany red meat and cheese, but other pairings can also spark the taste buds’ imagination. Wine pairing is an art, and one that Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75 Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta is known for. One of his remarkable pairings places the Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-pape alongside Peking-style roasted squab with a pomegranate glaze, grilled asparagus and sweet potato puree. This full-bodied wine is deep red with notes of dark berries. The berry undertone of the wine accents the pomegranate glaze and also brings out the sweetness of the sweet potato puree. It reigns from the Rhone Valley region of France. This winery has been awarded the Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-pape.
White wine – comes from white grape varieties, and is the most refined wine of all types. While more fruity white wine is usually paired with seafood, once aged, it makes a more suitable companion for white meat and cheese. When traveling to various regions around the world, always try the local wines first. Local wines harbor personality of the region and help you discover the place you have journeyed to in a new way. And in that, you can also pair wine with a location. The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, recently released its own house wines to be served not only in its Atlantic Grill restaurant but also throughout the entire resort. These wines pair exquisitely with the resort, whether you are at the pool deck overlooking the bay or in the Atlantic restaurant gazing out over the harbor and mountain. The resort will also help you arrange tours of the winelands to get a closer look into the wine’s origins.
Rosé wine – Although rosé wine is just making a much-needed comeback in the United States, it has always been the most popular in the Provence region of France. Rosé wine requires the most delicate production. This lighter taste can be enjoyed for simple drinking pleasure or during a meal. If you’re unsure which wine to choose for a meal, the rosé is your safest bet. If you are traveling to France, the concierge at the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa & Golf Resort will pair you with tours of the best wineries in the region. An amazing rosé like Chateau Font du Broc Cotes de Provence Rose is best tasted at its source, the Chateau Font Du Broc winery, which offers daily guided tours and tastings. This winery was also awarded the “Appellation d’Origine Controlée” classification, a designation reserved for only a few wineries in the world. The “Côtes de Provence” wines are said to be the most sophisticated of all wines, yet subtle and delicate enough to be served with truffles or lobster. While in France, make a point to meet a few other wines in their Provence homeland, too. This region is an expert, with 2,600 years of history with wines. In fact, the wines of Provence were known to be the most requested wines of the French kings of the Middle Ages.
Wines worth the journey – One of the most renowned places in the world to sip the nectar of the gods is Paris. For a wine-inspired adventure, stay at the Le Bristol Paris in the heart of Paris. Attend one of Le Bristol’s wine-appreciation evenings on the first Monday of each month at the Michelin-Starred restaurant, 114 Faubourg. The wine here is chosen and presented each month by the head sommelier, Marco Pelletier. The wine-grower is also invited for a degustation. Each month’s chosen wine is matched with a four-course tasting menu specially created by Chef Eric Desbordes. The wine is then featured throughout the rest of the month on the lunch and dinner menus. Most recently, the chosen winery was Domaine Vacheron, which produces some of the finest white and red Sancerre in the world. Since 2004, the entire vineyard has been labelled organic. Wines here range from 20-year-old sauvignon blancs to 30-year-old pinot noirs.
Where will your wine desires take you? Will it be to the romantic heart of Paris, the French countryside, Cape Town or a lovely restaurant in your own backyard?