Venturing out

‘I wandered out in the world for years, and you just stayed in your room. I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon.’ The Waterboys

When it comes to creative inspiration, people fall into two camps,  they can be like Prince, about whom this song was written  – tucked away on his own – and the chap from the Waterboys – venturing out soaking up experiences. I know which one I am and so far for the blog I have pretty much stayed locked up with my books, bottles and a laptop. I was becoming a bit peculiar and my seclusion had not produced anything nearly as good as Sign o’ the Times. It was time to sally forth, meet people and maybe I’d create the Fishermoon’s Blues of wine writing.

My wife and I decided to go to France. Initially we stayed at my auntie’s in Pomerols. Note the S, we were in the Languedoc not Bordeaux. Later we stayed in more luxurious surrounding at Le Grand Hermitage. The next few posts will be from vineyards that we visited on our trip. I’d like to thank Barbara and Richard at La Pause Parfaite who introduced us to some incredible producers and showed us such warm hospitality.

For the first post I’m going to resurrect my much-neglected Wine of the Week slot.

Wine of the Week:

Merlot 2008, Domaine de Montazellis, Vin De Pays Des Côtes De Thongue – £7.69 from C2C wines. Less from the cellar door. Also available at Planet of the Grapes in London and at their bar in the City by the glass.

The first things to say about this wine is what it is not. It is not full of rich, ripe plummy fruit. In fact it does not taste like merlot in the New World varietal sense at all. There is no oak. It’s not heavy. It smells floral and tastes spicy. Wines like this make me think what a pointless activity variety spotting is. More important is where the vines are grown and this wine tastes of the Languedoc. It’s not fancy but it is delicious.

Appropriately enough for my introduction, one half of the partnership who made this wine is a Parisian musician called Dhanya (hippy parents I think) Collette. He lived in London for many years – the local refer to him as le anglais – where he met the other half, his wife Nova. Five years ago they uprooted from city life and bought this domaine. Together they make up the most glamorous couple in wine. It’s been bloody hard work by all accounts but thankfully the wines are good and their gamble seems to be paying off.

About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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2 Responses to Venturing out

  1. Pingback: The Romance of Wine | Henry's World of Booze

  2. Henry says:

    My attention has been drawn to inaccuracies in this post. Apparently Mike Scott from the Waterboys has always denied that the Whole of the Moon wasn’t written about Prince. Also according to top wine writer Rosemary George MW, the Collette’s Merlot does have some oak treatment. It doesn’t, however, taste of oak so my point about it is still a good one.

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