“The first time I laid eyes on her, Chablis was standing on the curb, watching me intently as I parked my car…She was beautiful, seductively beautiful in a streetwise way. Her big eyes sparkled. Her skin glowed..She had both hands on her hips and a sassy half-smile on her face as if she had been waiting for me.”
That’s how John Berendt recalled his memorable initial encounter with The Lady Chablis in his bestselling “non-fiction novel,” Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. “She was a minx, a temptress,” Berendt wrote of his fascinating new friend—and he quickly discovered that there was more to her than meets the eye.
The same could be said of Chablis, the wine.
Usually aged un-oaked, Chablis maintains a touch of Chardonnay’s typical fruitiness. But this is notably tempered by a slight saltiness and a soupçon of “sassy” acidity—much like the late, great Lady Chablis herself, the famous drag queen from Savannah, Georgia.
Chablis is a genie in a bottle, and now’s the time to liberate these four corking vintages. So what are you waiting for? Read on for the scoop.
It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means. Parties. Excess. Indulgence. Unsuitable dalliances at the office Christmas bash…and morning-after remorse when you review the photos you posted to Instagram in a state of, shall we say, insalubrious celebratory inebriation.
The very least you can do for yourself is make the almost inevitable hangover worthwhile by cracking into a good bottle. Here are a few suggestions for enticing tinctures that won’t break the bank.
Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé 2014
With its fruity notes, fine bubbles, and vibrant pink hue, this bubbling rosé is perfect as an aperitif, a cheerful cork-popping kick-off to a festive knees-up. After a flute or two, you’ll be seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses, literally.
It’s also a terrific multi-tasker. You can skip the rouge, because this blushing libation will bring the colour to your cheeks. What’s more, the aroma is so intense, it could almost double as a dab of perfume on your décolletage…although you do run the risk of reeling in a naughty neck-nibbler.
The tasting notes say it will complement “delicate tarts,” so if that sounds like you, then definitely give this a go.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Alcohol content: 11.5%
I’m not a wine expert. There, I’ve said it. My ignorance is not for lack of “research,” mind you, but what little I do know mainly revolves around the world of red and can pretty much be summed up in three sentences:
- Nothing good can come from a £4 bottle of Cotes du Rhone.
- Do not, under any circumstances, drink red wine on your friend’s new white couch. That second bit I learned the hard way—as did my friend.
- I’ve never met a Chateauneuf-du-Pape I wouldn’t drink to the last drop. Then again, I’ll drink most anything to the last drop, as evidenced below.
Years ago, however, white wine was my tipple of choice. Of course, back then, it generally came from a box. That all changed when a friend of mine vowed to turn me into a red wine woman by uncorking three beefy bottles in one night. (No, that’s not a euphemism). But anyway, it worked.
My host is sommelier and restaurant critic Douglas Blyde. Clad in a velvet blazer and burgundy tie, he paces the room like the love child of a fevered poet and an evangelical preacher, passionately, extemporaneously extolling the virtues of tonight’s favoured French region.
First, though, the bad news. “Chablis has had an annus horribilis,” Blyde admits. The region has suffered hail, floods, frost—nearly every tragedy you can image, aside from a Biblical plague of locusts. Up to 50 percent of this year’s crop has already been devastated.
“But that doesn’t mean that what does come out will be troubled in taste,” Blyde maintains. “If anything, it will be the golden child, the survivor.” (more…)