If you were to ask what was my Wine of the Show, you would be asking the same question everyone at the show asked me.
They got various answers. It took me all three sessions to get round every stand and wine … so depending where I was at, the answer varied. On Sunday, recovering at home, I reflected on this question in between working as garden slave in the herbaceous.
There are various approaches I could take like 'Most Magnificent' or 'Best Deal'. And I could just give my usual response: "my own wine, of course; Chateau La Clarière". But the interpretation I have used is: if, at the Show, I could only have one wine …
It would be …
The Domaine Pardon Vielles Vignes 2010, Fleurie AOC.
Now it may surprise many that I should pick a Beaujolais for that region is still suffering from being 'un-cool' due to having conned too many for too long with that old teeth-stripper, Beaujolais Nouveau.
It surprises me too, because in my early days I refused to stock the stuff at all. Every newcomer to my first Arch would come in with a cheery "got a nice Beaujolais, then" and be told "NO! I've got something much better". Amazing I survived in business at all, really.
But then, things change. The region fell flat on its face and is still living through hard times. Go see. Needs a lick of paint does Beauj. Only Japan does the Nouveau thing now. But true craftsmen like the Pardon Brothers kept at it with their steep little vineyards. They just got better. And they've been very lucky with weather.
It is of course, also a mood thing. Like the Prof used to tell us: "it’s not the wine that changes, it’s you!" Right now, I'm a bit exhausted by the bright colours and flavours of harvest time. I want a quiet time until the Christmas Thrash gets here. I really just feel like a bit of plain food and a lovely, classy, gentle Fleurie. Lovely.
In few weeks my mood will change and things will be different but for now it’s Wine 13 on the Show Programme; Pardon's Fleurie. Failing that I'll take the Morgon 'Côte de Py' or the Côte de Brouilly.
The customers yesterday voted for both the Prince Courthezon Châteauneuf du Pape and Côtes du Rhône, the Field of Stones Marlborough Sauvignon, Bill Calabria's 'Boxer' (worth the journey for him) and - bit of a wild card and you have to wonder … Abingdon Bridge Ale from Will!