Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The last post of the year

The year ends and it's time to look back and reflect. Sentences like; "did that really happen this year" and "Where does time fly", seems to become returning phenomenons. I did it myself this morning - clicked on the January, February, and yes time is indeed flying an my memory seems to worsen every year.

It's also the season for statistics; how odd or common the past year has been and when it comes to wine, it's usually top XX on the most memorable (even the most disappointing) wines, which we seek to look back upon.

I am not that good at making these lists, even if I could probably pick a few wines (mostly Champagnes) here and there. Sure, I can tell you if I liked wine A better than wine B (in most cases), but that's not the same as saying wine A is a winner and wine B is a looser. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends, sharing a couple of wines. One of the wines, was the 2003 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvée Reservée. I know "Pegau" pretty well, as it was the first wine I ever bought (the 1985 Vintage) and I have tasted it (I think...remember my bad memory) in all vintages. The 2003 is 99 pts by Robert Parker and for my palate, that's miles away from where I would judge it (even if I don't use points). But again at that night, while making conversation, laughing, having fun and sharing a rustic lamb dish, it did well. Had we had a complex and fragile wine - even some of the Champagnes I usually drink, I am not sure the outcome would have been successful.

As time passes, also in 2009, I pay a lot of attention to the variables which can affect me when I taste wine, but I also. try to praise the diversity of wine and see if there is valid information for me to seek as a taster, when to pair wine with food, occasion or simply just the state of mind I am in. Even if it sounds like the oldest cliché in the world, I must admit I like the concept of each wine to it's time...but yes...I can drink Champagne every day

Looking back on 2009 I have once again participated in some "serious" tastings (believe me, they are not that serious ;-) ), where we usually meet up in some of the best restaurants we have here in Denmark. This gives food and wine mint conditions to perform and on most cases the line-up will even be coordinated beforehand with the very open minded restaurants we have here. But to me these tastings are also a social forum - even small time oases, where I meet with my best friends and share our passion, and simply just have an unforgettable day, which not only is about the liquid in the glasses. It's also an evening where I use a lot of time with the camera and where your senses are bombarded from start to finish. At such event's I have found it useful just to make a few paper notations, if I in any way should be able to offer you some sort of valid tasting notes.

But, there is no doubt in my mind, that the "best" tasting notes I can write, are those I write when I am home. Even if I can't bring food and wine to the same level as a top class Michelin star restaurant, I can still have more than one glass - and in some cases even a full bottle. During 2009, almost (I haven't calculated it) 90% of all the young Champagnes I drink had enormous bottle evolvement, to a degree where one glass would simply not have been sufficient to make some sort of judgment.

Benoît Tarlant

But not only have I been sitting in fancy restaurants in 2009, I have also returned to a event, which I was sure was out for good, namely "The wine shop tasting" - more specifically @ my favorite Champagne pusher, where I have tasted many of the new and interesting Champagne offerings and even had the pleasure of meeting Benoît Tarlant in August. I have missed these tastings, as they are in fact very good training and insightful, but also very informal and relaxed.

2009 was also a year, which make me realize how much I difficulties I have with high extracted and alcoholic wines. They kill my food and they kill the drinking pleasure. Setting up such generalizing barriers can easily result in crusade of dogmatic rules, which I don't want - but it's simply just the way my taste buds seems to react over and over again. Looking back - not only on 2009, but further - it's without a doubt my increasing consumption of Champagne which has started this avalanche and it seems unstoppable.

But let me pick my highlight for 2009. Without a doubt, my visit to Champagne. Meeting the people behind the wines, seeing their humble production facilities and feeling their passion is what it's all about to me.

My favourite funny wine moment of 2009 also comes from my Champagne visit. Sitting in David Léclpart's living room and tasting his magic 2000 Apôtre. My friend, Dan remarks. "Oh this is so good - so buttery and soft". Turning towards David - waiting for him to say some deep insightful winemaker's thoughts about the wine.

David Léclapart: "Well, I didn't put butter in it"


David Léclapart

2010 - ...let's see what it brings. I hope very much to add a label called “People” on the site. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while, and basically it’s portraits of all kinds of people, I bump into when it comes to wine. It can be a wine producer, wine merchant or even just a friend of mine, which share the same passion for wine. It’s another step in the direction of personalizing this blog. Of course this label is also a possibility for me to exploit my hobby on Photography. I am setting pretty high standards for this label, but I am still a novice when it comes photography. Like one of my readers said (which is a brilliant professional photographer) – “Don’t quit your day job” ;-). But I will go ahead with the project anyway in order to become better.

2010 will hopefully also bring some nice wine experiences. Already hearing whispers about a Krug tasting (yeah baby!!!) - maybe the postponed Selosse vertical will come back on schedule and just maybe I will do a Champagne tasting myself or travel to Champagne again or even to Stockholm and meet new Champagne friends....who knows....I am already thirsty.

I wish you all a happy new year - see you in 2010.





E said...

Låter som en utmärkt plan som kommer ge mycket läsnöje! Har du provat senaste degogeringen av Initiale? Den finns på systembolaget nu och den vore kul att paralellprova med en äldre degorgering jag har i källaren.
Gott nytt!

Thomas said...

Hej Erik,

Nej, jag tror inte jag har provat den. Vet inte riktigt vad degorgering systemet har till salu. Den senaste degorgering jag har smakat är från 18/10-2008. Jag har fortfarande några initialer i min källare - mestadels från deg. 18/1-2008. Men jag har nyligen varit extra glad Version Originale och även om den är något dyrare, tycker jag de sista pengarna är väl använda.
Men skulle gärna höra om dina erfarenheter av dem olika degorgeringer - eftersom det finns en verklig skillnad


E said...

Ingen efrenhet än så länge, har även jag 18/10 -08 i källaren och funderade på ifall jag borde köpa mer av den nya. VO tog slut snabbare än man hann säga "biodynamisk" på Systembolaget..
Ha det gott!

Anonymous said...

why didn't you tell me you write perfect Swedish?!
Du har verkligen många strängar på din lyra... tycker absolut att du ska börja en "people" topic på din blogg. Ska bli väldigt roligt att följa. Kanske vi borde åka till Champagne och fotografera våra "idoler" och deras viner... fotograferat på ett väldigt äkta och analogt sätt. Se på Avedon American West portraits.
Kan bli en liten bok om dessa "nya" odlare och deras hänsyn till naturen och hyllning till vinet. Jag ser redan titeln framför mig: Bio-Dynamic Portraits.

Kom till Stockholm eller så kommer jag till CPH så vi får prata om projektet om du är intresserad.

Gott Nytt År


Thomas said...

Tack Andreas,

Hehe .... jag hade inte klarat det utan den Dansk / Svenska Google Translator.

Men jag, liksom många andra nära Köpenhamn växte jag upp med SVT; Emil, Pippi, Trazon Apansson och Carl Ingemann Perstad och Christer Glenning från trafikmagasinet. Jag arbetade på SEB i 1997 +1998 och arbetar dagligen med svenskar. Jag förstår 90% av det svenska språket. Jag talar inte särskilt bra Svenska.

Om jag är intresserad av et sådant projekt – ja MYCKET - det skulle vara en dröm.

Jag kommer till Stockholm snart

Gott Nytt År


Anonymous said...

P.S. Don´t forget the "Berlin Riesling Cup" on 2. october.


Thomas said...

I won't Martin.

Happy New Year my friend.

Nanna Wang Carlsen said...

Hej Thomas,
Har lige stiftet bekendtskab med din blog via VinoMemo. Nice job!

Og forresten - jeg synes du skal 'quitte dit dayjob' og blive fotograf. Du tager rigtig fine billeder, og i en vis forstand tror jeg, du kan skabe mere værdi som fotograf end som børshaj (hvis det er du, du er :-)) Men måske får du sværere ved at financiere dit champagneforbrug, hehe...

Min mand og jeg bor for tiden i Californien, hvilket har tricket min nyfundne passion for vin. Jeg er langt fra så erfaren som dig (hverken ud i vinsmagningens eller bloggingens kunst), men jeg tillader mig alligevel at sende dig et link til min blog om en danskers vej ind i den californiske vinverden: - håber du synes om den.

Kepp up the good work,

Thomas said...

Hej Nanna,

Tusinde tak - det er sådanne svar man bliver rigtig glad for at læse.

Jeps jeg er børshaj - håber dog jeg har lidt mere at byde på end det, da den verden er temmelig firkantet og kynisk. Men, ja… regningerne og Champagnen kommer desværre ikke gratis ;-).

Fotograf - anytime…man har vel lov til at drømme…og tak for ordene - men jeg har altså virkeligt langt igen.

Jeg er stødt på din blog før - herlig side, vil lige tjekke den lidt mere ud. Californien lyder ikke så tosset…i hvert ikke når man lige er kommet ud af endnu en horrible Dansk vinter.

Bedste hilsner,