Wine help please

I am the recipient of a gift of two bottles of wine. The sincere thank you note is written, I’m very grateful to be remembered, but I don’t drink much wine. Nothing against it, just uneducated. I need to know whether I want to drink this stuff, cook with it, or pour it down the drain.

Please excuse the descriptions. I’m aware that the ENTIRE label is not important, but I don’t know exactly which parts are. That also makes Googling incomprehensible, especially since my French is limited to merde, vin, and that “vous le vous avec moi say swa” <sic> is not something a young girl should sing in public.

Anyway, about the wine:
#1 “Bouchard Pere & Fils” on the little neck label. The big label says “Le Chamville 2005 Macon-Villages White Burgundy” Babbling (in English) on the back label about 9 generations and climate or dirt or something.

#2 Big label “Chateau Brisson Cotes de Castillon” little bottom label “Eleve et Vieitte en Barriques de Chine 2005” the foil around the cork says Bordeaux. Only the importer notice is in English.

If y’all think I should actually drink this stuff, with what should I drink it?

I have not had either of those wines, but:

Both are French (good, generally speaking)

1 is from the Burgundy and 1 from the Bordeaux regions (again, good, generally)

I would be pretty confident that both are eminently drinkable. Both should be dry.

What to drink them with? It doesn’t really matter too much. If you want to save either for a special meal, go ahead, but enjoy them with whatever food you usually eat (maybe avoid very spicy food with them.)

Wine isn’t as mysterious as it seems. Trust your taste buds and don’t get wrapped up in the fancy terms.

I hope you like them!

Your first wine is a Chardonnay.

Your second is a Merlot based blend.

For a little more info:

Bouchard Pere & Fils - This is the name of the negociant that produced the wine.

Macon-Villages - an appellation in the Maconnais, which is an appellation in Burgundy that produces Chard only (Macon-Villages produces Chard only, there is a tiny amount of red grown in the Maconnais.) Sorry, that was confusing.

Chateau Brisson is a winery name.

Cotes de Castillon is an appellation on the right bank of Bordeaux, where Merlot based blends dominate.

As for what to drink them with this ‘winematcher’ should offer some good ideas.


Open. Pour. Enjoy.

I would definitely drink them. Googling reveals them to be wines in the $15 to $20 range. Many perfectly acceptable wines can be had for less, so my guess would be that they are slightly above average in quality and taste.

Below are a couple of links describing in general terms which wines go well with what types of foods…though there is certainly nothing wrong with drinking them by themselves either. :wink:



The white, slightly chilled, will be perfect with whatever poultry is being served at Christmas - turkey, chicken or any seafood or pasta without meat.

The red - don’t piss around. A bottle of red and a big hunk of simply prepared beef (preferably done on the BBQ) is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Wow, that was fast! Thank you so very much!

I will research a bit (fab links – again, thank you) to figure out how to learn to appreciate them.

“Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir.” You’ll get a better response to the question with the verb in there. :wink:

Nitpick, just because I haven’t studied French in 4 years, and it’s fun to nitpick. Should be “coucher” in that sentence. :stuck_out_tongue:

And I was worried about the spelling! :smack:

That’s okay. It’s the thought that counts. :wink:

Nine years for me. Le d’oh!

[Off-topic]Heh. I helped my cousin grade some grade 6 French dictées (spelling tests) today. These kids are in a school that is 50/50 French/English, and they have the lists of words/sentences ahead of time to study. Even the phonetic OP was better than a few of the students that I saw, and the incorrect verb tense would have earned a “Bravo!”

For the correction… a “Félicitations! Super!” might have been earned![/Off-topic]

If you aren’t a wine drinker but want to learn, it might be fun for you to prepare a meal with many different flavours in it. For a white, I think I’d try to start with proscuitto and melon, then maybe some chicken or pork with sauce and different veggies (sorry, so specific ideas, but I think you get the point - I just like proscuitto and melon, so I suggest it with everything!), and maybe finish up with a light cheese with apples or something. It will give you a better sense of the flavours in the wine bottle, and give you some idea of what you might like next time you buy wine.

On preview, my Off-topic comment makes it sound like my cousin might be a bad teacher. Quite the contrary, but not every student has spoken French their whole lives (or at all outside of school), and not everyone makes a effort to learn. Sorry for the additional off-topic, but my cousin is amazing, and I wouldn’t want to insult her, even unintentionally and anonymously! :slight_smile:

Hooray! I I love being praised. With accents and everything (note the lack of correction on the “çe” we missed earlier. )

On a side note, these sound like delicious things to do with wine. I need to open up one of the 5 bottles sitting in my living room right now (but they’re on their side at least! (although at least one of them is a screw-top and one a rubber cork, I can’t see them very well from here.))

Apparently it’s the time of year to give non wine drinkers gifts of wine. I have what appears to be -
“Cordon Negro Brut Freixenet sparkling wine CAVA”

Now, even I can figure out that this is a champaign like substance, and I recall that everyone on TV chills the stuff first, but is this cheap “It came in a gift basket” stuff or is it good enough to bring to xmas dinner? “Brut” means “dry”, doesn’t it?

It is inexpensive, very dry, Spanish sparkling wine. I don’t care for it personally, but I don’t like very dry champagne anyway. It’s fine for a holiday toast, and it works well for mimosas too.

Oooh – mimosas! Yummy. Not as serious as a Bloody Mary for morning drinking, just a rather nice sip while the kids are busy conquering Gift Mountain.

It’s funny that this was brought up. I’ve been thinking of posting a similar thread… I don’t mean to hijack… but seems like a good place.

I often receive wine gifts from friends and such. I’m not sure why… when we get together I’m always a beer or liquor drinker. My wife is a girly drink drinker but not so much into wine. I’ve never indicated to anybody a desire to try much wine.

And yet-- I have a desire to learn to appreciate wine.

The thing is, generally, I’ve never really enjoyed wine that much. But I’d really like to like wine.

So… I was wondering what I should do, as a primer, to learn to enjoy wine? Am I just never going to get it? Are there certain more accessible things I should start with and then build up? Any advice or anything? A restaurent out here does a class on wines, I was thinking of taking. Good idea? I certainly will not be able to afford anything real expensive, so please don’t recommend a $500 bottle or anything.

You can find endless books on wine, for beginners up through expert level, but IMO the only real way to learn is to taste, taste, taste. Keep track of what you you try, whether you like it or not. At first, just try and keep track of the type of wine and don’t worry about the winery or the vintage (year) if it has one (many don’t.)

Around here the wine shops and even the supermarkets often have wine tastings. There’s no real pressure to buy anything and you can taste a number of wines for free.

Yes, you’ll get it, if you try.

The most important thing to do no matter what level of wine geek you are is to pay attention to what you’re drinking. I like doing this mostly at home, since social settings are, well, social and it’s hard to take time out to think about what’s in your mouth. So open a bottle at home, pour a glass, and pay attention to the color of the wine, the smell, and finally, the taste. Try to go beyond “I like this” or “I don’t like this” and identify what it is you like or don’t like. Is it fruity? Is it too dry or not dry enough? What other scents/tastes can you identify?

The primary tastes you should be thinking about are:

  • Tannin: This is the mouth-puckering thing you find at least some level of in most red wines. Have you ever made a cup of black tea and steeped the tea bag too long? That bitter, puckering taste is tannin.

  • Acidity: All wines also have varying levels of acidity. Very acidic wines might be described as “crisp” or “tangy”

-Sweetness: most red wines are considered dry, which technically means there’s no sugar added during the processing. But there’s levels of sweetness even among dry wines - a big Australian Cabernet Sauvignon is going to taste sweet compared to a French Burgundy (which is made from the Pinot Noir grape)

There’s certainly more tastes/aromas out there that are important, but if you start out just thinking about these three, it will take you a long way.

I find it helpful to open multiple bottles and compare them, or go to a restaurant with a fellow wine nerd and order a couple glasses of different things. You can compare the different types together and note what makes them different.

One good comparison is to get wines made from different grapes. Do you know the difference between Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir? Go buy a bottle of each - they don’t have to be expensive - and try them at the same time. Invite some friends over if you want.

If you want to buy some books, I can recommend Great Wine Made Simple buy Andrea Immer Robinson and Windows on the World Wine Course as easy-to-read but fact-filled books on wine. If nothing else, you will want to learn how to read labels fairly early on. The unfortunate truth of the wine industry is that every country has a slightly different method of labeling their wines, and taking an hour to learn how to read a French wine label as opposed to an American one is worth the time.