March 22, 2011

Paris: 2009 Ortas Cotes du Rhone by Rasteau

Arriving in Paris following a 5pm overnight flight makes the first day of any journey one run on fumes. Thinking that I'm the seasoned pro from all my 2K5 study abroad experience, I trekked through the exhaustion and began frolicking the city of lights (though clearly not lit up) at 7am with only one hour of sleep in my energy tank.

The day was filled with much immersion in the French culture and even a bit of site seeing, and I must admit that despite my tired eyes, seeing the Eiffel Tower among a minimal audience that early in the morning was something serene.

But the true fun kicked off as we embarked on our first night out beginning with dinner at a quaint little family-run restaurant with amazing dishes and even better hospitality (whoever said the French hate us must be fibbing). You know you've uncovered something special when nearly ever local in the town is dining amongst you, or waiting just to get in (props to Miss @GlutenGossip for this recco!)

At dinner, we uncorked our first bottle of French wine, a 2009 Ortas Cotes du Rhone by Rasteau - a red wine blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. It was impeccably well-balanced and complex, offering a very dark plum color with light ruby reflection atop. Very light viscosity as the legs quickly moved down the perimeter of the glass, and the aromas filled with plum and undertones of black licorice.

This wine, while bold in its own way, also offered very light tannins that paired nicely with all of our dishes - one lamb, one steak and one scallop. You get a combination of dark fruits, primarily plum, and some leather elements on the palate. And when held on the tongue for a prolonged period you could tell this wine had a stronger alcohol content than most. A very nice kick-off to what soon would become a trip filled with bevying!, if only they could make a wine that tastes like these profiteroles, I'd be in complete heaven. Yummers!