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January 17, 2009

The Comment of the Week

I think we all owe sean a vote of thanks for bringing this review to our attention under the Malbecs and Rosina Gourmet post. EL ...

Apologies for the lengthy post, but this is a must-read review of the aforementioned Cahors from CLOS LA COUTALE:

"05 Clos la Coutale, Cahors

There are only a few occasions that this wine is meant for. Divorce. Boar hunting. Winning the world hot dog eating contest in record time. Which might make it a natural for some holiday tables, but not mine. No, a three-seat round table overlooking the city won't do. Nevermind the candles and Edith Piaf. This is a wine that begs chaos. Children wearing cranberry jam hats. A Bruno Magli in the television. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy in the ceiling fan. Spinning. Spinning around. Something inspired by a trip lost in the wilderness, camping out beneath the dead leaves, squeezing the last desperate drops of water from cantaloupe-sized balls of elephant dung. (If someone ever asks you about terroir, point out the part in this note that mentions elephant dung.) Pretend you just befriended a pack of wolves with a pot roast and then skinned them to keep yourself warm. That's what this wine smells like. It's mature and dusty, earthy and leathery. Like an old matchbook and crushed cigarette pestled into your Wranglers. It's for the time your waiter asks you, "How would you like your steak?" And you answer, "Genuflecting." But come on; what little Cahors makes it to the States is pretty great. So why Coutale? Because it straddles the Venn Diagram between so many wines in this area--not just neighboring "Bordeaux," but several of its appellations, from the chocolate-blueberry St. Emilion to minerally St. Julien. The fruit--smothered by tannins--is plummy like the grenache of Languedoc. And the strangest odor of discount air freshener (fine, call it potpourri) wafts from the tight tannins. I've only ever gotten that from a few bottles of old Bordeaux. It's aggressive, difficult, and opens up to relatively simple (but sweet, delicious) fruit. Don't take this to a dinner party. Unless you have the kind of friends who serve kangaroo."

Not sure if the reviewer liked the wine or not...

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:59 PM | | Comments (22)


Woo hoo, sean! I had already forwarded that one to my husband and my sister.

That was one remarkable comment. I kept wondering if OMG is moonlighting.

The review Sean was quoting was from a respected wine blog called 750 mL. EL

EL, Kermit Lynch and I say thanks for nothing.

Elite Elephant Lover, just guessing here, but don't you often find yourself in the minority?

Yes I do. I am the only one in the sandbox who drinks this wine on regular basis. Most likely I am the only one who loves wine from Corsica and the French Basque Country. If everyone else is happy with generic, factory made wine then so be it. It just seems odd that the "comment of the week" is a quote from a different blog. Heaven forbid sean or EL would try it for themselves. I think I will crawl back under my rock.

Wow, ELL sounds grumpy! Wine hangover? Those ARE the worst!

I have days that that!

Though, seriously, I'm wondering about the kangaroo. Before he quit drinking, the Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr, used to wax poetic about the stuff.

These are grumpy times for elephant lovers, elite or not.

Elite Elephant Lover, I think maybe we're reading some of these comments in two different ways. I don't know a whole lot about wine but I admire those who do and appreciate the expertise you bring to the topic. I don't believe Sean was being dismissive of the Clos la Coutale but shared the comment from the wine blog for us all to enjoy. I know I thought it was hilarious and perhaps I'll even remember the name of that wine should I ever come across it. So please continue to educate us ELL about wine. Just remember, we all have varying interests, likes and dislikes. I doubt I'll ever convince Dahlink to eat scrapple but I still respect her palate.

And EL, I hope you continue to post whatever tickles your fancy as "The Comment of the Week".

Laura Lee nailed it. I'm actually curious about the wine - I love Bordeaux and Malbec wines, so it sounds like a natural fit for me. And yeah, I DO drink a fair amount of wine (red only, thank you).

Point well taken, Laura Lee. I will confess that I have never actually eaten scrapple--just the thought of it prevents that. Sometimes we (meaning, me) over-think our food preferences.

No need to apologize for our food preferences (or revulsions) Dahlink. I don't think I will ever swallow a raw oyster though I know full well I'm missing out on what many consider a great delicacy. Of course, my fear of acquiring hepatitis only reinforces the aversion.

I don't think you can over-think scrapple.

Ah, but oysters on the half shell along with a glass of McHenry beer at the Festival-on-the-Hill in Bolton Hill in the October sunlight constitute a pleasure not easily replicated.

I hesitate before swallowing, but I'll take a raw oyster over scrapple any day!

Oysters on the half shell at Oyster Bliss in Berkeley, CA along with a bottle of Muscadet Sur Lie from Michel Bregeon. This is a pleasure not easily replicated. If I could get it delivered to Maryland this wine would go to all Oyster and Bull Roasts with me.

I have eaten scrapple. I do not wish to do so again.

I have swallowed a raw oyster. I would do so again if a large amount of money were involved.

For me, oysters on the half at Nicks raw bar are as good as it gets. But, almost there is Captain's Galley II in W. Ocean City.

Wine? I admit to knowing next to nothing but I do enjoy a wine buzz!

Having tried oysters on the half shell for the first time at the Festival-on-the-Hill as a recent transplant to Baltimore, I heartily second John McIntyre's comment about the pleasure of eating oysters in front of Memorial Episcopal Church. (Alas, that was so long ago that McHenry was not the accompanying beer at the time.)

Our church group has an oyster feast every November, lucky us. The host gets a couple of boxes and we shuck em ourselves. Beer is okay, but I really like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc with them. The light, fruity/grassy notes balance really well with a sweet, briny, just-shucked arshter. Yum!

It is quite the lovely wine.

750 mL

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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