Written By Guest Writer Libations / Red Wine / Spirits / Wine News Jul 8, 2013 Somm In the City – From France to Italy to BC to Japan in Two Days SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Somm In The City – From France to Italy to BC to Japan in Two Days Some meals end with brandy. My week of tasting started with it. And not just any brandy, mind you. The week kicked off with Louie XIII, one of Rémy Martin’s top brandies. A very well dressed Alexandre Quintin, an International Brand Ambassador for the House of Rémy Martin, walked a group of sommeliers and bartenders through the history and a tutored tasting of Louie XIII. Top quality brandy is made from distilled wine that is aged in barrels for a very long time, resulting in colour, flavours and texture that is simply sublime. In the case of Louie XIII the average brandy is 40-100 years old. Usually my brandy drinking happens at 11pm, not 11am! But as we were told, 11am and 5pm is when the cellar master tastes newly distilled eau de vie each day in the caves. This is thought to be the time when you are furthest from food and your palate is the freshest. In the 1988 movie Cocktail, Tom Cruise accepts a wager for a bottle Louie XIII. At the time he remarked that $500 for a bottle of brandy was a pretty big bet. Currently a bottle of Louie XIII is $3000 in BC. Rarity and the laws of supply and demand keep the price high. When asked about the total production, I was told that “rarity is subjective, so the annual production is kept a secret.” Another reason for the high price is the hand-made Baccarat crystal and the 24 karat gold neck label. It is distinctive and unique and makes a great addition to any bar (if you have the wherewithal or win a bet that is). The next day was even earlier, but there was more than one drink. This day started with a Barolo tasting with one of the Barolo’s top producers, Luca Currado of Vietti. He was in this market last year and I was equally as captivated then with his enthusiasm and story telling. His thick Italian accent filled the large room with stories of the wines and an detailed sense of a place, and tasting the wines together made me feel like I was actually in the vineyard. Vietti owns land in 20 grand cru vineyards, more than any other producer in Barolo. Annual production is 20,000 cases and it was apparent that each wine was meticulously cared for along each step of production. We were lucky enough to taste many of the single vineyard wines from the 2010 vintage. The wines will not be released until next year, but by many accounts 2010 was one of the best vintages in the last decade, on par with 2006 and 2001. We were a fortunate group indeed – the last time he did a vintage tasting like this was in 2010 with Antonio Galloni for the 2007 vintage. His report can be found here. But one can’t linger in Italy forever. After this it was off to a BC comparative tasting, consisting of 2 flights, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Each flight had 6 wines, 3 from BC and the others international. The idea was to see how BC wines compared to wines from around the world. Master of Wine Rhys Pender chose the wines and led us through this tasting. We looked at value, and of course, taste. Did these wines represent value when tasted along side what could be considered “classic” examples of the same wines from different regions? The room was full of discussion and very good points from all who attended. Price versus value is always a hot topic when it comes to BC wines. They are often seen as too high in price compared to what else is being offered in this market. However the two flights were fair in value by comparison and showed good quality (see below for wines poured). But this day was not done yet. Timothy Sullivan was in town to promote Hakkaisan Sake and he was hosting a tasting. Having only read about him on his website, I was excited to met him. Based in New York, he is a “white guy” that knows the secrets of sake. In October 2007 he was invited to Kyoto by the Japan Sake Brewer’s Association Jr. Council to be named a “Sake Samurai” for his efforts in promoting sake outside Japan. Hakkaisan Brewery is one of Japan’s largest, and all of their sakes were poured at the tasting. After a long day of tasting, I was thrilled to enjoy Minami’s aburi style sushi while Tim answered questions about sake. Drinks from four distinct and diverse countries and in two days – I travel in a glass, and it is always half full! BC Comparative Tasting Chardonnay 2010 Comte Lafon Macon Village, France $40 2011 Burrowing Owl, BC $25 2010 Mission Hill Perpetua, BC $35 2009 Cloudy Bay, New Zealand $31.50 2010 Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve, BC $35 Pinot Noir 2011 Spierhead, BC $19 2011 Ata Rangi, New Zealand 2010 $28 2011 Haywire, BC $35 2010 Joseph Drouhin, Oregon $50 2010 Mark Haisma Croix des Champs Gevrey Chambertin, France $65 2011 Meyer Family McLean Creek, BC $40 Somm in the City SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Drink This October 31, 2014 Hallow’wines I’m not one for themes. And I’m not one for holidays. That said, I am certainly one for good drinks. These days, packaging trumps all else on ... Read More Drink Academy October 29, 2014 Gewürztraminer: The Distinctively Aromatic Wine Not familiar with gewürztraminer? The name itself quite literally tells you what to expect. Gewürz translates as spice, and refers to the fact that ... Read More Coffee & Tea / Recipes October 27, 2014 A Pumpkin Latte a Day Keeps the Witches Away In an alternate universe, the harvesting of crops, a crisp chill in the air and shorter days would mark the arrival of fall. Instead, the release of ... Read More Beer & Cider / Victoria / Wineries & Breweries October 17, 2014 Beer goes Breaking Bad at Category 12 Drywall, gas masks, floor buffers, and power washers. It was all I could see past the single door, set into a grey-covered wall of windows below a ... Read More Beer & Cider / Drink This / Wine October 15, 2014 Fall into Red Wines for Fall It’s not just your imagination. You want to drink more reds now that fall has fully settled in. Red wines are typically higher in alcohol to warm ... Read More Events / Victoria October 14, 2014 Art Of The Cocktail 2014: After the Event The Art of the Cocktail returned to Victoria for its 6th year. Once again, cocktail enthusiasts were wowed by the industry’s finest spirits and ... Read More Comments are closed.