I just spent the first half of the week in New York. I forgot how much I love that place. I realize that summer there is gorgeous and sunny with a high of 82 doesn’t suck; but is it just me that when you step out of baggage claim to get a cab, you expect it to be chilly? I dunno… Anyway, I managed to attend a wine tasting with the second largest wine producer in Tunisia (second to, ironically enough, the Tunisian government). The wine is called Le Poisson and at the tasting they brought four wines; ‘Gris’, ‘Blanc’, ‘Rose’, and ‘La Vieille Cave’.
While I was pleasantly surprised by all of them, my two favorites were definitely the Gris and La Vieille Cave. Gris is a very light, pale Rose made mainly from Grenache. It really does remind you the mineraly, not-quite-fruity Provencale style Roses. I love those wines for the summer. Really, a trip to the beach seems incomplete without a bottle of Rose. But I digress. The ‘Gris’ is terrific, and now that I think about it again, it was definitely my favorite wine of the tasting.
La Vieille Cave, meaning ‘the old cavern’ in French, is a soft, light red made with mostly Syrah. It’s a nice wine, and, for the value ($15 retail), the wine has very few competitors. It’s a great wine truly, not really because the complexity or flavors, but really because the wine has a personality; something not always easily found, even in some of the old-school heavy hitters. The word that pops into my mind, even still, thinking about the wine is ‘jeune’, French for young.
What I really walked away from the tasting with was a feeling that I have maybe prejudged a lot of wines just because of their country of origin. To be fair, I don’t think I’ll be tasting the Tunisian equivalent of Petrus any time soon, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t surprising and truly quality wines out there. So, try to lower that wall of judgement and don’t be scared to try a Croatian or a Romanian. Or even a Tunisian wine….you never know what you may find.