Monday, March 1, 2010

Famous Drunk Guys: Happy Birthday, Chopin!

It's been a while since I've done a Famous Drunk Guys post, so what better way to get back to it than with one of my favorite composers, Frederic Chopin? Name another composer besides maybe Liszt who, when played right, makes women want to swoon, cry, and make love all at the same time. One of my college profs attributed the magical effects of Chopin to his frequent use of the partially diminished seventh chord. I learned his Nocturne in B Flat minor, Opus 9, No. 1 in college, and it's the piece I think about when I ponder going back to playing piano. This guy plays it much better than I ever could.

So, what do you drink while listening to Chopin, swooning, crying, and maybe even making love? French wine, of course! I've picked out a few options, one white and two reds, from our recent (and not so recent) adventures:

Le Grande Noir (Coteaux de L’Ardeche): 70% Chardonnay, 30% Viognier
Gardenia-peach with lime nose. The body has the fruit/floral characteristics of the Viognier plus the citrus chard backbone.
Rating: Very Good
(Available at Feast Restaurant in Decatur)

And then a favorite from our Belgium trip:
2007 La Sartan (Cotes du Ventoux, France)
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault, it's full-bodied, fruity with enough oak and butter to make it silky, and nicely balanced, as it went well with food and on its own.

I'm not sure about the U.S. availability of the La Sartan, so you could try to find the 2007 Janasse Cotes du Rhone Terre d'Argile (Rhone Valley, France): 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Mourvedre
Super fruity.
Rating: Very Good to Excellent
(Quality Wines and Spirits distributor)

Whatever you open, light some candles, eat some buttery food, and make it a romantic night to celebrate the birth of this remarkable Romantic-era composer!


Dan said...

Since it's also the birthday of my favorite occasionally-drunk woman (that being my lovely wife Kirsten), and since she's been particularly enamored of French wines lately, I'll chime in with a thought or two.

Anything you can find from the vintages of 2005 in Bordeaux or 2007 in Cotes du Rhone will usually be good, and there are some great bargains to be had in the $10-$20 range. These happened to be outstanding years for wines in those areas, so even the average chateaux are pretty darn good.

With Bordeaux, don't be led astray with labels proclaiming "Grand Vin de Bordeaux" - that merely means it's the top wine of that particular chateau, and says nothing about the relative quality of the wine. If, however, you find a Bordeaux that's a "Cru Bourgeois", that represents a true level of classification and often can be a good deal.


Anonymous said...

Chopin was a drunk? Had no idea. Great post Cecilia. Love your blog!