Friday, April 17, 2009

Color Me Happy, They Are Back!!

So for quite some time my little, go-to white wines have been the Francois Chidaine Touraine and the Pra Soave, both wines are brilliant with almost any food, (although I did discover that Touraine and Pastrami don’t play nice together….one of the worst combinations of flavors…ever) they are so bright, crisp and shamefully each to drink, and I do….drink them in “shameful” amounts, but they have both been out of stock for a bit…until today!
When I saw Randy wheel out the 5 case stack of 2007 Pra Soave Classico, ($13.99) I yelled across the store, “Yay, my when in doubt wine is back” because you see, when someone has a difficult dish to pair I will often suggest the Pra. The wine is loaded with floral, herby notes, has a nice roundness to it and really seems to sing with any food that is highly seasoned or has a bunch of fresh herbs in it, in fact when I am having Greek food this is the wine I drink….something about the way it plays with lemony flavors is simply sublime!

The Francois Chidaine Touraine, ($11.99) has been out of stock for close to a month and I have been hitting the Veramonte, (my other beloved Sauvignon Blanc) pretty hard waiting for it to come back, it did, today and it’s a new vintage so I, (you know in the sake of research) had to open a bottle….just to um, make sure it isn’t yucky and some junk. (Like anything Francois Chidaine makes would suck) This new vintage has way more of that chalky minerality that I absolutely love about Loire Sauvignon Blanc, and tons of lime rind comes exploding from the glass, kind of like getting bonked over the head, like the wine is shouting, “You WILL pay attention to me!” On the palate it still has that lovely silky texture, it is just short of being chunky when you first sip it but BLAMO, the fierce acidity comes screaming in and you are left with a tingly mouthful of citrus and wet stones…damn I love this wine! I got in three cases to start and I know that in a week’s time I will have personally gone through about a case.
Guess I know what I’ll be drinking on over the next couple days….sooooooo excited!


vickibarkley said...


Benito said...

One of the big challenges with these little European treasures is, "Do I tell anyone about it? My favorite shop only got a case, and the less people buy the lower the price gets..."

I sometimes wonder if a distributor or importer is taking a loss on such a bottle. Should I feel guilty? Or should I just claw at the bottle like Gollum and guard my preciousssss...

And of course, the biggest problem in, say recommending these wines for a close friend is that they always have some complex name, come from an obscure region, and are frequently stocked not next to the cash register, but under the fire extinguisher or in a pile near the restrooms.

Samantha Dugan said...

I could not agree more Benito! The Francois Chidaine Touraine was one of my little "secrets" for awhile, but when you do this for a living you get amazing pleasure out of turning people on to something so delicious....and cheap. Once I started turning people on to it it began selling out at a regular clip..."poop, now what am I gonna drink?" I also think the modern label, and "easy" to pronounce words help folks feel comfortable...not the same for the Pra.

I've been on a couple importer trips and I can tell you, they aint takin' a loss on anything, no one is getting rich....well one might be, but they are making their profit. Now when those wines don't move and they have to closeout...well, then they take it in the shorts. It's all a gamble and as what's her face said in Working Girl, "No one got rich guessing what people want in their mouth" (or something like that) and when there is a shity vintage, the "good guys" still take the wines, maybe lower the price and try to move through's rough.
I remember the look on one importer's face when a Cotes du Rhone producer of his said, "Don't worry about the 2002, I've sold it all to England", (it was a horrible vintage and he said the English didnt know any better..hahaha) he looked like the weight of the world had just been lifted from his shoulders!

Vicki- Yum is right! I thought of you before I posted this. I was like, "Shit Vicki just asked me about this and she just spent a GOJILLION dollars on Dagueneau, she's gonna kill me"....for now the importer has a bunch so no need to rush.

Michael Hughes said...

I love love LOVE that Soave!! I wish Memphis could get some.

I like the new blog, lookin good.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thanks for reading, the place is still very much under construction but man it feels fantastic to have a "working" blog...Yahoo360 was beyond trying.
PS looks like you had a very cool trip to Washington.

vickibarkley said...

How could I possibly be even a little miffed? I've been pining for the Touraine, and when I knew you had some, I sent one of the kids to the store for 3 bottles so I could have something delicious to drink at a party we threw. BTW, my aunt, who drinks industrial Cal Chard, went crazy over this stuff. Of course, there's investment wine, and there's grilling carne asada wine (it did the trick) :)

Michael Hughes said...

I had an outstanding trip to WA. I need to blog more about it. I've been lazy, uggh.

The WA wines are truly incredible & almost defy description. I can't wait to get my hands on more! You really should go to Taste of WA next year, its fabulous!