Two Curious Friends
It was all because of the weather. Every day seems to bring another weather type these days and we skip from high summer to autumn in a matter of days, and when shopping it is very difficult to plan: next day it can be 25°C or 15 !! So I went for a wild plan last weekend, planned a light fish and veg dish for when it was going to be warm and a chicken with chorizo and potatoes for when it was going to rain. The weather did of course exactly the opposite of what I planned and so whe ended up eating our "Spanish" chicken in the sun outside and our light fish dish inside.
We had two wines who were in more than one way opposites. A petillant naturel from a small scale bio-winefarmer in the Jura and a pinot noir from California, made by the famous film director Francis Coppola. In a very special way both wines were perfect for the occasion and though the first was a rebel and a punk it got along quite well with the "old man - establishment" of the second.
The Tant Mieux, Petillant Naturel, Philippe Bornard was a 100% Ploussard, a grape that is only used in the Jura. Philippe's winery is in Pupillin, and he is one of the talented "natural" winemakers of the area that work without sulfites and other additives to let the grape speak with its own voice. You can discuss this type of wine endlessly but eveyone I ever offered a glass of petnat has had to admit that they are lovely wines, all fun and surprise and nature. I sometimes tend to call them Real Wines, like in Real Ales (you know what I mean if you're English or often spend time at the other side of the Channel). It only had 8,5% alcohol, looked like cherry juice but with a nice and lively sparkle and smelled like red fruit that was just harvested still wet from the dew and with little flecks of black earth on it, the smell of really fresh fruit before it is rinced. It tasted good, interesting, "real", fruity and a bit earthy. A lovely glass and an excellent way to start a meal.
With the chicken (very basic: a chicken stuffed with two shortly boiled limes and the stalks of some percil, 800g potatoes cut in small pieces, 300gr chorizo, so covered that the juices can't evaporate and escape and then 1,2 hrs in the oven, courtesy Jamie Oliver) came something completely different: a bottle of Pinot Noir Silver Label Diamond Collection, Francis Coppola, conventionally made in rather big quantities. I bought the bottle in the Cora supermarket chain, out of curiosity (and because I really really like pinot noir). Full and ripe and luscious, almost sweet and perfect with the smoked taste of the chicken, a pinot noir more in the Spätburgunder tradition, and a very big positive surprise. Really liked it al lot. http://www.franciscoppolawinery.com/wine/diamond/pinot-noir
The price of the first one was 18 euro, the Coppola set me back about 16 euro, but both were excellent and well timed. It was like sitting at a table with two good friends, completely different in character but with one thing in common: they are my friends...I suddenly wondered how the conversation would be between the two makers.