Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Beverage on the Bridge

One of the highlights of any walkabout with Berra Yogi is a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I think the views you get of Manhattan are stunning and it's just one of those activities that's ideal for people-watching and taking your time.

We figured that a late afternoon/early evening hike would provide the best opportunity to enjoy the sun and catch some of the changes in the cityscape as dusk started to set in.

We also figured it would be the perfect time for a cocktail before heading out for dinner.

88. 2003 Chateau Redortier Beaumes de Venise (Cotes du Rhone Villages AOC - France)

I realize now that it was thoughtless of me to bring along a French wine for such an icon of NYC. We should have opened another New York wine given the location, but I suppose life is full of after-thoughts. And, we can say that at least we thought ahead enough to bring along a bottle and glasses in the first place.

We just stopped mid-bridge, popped the cork and had a couple small glasses as we watched the world go by.

As a rule, the Rhone is one of my favourite regions. The Villages appellation isn't the highest level in the Rhone but it is one step up on the basic Cotes du Rhone designation. Chateau Redortier is a well-regarded, family run winery (the founder's daughter is the mayor of the neighbouring town of Suzette, pop. 130) and the winery is known for using a higher percentage of syrah in its red wines and using no oak during the winemaking. I saw on one site that Etienne de Menthon, the proprietor, feels that oak is detrimental to grenache-based wines such as this.

Villages designated wines must have a minimum of 50% grenache and a minimum of 20% syrah and/or mourvedre. Redortier's Beaumes de Venise is around 60% grenache with the bulk of the remainder being syrah.

All of this sounds really good to my palate, but this was one wine that didn't quite meet the occasion. Maybe it was that whole French wine on an American icon thing. Good thing the Bridge still provided a highlight.

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