STILL SCEPTICAL ABOUT NATURAL WINES?
THIS WAS MY CONVERSION THERAPY.
TWO STUNNING WINE DINNERS ANNOUNCED.
A couple of years ago, when I was eating in The Fish Shop, that unique and lovely establishment on Queen Street in Dublin, I finished a splendid meal with a glass of Jean Foillard’s Morgon Côte de Py 2006. It was further evidence, for me, that the best of the Beaujolais crus do, in fact, age to advantage and develop intriguingly Pinot Noir-like characteristics. Gosh, it was bloody lovely.
When I last visited Beaujolais I asked if Foillard accepted visits from journalists and was told “grudgingly.” I can’t say I blame him. Making what, for me, has been consistently the greatest Morgon, does not admit of much engaging with the third estate. I stayed away.
Foillard’s wine are in Ireland by way of Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau, as are those of Thierry Puzelat of Clos Tue-Boeuf in the Loire. His Vin Rouge has an iconic retro label, is 100% Gamay (there’s a theme here) and I absolutely love it. His Cheverny is half Pinot Noir, half Gamay and is fresh, fragrant and quite lovely.
Now, I have to confess to having had some bad experiences with natural wines (and don’t get me started on skin contact whites). But Pascal Rossignol saved me from myself and my inclination to dismiss them all. He did so, partly, with these very wines.
They are lovely. They have a sense of purity that it was quite impossible to put into such clumsy things as words. You need to taste them.
And, with that in mind, let me draw your attention to two wine dinners devoted to these producers, one at the Fumbally Café in Dublin, the other at L’Atitude 51 in Cork, on 10th April and 12th April respectively. Antony Cointre, also known as Le Gros, will be cooking. He pops up here and there rather than having a restaurant of his own, is known as un cuisinier emballant and a champion of natural wines.
Sebastien Barrier, a stand-up comedian and author of Savoir Enfin Qui Nous Buvont (“Let’s finally meet who we are drinking”), will be providing entertainment beyond that of the wines and the food.
“In short, it’s going to be awesome,” is how Pascal sums up the two dinners. And I have no doubt he’s right.