Varietal ShowBy: Roberto Viernes
MEN. WE COME IN ALL SHAPES, physiques and creeds. Each of us has our own identity, desires and passions. One might say that we are more varied than the plethora of wines. Others would say we are simpler to understand and maybe even easier to like. What no one can deny is that every single wine-drinking man has a type of wine that embodies his persona.
THE POWER BROKER
This man sets his sights on lofty goals and goes after them without hesitating. He gets it done. Direct and hungry, he lusts for power, wealth, status and the good life. He is motivated mostly by his desires-and living well is certainly one of them. This is definitely a man who knows brand names: Patek Philippe, Porsche, Alden Shoes and Brioni. This man deserves the regal and pedigreed Cabernet Sauvignon. So power names like Harlan Estate, Colgin and Opus One are already familiar to him, as are Chateaux Lafite, Latour, Mouton, Margaux and Haut Brion. But to tickle his fancy, one needs to find the “next” power name because, as much as this man stays one step ahead, having what’s already hot just isn’t enough. The one to look for is the 2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Passionement.” Meaning “passionately,” this is exactly how Luc Morlet fashions this wine and how much you will come to crave it. It is sourced from vineyards only within the highly prized Oakville AVA and it rockets out of the glass with gargantuan quantities of sweet, polished ripe black fruit laced with vanilla. It slides down the palate like a super car coming down the boulevard, not shy. It grips your palate with luscious flavors and leaves it wanting more.
He is always classy, never needs to be garish. He is happy to “blend in” and is supremely secure in himself and his accomplishments. He has simple tastes, and is pleased with a genuinely excellent effort over something that is merely “rated the best.” It is not always a three-star Michelin experience that excites him, but it is the overall quality of the experience, company included; the big picture is more important than a single frame. Loudness and bigness are less important than intensity and flavor. This is the Pinot Noir kind of man. Classy seduction is how I like to think of Pinot Noir. But not to be forgotten is Pinot Noir’s link to the earth. It is perhaps the best red at conveying its source terroir. The Pinot Noir man always has his feet on the ground. For him I recommend Grand Cru Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s apogee. The 2009 Bouchard Pere et Fils Echezeaux from one of Burgundy’s oldest continuous merchants is a terrific example of the clarity, elegance and seductive power of Pinot Noir. Gorgeous red berries pop with smoky spices revealing refined, silky tannin on the palate. It is utterly delicious.
THE OUTDOORSMAN, ROUGH RIDER OR WEEKEND WARRIOR
A man who needs no frills. He loves the outdoors and the open road. He travels and seeks the thrills that skyscrapers and paved roads do not offer. He takes no guff and has little patience for needless talk or shallow banter. For him, saddling a horse or hiking a gorge is as easy as opening a bottle of wine. He is part wild beast, yet knows his tiny place in the universe. He may be the first to jump to the protection of a lady, but would rather use his energy to grill a few steaks on an open fire. This man’s man needs a wine of the earth, something a bit wild but not over the top. It must have a lineage and connection to stone. For him, it must be Grenache from Chateauneuf du Pape-the wine that combines the wild herbal notes and ripe forest berries with the warmth of stones baked under the Southern Rhone Valley sun. The 2009 Domaine de la Roquete l’Accent embodies all these things with loads of richness that is unforgettable.
Leads with his intellect. His fun is found in complex brain games: Sudoku, crossword puzzles, chaos theory or “air conducting” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Extremely learned and well-read, he revels in masterpieces of literature and music. He may be a nerd at heart, but like every good tale, he is the one who gets the girl. He is the ultimate planner, especially when it comes to wine. He knows exactly when and where he is going to open that special bottle of wine. For him, Champagne is the ultimate pair. It is the combination of intellect and pleasure, bubbles and complexity that inspire him. Champagne’s unique terroir and process of production provide the ultimate backdrop for his study. The 2000 Paul Bara Cuveé Comtesse Marie de France hails from only Grand Cru vineyards and is handcrafted in the cold cellars beneath the Montagne de Reims. It is a gorgeously elegant, complex blend of mostly Pinot Noir with a small dollop of Chardonnay aged gracefully for a minimum of five years and made only when the environment dictates a perfect storm of conditions.
Perhaps the most ideal man is one who encompasses a bit of all these genres. Thankfully, there are just as many different wines to suit your burgeoning personality. Now get out there and see if you can find a match.