Reference books recommendations, what are you reading?

Recommendations, comments or questions about wine matters

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TonyGoodman
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Reference books recommendations, what are you reading?

Post by TonyGoodman » Thu 04 Jan 2018 10:20

Oz Clarke's various efforts provides good background material. Paul Strang's book on our local wines is excellent. There must be others, any recommendations ?

Allan
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Post by Allan » Thu 04 Jan 2018 18:18

For a number of years, an event was held in Perpignan presenting awards to local winemakers with an associated book (available, I think, from the Chamber of Commerce).

This event was known as the Saint Bacchus and it featured the presentation of wine awards followed by a tasting of the wines accompanied by sample dishes from a number of the top local chefs.

I am not sure that the event is still held but the associated website has a lot of information on local wines.

http://saint-bacchus.com

There is a downloadable guide to local wines but it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2013

A few years ago, my wife and I were invited to attend, the actual presentations were boring as hell with 22 winemakers all making nearly identical acceptance speeches. The tasting afterwards of food and wine was however exceptionally good.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Thu 04 Jan 2018 19:26

Allan wrote:For a number of years, an event was held in Perpignan presenting awards to local winemakers with an associated book (available, I think, from the Chamber of Commerce).

This event was known as the Saint Bacchus and it featured the presentation of wine awards followed by a tasting of the wines accompanied by sample dishes from a number of the top local chefs.

I am not sure that the event is still held but the associated website has a lot of information on local wines.

http://saint-bacchus.com

There is a downloadable guide to local wines but it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2013

A few years ago, my wife and I were invited to attend, the actual presentations were boring as hell with 22 winemakers all making nearly identical acceptance speeches. The tasting afterwards of food and wine was however exceptionally good.
Thanks, sounds like good fun. Though I'm not sure French is up to the task.


I'll look out for it and check out the website.

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Sat 06 Jan 2018 10:16

Le Bacchus was ended because it had become a back-patting event among the Cooperatives and a handful of big producers. The wines that won awards were a joke. When the new president of the CIVR was elected 5 years ago, he dismantled it.

It was one of the main things that promoted mediocrity and therefore helped keep the reputation of the region in the doldrums.

Next job - get rid of the little club of local tasters who dictate the Guide Hachette entries (they were the same guys who controlled Bacchus).
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TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 06 Jan 2018 12:33

Santiago wrote:Le Bacchus was ended because it had become a back-patting event among the Cooperatives and a handful of big producers. The wines that won awards were a joke. When the new president of the CIVR was elected 5 years ago, he dismantled it.

It was one of the main things that promoted mediocrity and therefore helped keep the reputation of the region in the doldrums.

Next job - get rid of the little club of local tasters who dictate the Guide Hachette entries (they were the same guys who controlled Bacchus).
Thanks, I wondered where the Guide Hachette fitted into the landscape. It may also explain why some of the producers I'm meeting focus on directly supplying the better restaurants elsewhere and of course exporting.

While there is every reason to be proud of the local wines it seems there is a portion of the population who have a counter productive almost messianic belief in the local wines who will brook no criticism nor anything less than absolute unadulterated praise. To be critical of the wine is seen as being critical of the entire region, Catalan history and them personally. Non PO wines regardless of their reputation are dismissed as almost undrinkable. If this is an accurate assessment for it to change is it a question of time? Will it fade as the old generations fade away and today's young turks take control or is it an almost impossible to dislodge entrenched cultural issue.

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Post by Santiago » Thu 11 Jan 2018 11:58

I think that is totally the case. There are many locals who go on about how great the wines of the Roussillon are but a) only drink Cooperative or big-producer stuff under 5€ and b) have no appreciation of wine from other French regions. So while they are right in that a bottle of random Roussillon from the supermarket is generally better than some random Bordeaux at the same price, they are not doing the region any favours in terms of reputation.
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TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Thu 11 Jan 2018 12:58

Santiago wrote:I think that is totally the case. There are many locals who go on about how great the wines of the Roussillon are but a) only drink Cooperative or big-producer stuff under 5€ and b) have no appreciation of wine from other French regions. So while they are right in that a bottle of random Roussillon from the supermarket is generally better than some random Bordeaux at the same price, they are not doing the region any favours in terms of reputation.
That perhaps explains why when I ask the locals what they recommend all they seem to know is the three big local names. Pushed to name smaller interesting producers they are struck dumb. They're the ones buying BinB not expats. I appreciate its related to disposable income and I suppose it keeps the vineyards humming however the result it seems is its easier to buy better PO wines in Paris, New York or San Francisco than Perpignan. I'm going through that now, trying to find a few bottles of one of the better producers in Paul Strang's book, It seems my best bet is to order it on line from Toulouse.

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Post by Santiago » Thu 11 Jan 2018 13:12

It depends which locals you ask. Go along to one of the tastings put on by the independent cavistes or one of the wine fairs and the locals you talk to there will be quite different from those down the rugby club or hanging out in some bar that sells gallons of Heineken. Most locals (especially the older generation) have no clue about interesting wine producers. They just know the names that advertise the most and sell in all the low-to-mid-priced restaurants. Same goes for the expats to be honest.

To be fair to the locals, nearly all the interesting wine producers here have sprung up in the last 25 years. For the older generation, Roussillon is all about sweet fortifieds and Cooperative quaffers.
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TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Thu 11 Jan 2018 13:25

My reference is the mainstream man in the street/pub/bar, the next door neighbour. I had hoped they would know what to look for and what to avoid from a consumers point of view. Not the case, however on the up side it forces me to get out and about which is great fun.

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Post by Santiago » Thu 11 Jan 2018 17:52

I ordered several copies of Paul Strang's book for people who pre-ordered them via the PO Life FB page and have a couple going spare.

It really is an excellent guide to the wines and winmeakers of the Languedoc-Roussillon and the only recent one in English.

The list price is 41€ but I'm selling them for 35€.

https://www.amazon.fr/Languedoc-Roussil ... aul+strang

Please phone, PM or email me if you would like one.
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TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Thu 11 Jan 2018 19:55

Its a great resource, Santa left one for me under the tree and its my bedside reading. The intro is concise, plenty of historical detail and good practical info.

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