WINEormous with the Occasional Wine Council in Temecula, CAWe gathered again, this group of brave tasters who call themselves the Occasional Wine Council. Linda Kissam arrived with six wines from the Bordeaux region and we met this time at my house for wine, food and conversation. As always, we were assigned a wine and asked to provide a food to pair with it. Our group keeps getting better and better at this. With the wines lined up and corks out, we sat with ready palates and dove right in.

We began our tasting with a 2006 La Butte De Château Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge. The $16 100% Merlot was very food friendly. Medium bodied with sour cherries and earth on the nose, it was nice with ceviche and incredible with ginger cookies.

Wine number two was the 2009 Chai de Bordes Bordeaux Rouge, 80% Merlot/20% Cab. I struggled to pick up a nose on this wine, but it was pleasant on the palate and went extremely well with chocolate. You ought to be able to find it for about $18.

WINEormous whips up Wasabi Mashed Potatoes in Temecula, CA

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

I was assigned to pair a dish to go with the 2009 Château Paynaud Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge, 50% Merlot/35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc . After some digging, I found a recipe for wasabi mashed potatoes, and yes, they are amazing. This was truly an old world wine with a big barnyard nose. The palate featured cherry and black fruits. The wasabi potatoes were a big hit with it. This wine sells for about $12, and it’s a real bargain at that price.

We hit our first clunker on the fourth wine. I suspect it may have been corked or otherwise flawed. The 2009 Château Ballan-Larquette Bordeaux Rouge was in a word, flat. A blend of 50% Cab/35% Merlot and 15% Cab Franc had absolutely nothing going on with it. $18.

WINEormous has homemade Ceviche in Temecula, CA


The fifth wine, a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cab was the 2009 Château LaJarre Cuvée Eleonore Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge. Priced at only $10, it was the group’s overwhelming favorite of the day. It has a great nose, it’s very well balanced and an ideal food pairing wine. It was really shined with chocolate. I’d snatch up a case at that price.

Finally we tasted the 2009 Yvon Mau Premius Bordeaux Rouge. We saved the best two for last. A 60% Merlot/40% Cab Franc Blend, I loved the smell of pipe tobacco on the nose and also picked up some clove and allspice. At $14, this was another winner in my book and the council’s second favorite wine of the day.