On September 29 of last year I got a random e-mail from one of my twitter followers. Random I say, because most of folks I know from twitter never email me. If they want to get my attention that day, they’ll send me a “direct message.” My neighbor even does that, because it tends to get my attention faster than walking over and hoping someone hears, and then answers, the doorbell. So I get this email from a guy asking if I had a few minutes to chat via phone about wine and Texas.
“Texas the state, or Texas wines?” I reply, “I may be able to help with the first much better than the second,” hoping that he does not want a recommendation on Texas wine, because there are very few we know and love. That and I hate talking on the phone, especially if it’s someone I don’t know. Turns out he wants to talk about wine and the Texas market for it. Again, I really hate talking to people I don’t know – which is why I would never make a good telemarketer. But since I was going to be home the next day, and was feeling particularly charitable (also rare) I agreed to a phone conversation.
Galen Struwe is pretty easy to talk to, actually. Very friendly, upbeat and funny — and he doesn’t mince words. Turns out he plans to enter the Texas market with two new wines under his Sacre Bleu label, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. He wonders what other wine writers in Texas he might contact to let them in on the news. So I give him a few names, and introduce him, via e-mail, to our friend Melanie, the Dallas Wine Chick.
The next week or so later, I get another call. But I am working at the office, so I text back, “I’m playing lawyer today, can I call you after 5:00?” He thinks the “playing lawyer” part is pretty funny. So every couple weeks I talk to Galen on the phone, usually when driving home from the day job. I always have to hang up when I get to the freeway for fear I will start swearing at the other idiots who are not paying attention to the road because they are also on their phones.
Now we have a policy here at Another Wine Blog that we don’t talk about wines we haven’t tasted. What if we did and they turn out to be utter crap? So as cool as Galen is, and as much as I enjoy talking to him on the phone, I am not about to tell our readers anything about his wines, until we actually taste them. And even then, only if we like them.
In fact, I am actually prepared not to like them at all. Almost dreading their arrival, because what if I didn’t like it? Or worse yet, if I did like it, and Joe didn’t? Then what?
So when the samples finally arrive, albeit without the final label now in the stores, I let Joe taste first. Just to make sure my months of friendly conversation do not color my impressions. I pour us both a glass of the Cab, taste it, and wait for confirmation.
Because I am thinking to myself, “Hey, this is good.” From the other room Joe asks, “How much is this Cab? Because if it’s under $20 I just found my go-to burger wine.” When I tell Joe it is in fact, only half that, I get confirmation. “Sold!” he says.
2009 Sacre Bleu Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby in color, with a nose of cherry, leather and smoked meats, this Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from the Chilean hills of the Maule Valley. One hundred and sixty miles from Santiago, the vineyards are in an area of sustainable and sensitive growing practices in a climate described as midway between that of France and California.
Once on the palate, we enjoy dark cherry, raspberry and mocha flavors, with just a hint of butterscotch and a bit of pepper. Not overly long on hang-time, but a casual medium finish. More denim than Brooks Brothers, it’s perfectly compatible with burgers just off the grill, or a gourmet, flat-bread pizza, brushed with olive oil, rubbed with garlic and topped with roasted Roma tomatoes. Alcohol-by-volume is 13.0%.
Priced at just $9.95, it’s definitely worth the trip up the freeway to Central Market in our case, currently the exclusive home of Sacre Bleu in the State of Texas. For those in the northeast, you can find Sacre Bleu in A&P Stores in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Win a Trip to a Live Nation Concert!
In a collaboration with Mutineer Magazine and Wine Channel IV, Sacre Bleu is sponsoring a Trip for Two to a select Live Nation concert. Winners will receive airfare, VIP seats and hotel accommodations for two to select Live Nation concerts in the U.S. with $500 to spend along the way. Beginning November 26, 2010. For more information visit Sacre Bleu at sacrebleuwine.com