Friday, May 17, 2024

LeDomduVin: Partagas Serie D No 4






Partagas Serie D No 4



J'ai eu 51 ans le 10 Mai, et je me suis fumé un petit "Partagas Serie D No 4" pour fêter l'occasion. Elle est pas belle la vie? 😁👍

Laissez-moi vous conter comment m’est venu mon amour pour les cigares.

Contrairement à ce que peuvent penser beaucoup de gens, le rôle de Sommelier ne se cantonne pas qu'au vin (aux boissons en général), mais aussi à la nourriture et aux cigares.

En France, comme en Angleterre et en Suisse, la formation d’un Sommelier au Lycée Hôtelier comprend la connaissance approfondie, l’élaboration, la dégustation et le service de toutes les boissons : du vin au porto, du whisky aux spiritueux, du Saké aux liqueurs, des apéritifs aux digestifs, mais aussi des cafés, thés, chocolats et eaux minérales. Ainsi que la cuisine et ses techniques, les fromages bien sûr, mais aussi les cigares, et les accords entre eux.

Le rôle du Sommelier seconde souvent celui du Directeur de restaurant et du premier maitre d’hôtel, étant la personne qui propose et sert les apéritifs, conseille et sert les vins, propose et sert les fromages, ainsi que les digestifs et cigares en fin de repas.

Cette histoire aurait bien pu commencer lorsque je travaillais dans la restauration en France (1992-1997), mais c'est en Angleterre que j'ai appris à fumer et à apprécier le cigare, durant mes années Londoniennes (1997-2002), alors que je n'étais qu'un jeune Sommelier.






Je travaillais au "Monte's Club" (sur Sloane Street) qui se composait d'un bar à cocktails (au deuxième étage), un restaurant gastronomique géré par l'équipe d'Alain Ducasse (au premier étage), une discothèque (au sous-sol), et un cigare « shop/lounge » (au rez-de-chaussée).

C'est dans ce club que j'ai ouvert, gouté et servi certaines des plus belles bouteilles de ma carrière en devenir. Et c'est là aussi que j'ai commencé à m'intéresser aux cigares.

Je trainais souvent au "Cigar Shop" et nous avions aussi un très bel « humidor » pour les clients du restaurant et du bar. Mes mentors de l’époque, Tim McLaughlin-Green et Yves Sauboa, ainsi que Neil Millington, m’ont appris les bases et le reste est venu avec le temps et l’expérience.

Durant ces années, nous étions tout un groupe de français qui travaillaient dans les plus grands restaurants et hôtels de la capitale anglaise (Sommeliers, Serveurs, Bartenders, Directeurs et Maitre d’Hotels de Restaurant, Chefs et cuisiniers, etc…).

Nous nous retrouvions souvent pour faire des repas et des fêtes ensembles (avec certains de nos collègues Anglais et autres nationalités).

Le champagne et le vin coulaient à flot, la nourriture abondait et nous finissions régulièrement ces moments épicuriens avec un bon cigare accompagné d’un vieux porto ou un cognac, souvent apportés et conseillés par l’incroyable Georges dos Santos (alias JoJo - Antic Wine).

On était une sacrée équipe ! Tous âgés entre 20 et 30 ans, la plupart d’entre nous ont vécu les plus belles années de leur vie durant ces années-là. Nous liant d’une amitié qui a perduré malgré le temps et la distance et dure encore aujourd’hui.

Après « Monte’s », j’ai travaillé 3 mois « Les Ambassadeurs » (Hyde Park Corner), un Casino privé avec une très belle cave à vins et à cigares. Et pour finir, j’ai travaillé pendant 3 ans à « CHE » (St James Street), un restaurant, bar cocktails et cigare lounge, ou j’ai pu peaufiner mon expertise sur les cigares.

Mon ami et collègue, mixologiste extraordinaire, Eric Fossard, et moi allions souvent fumer un cigare l’après-midi durant notre « break » au bar d’un hôtel situé non loin. Eric m’a aussi beaucoup appris sur les cigares (et les cocktails).

A l’époque, mon cigare préféré était le « Partagas Serie D No 4 », un cigare de taille Robusto, puissant, rond et très aromatique dans lequel se mêlent les notes de café crémeux, de chocolat, avec des nuances boisées et épicées. Et ça l’est toujours.

Et c'est comme ça que je suis tombé amoureux des cigares.





Avec le flou on pourrait croire que je suis à New York. Mais non, je suis bien à Hong Kong.

J'ai arrêté la cigarette, il y a déjà quelques temps, mais j'avoue que j'aime bien me fumer un petit cigare de temps en temps, quand l'occasion se présente.

Pris du désir de fumer un cigare pour mon anniversaire, j'ai cherché sur internet un endroit où aller fumer un cigare tranquille à Hong Kong, et suis tombé sur le « Bertie Cigar Club », que je ne connaissais pas.

Le Bertie Club a l'embarras du choix avec une collection impressionnante de cigares en tous genres et de toutes provenances (Cuba, République Dominicaine, Honduras, US, Europe, etc.…), mais c’est en mémoire de mes années londoniennes que j’ai choisi un "Partagas Serie D No 4" pour célébrer mes 51 ans, que de souvenirs.

Je me suis donc fait ce petit plaisir à "Bertie" qui est un club cosy et sophistiqué, soigné et très confortable, avec une terrasse très agréable. Kudos à Mr Eric Piras (@eric.piras), le patron du Club, et à son équipe. Ce fut une très jolie expérience. C'etait ma première fois, et ce ne sera assurément pas la dernière.

Merci à vous toutes et tous pour vos messages pour mon anniversaire, sur les réseaux sociaux et sur whatsapp, c'est gentil et ça m'a fait très plaisir. 🙏😁👍🥂🍷😙


Cheers! Santé!

Dom


PS: Mr Piras, nous nous sommes croisés dans le couloir de Bertie, aujourd'hui. Vous m'avez dit bonjour, je vous ai répondu bonjour, mais nous n'avons pas discuté (car en fait, je ne vous connais pas et n'ai pas percuté que vous êtes le patron du Club). La prochaine fois que je vous vois, je me ferai un plaisir de discuter avec vous et de vous faire passer le bonjour de Hervé Pennequin (@hwinefrog)


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #cigar @partagas_cigars #partagas #anniversaire #birthday #birthdaytreat #gifttomyself #goodtime



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Friday, May 10, 2024

LeDomduVin: Rébus

 


Rébus


Aujourd'hui est un jour un peu particulier pour moi et je n'ai pas pu résister à l'envie de vous faire un petit rébus (que j’ai créé moi-même) afin que vous deviniez pourquoi.

A vous de jouer ! 😉👍🍷

Cheers ! Santé !

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein #rebus #devinette #jeu #lesrebusadom #lescollagesadom #lescreationsadom #lesillustrationsadom #illustration #collage #creativite #creativity #imagination #keepcreating


Unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved ©LeDomduVin 2024, on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, collages, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

LeDomduVin: Agriculture Timeline




Agriculture Timeline 


by @ledomduvin 2024

While editing one of my old posts on my blog about agriculture and viticulture (Biodynamic, Organic, Sustainable Culture, Lutte Raisonnée, Natural, Conventional, etc.), I felt the need to complement the post with a visual displaying a brief timeline showing the key periods of the evolution of agriculture. 

I find history fascinating and thought that going back in time would help me further develop the subject of my post and better understand how Agriculture ("Farming") evolved since its birth around 9000 BCE (Before the Current Era).  

While doing my research on the Internet, I stumbled upon a great website that had already detailed these key periods. It was very informative and helpful. 

So, as a visual is worth a thousand words and is often easier to understand as self-explanatory, I have created this "Agriculture Timeline" mainly based on and courtesy of https://innovature.com/timeline  (@innovaturenow) 
(Thank you 🙏👍💪)

Have a look at the Agriculture Timeline. You might learn something! 

Go to the Innovature.com website for more information and details. 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein #agriculture #viticulture #biodynamic #biologic #organic #sustainable #lutteraisonnee #blog #blogger #knowledge #education #keeplearning



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Monday, April 29, 2024

LeDomduVin: Château Pontet Canet Pauillac 2010





Château Pontet Canet Pauillac 2010


Pontet Canet has always been one of my go-to wines — a classic Pauillac!

I first visited Pontet Canet in the late 1990s and every year during the En Primeurs between 2002 and 2007. It has always been a pleasure to see Mr. Alfred Tesseron and his niece Melanie (who joined in 2005).

Unfortunately, I never had the chance to return to the chateau after that, but I never stopped buying, selling, opening, tasting, and serving its wines.

I look forward to revisiting Pontet Canet during one of my upcoming trips to my hometown of Bordeaux. See what changes Justine Tesseron, Alfred's daughter and the General Director of the Chateau since 2015, and her brother Noé have made since then.

I have opened quite a few Pontet Canet 2010 these past 2 years, and I like this wine.

I opened these 2 bottles this weekend, and they show delightfully.

Château Pontet Canet Pauillac 2010

In the glass, it displays a clean, clear, and attractive grenat color of medium intensity. The nose is very expressive and gains complexity as you swirl the wine. It boasts dark fruits, cassis and blackberries, violet, licorice, and mocha, mingling with floral, spicy, peppery, earthy notes and slightly toasted, oaky nuances. The palate is fruity, generous, ample, textured, and dark and expands quite nicely toward the long, earthy finish.

I enjoyed it a lot but felt it was still a bit young and angular, a little edgy. I would have loved for it to be more homogenous and integrated. The acidity brings good freshness to the dark fruits and the earthiness of the finish.

Yet, although the tannins are fine, they seem a bit astringent and may need some time to mellow down. I highly recommend decanting it for about an hour before serving it.

Besides being a Classic Pauillac, Pontet Canet is a great value for money. Classified as a Fifth growth in 1855, it produces gorgeous wines that often rival Second growths and outrank its peers.


Cheers! Santé!

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #vin #wine #vino #wein @chateau_pontetcanet #pontetcanet #pauillac #bordeaux #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommlife #sommelierlife




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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

LeDomduVin: What's next?





What's next?


by ©LeDomduvin 2024

Sometimes, I think about all the things that are happening simultaneously all around the world and wonder, what's next?

What is going on? Where are we going? What will happen tomorrow? In what kind of world are my kids growing up in?

How can we be so blind?
How can we be so stupid?
How did we let that happen?

I am about to turn 51 years old. For half a century, I have heard the same speeches and concerns, over and over again, about the state of the world - wars, famines, genocides, political and social unrest, corruption, drugs, climate change, saving the planet (although it's silly to think that the earth needs saving), and saving humanity.

Unfortunately, every passing year seems worse and brings even more troubling news and disasters than the previous one.

It is frightening to see countries turning to nationalism and governments no longer agreeing, disagreeing, or compromising.

Even for Climate change, despite 28 years of COP, no unanimous decision or solution has been found.

When will we recognize the need for drastic changes in our attitudes, behaviors, and manners toward our planet, all living things, and, more significantly, each other?

Inaction and lack of interest of the majority (including the governments) render the minority's daily efforts to improve things futile.

And how can we blame them? Understandably, people preoccupied with financial struggles and daily worries prioritize their needs before climate change, pollution, war, etc...

"There is so much hatred, war, and poverty," as the "Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes" song goes.

People must recognize the impact of human actions on all living things on earth and take responsibility to make a change.

I fear for my kid's future in this ever-challenging world.

I have said it many times before and will continue to repeat it:

"Humans do not try to find solutions to the problems they create; they only adapt to their consequences" - Dom


It felt good to vent and rant, even if it won't change anything.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #whatsnext #wondering #future #present #past #vent #rant #feelings #lescreationsadom #lesimagesadom #lescollagesadom #lesillustrationsadom #lesdessinsadom 



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Thursday, April 18, 2024

LeDomduVin: Château Lafont Menaut Pessac-Léognan 2021




Château Lafont Menaut Pessac-Léognan 2021



I recently bought this lovely Pessac-Léognan from my local supermarket to try out a 2021 Bordeaux within a 15-20 Euro price range.

What a pleasant surprise! Kudos to Philibert Perrin, the chateau's owner, and his team.

Chateau Lafont Menaut is located about 5 km south of Chateau Carbonnieux, the Perrin family's most renowned property.

The land, acquired by the Perrin family in 1990, was once covered with trees. So, they embarked on a deforestation program and stumbled upon an old, abandoned washhouse, the Menaut fountain, which became the origin of the Château's name.

Philibert gradually took over and started planting vines in 1993. The vineyards now consist of 17 hectares of red grape varieties (50 % Cab Sauv, 45 % Merlot, and 5 % Cab Franc) and 4 hectares of white (100% Sauvignon Blanc). Until 2000, Philibert made the wine at his brother Eric’s property, Chateau Haut-Vigneau.

In 2000, Philibert started the construction of the operating buildings: a vat room, barrel cellars, and living quarters. Construction ended in 2017 with the addition of a wine center and a tasting room. The final blend usually reflects the percentage of the planted grape varieties. Aging lasts about 12 months in French oak barrels, of which 30% are new.

So, why “a very pleasant surprise”? 

Well, ending a trilogy of great vintages (2018, 2019, and 2020), 2021 was a challenging vintage in Bordeaux, as producers had to battle frost, millerandage, and mildew. Chateau Lafont Menaut lost half of its production that year.

However, some very good wines were made with careful viticulture, hard work, and decisions and actions at crucial moments. Lafont Menaut is a very good example.

Chateau Lafont Menaut 2021

Intense, opaque, and deep color. Ripe dark cherry and red fruit aromas on the nose, with earthy, spicy, oaky notes and slightly smoky nuances. Tight, dark, and ripe, right after opening, after a few minutes and swirls in the glass, the palate offered a more gentle profile: round, fleshy, firm, yet fresh and juicy, with earthy and smoky notes. Nicely done!


Cheers! Santé!

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin @chateaulafontmenaut #lafontmenaut #wine #vin #vino #wein #pessacleognan #bordeaux #redwine #tasting #tastingnotes




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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

LeDomduVin: Krug, Jean-Noel Gagnard and Mouton-Rothschild




Krug, Jean-Noel Gagnard and Mouton-Rothschild 



Nice line-up yesterday. Opened for a private lunch on a yacht.




Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition NV

Probably one of the best entry-level cuvées, Krug "Grande Cuvée" is a delicious classic champagne that never disappoints. Sophisticated, rich, balanced, and harmonious, it embodies refinement and elegance, no matter the edition number. A classic in my book. Love it.




Jean-Noel Gagnard Bâtard-Montrachet 2018

I have opened countless bottles of this wine in the last two years (see previous posts), and I love it so much that I could not resist pouring it again for this lunch.

An attractive robe of pale-yellow gold with silver reflects. The nose blossoms with aromas of white flowers, yellow stone fruits, pear, and apple, refreshing mineral nuances, and hints of butterscotch and spice. The palate is fresh, mineral, smooth, dense, powerful, ample, generous, and luscious, yet so elegant and graceful. The long, mouth-watering, mineral finish calls immediately for another glass. Loooooove it.




Château Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2014

I was initially skeptical due to the lesser quality of the vintage and the result of previous experiences where the wine was closed and tight. 2014 Bordeaux usually presents green, unintegrated tannins, unripe fruits, high acidity, and some angularities to my palate. Yet, having recently tasted a few good Bordeaux 2014, which are now opening and taste much better than a few years ago, I decided to chance my luck for this lunch.

It was a gamble, but despite being tight and closed initially, the wine showed rather well after about 2 hours of opening (no decanting). Despite the tannins being a bit rustic and not completely integrated, the overall profile of the wine was quite nice and relatively fresh due to its high acidity. Aromas of red cherry and berry fruits mingled with earthy, spicy notes and oaky nuances. Somewhat angular, it still offered a soft and silky texture with a subtle minerality, leading to a full and persistent finish with beautiful freshness. It might get even better with time.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin @krugchampagne #krug @domaine_jeannoel_gagnard #jeannoelgagnard @chateaumoutonrothschild_ #moutonrothschild



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LeDomduVin: Tentenublo Escondite del Ardacho "El Abundillano" Single Vineyard Rioja DOCa Spain 2019



Tentenublo Escondite del Ardacho "El Abundillano" Single Vineyard Rioja DOCa Spain 2019



The other day, I returned to Bayfare Social in Rosewood (HK) to serve the wines for a private dinner.

Bayfare Social is a Spanish restaurant with a relaxed, cozy atmosphere and a convivial vibe. I love their food, inspired by classic Spanish tapas and pinchos dishes.




After finishing my job for the night, I treated myself to a well-deserved dinner at the bar counter since I didn't have the chance to eat earlier.

I went for two of my favorites on their menu: the "Calamares a la Andaluza" (fried squid, parsley, and Aioli) and the "Hovos Rotos" (Iberico Ham, fried potato, Spanish egg, and Aioli). 

I wanted a glass of Rioja wine to accompany these dishes, so I asked for the "Artadi" they usually offer by the glass. Yet, they were out of it, so I asked the bartender if he had another Rioja by the glass, and he generously poured me a glass of this Rioja I had never heard of before. It was a pleasant surprise, as the wine tasted great and paired well with the food. 
 



Tentenublo Escondite del Ardacho "El Abundillano" Single Vineyard Rioja DOCa Spain 2019


As an “old school” Sommelier and a Rioja wine lover for 30 years, I usually like my Rioja made with a majority of Tempranillo. Yet, I’m always eager to taste and learn about wine I have never tried before.

This Rioja is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, and 10% Malvasia. The color is intense, dark, and opaque. The nose displays incentive aromas of ripe black cherry mingling with licorice, mocha, and earthy notes. The palate is generous, complex, ample, coating, structured, juicy, and well balanced by good acidity between the ripeness of the fruit, the tannins, and the 15.5% alcohol. It offers plenty of texture and chewiness while remaining fresh, with a lovely mineral and saline touch in the long finish. Loved it.

Tiny production: 1300 bottles or less.

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein @robertentenublo #tentenublo #robertoolivan #esconditedelardacho #elabundillano #singlevineyard #rioja #spain #redwine #tempranillo #tasting #tastingnotes @bayfaresocial #bayfaresocial #spanishfood 



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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

LeDomduVin: Chateau Latour Pauillac 2015




Château Latour Pauillac 2015


I recently opened a few bottles of this particular wine for 2 different dinners, and it showed wonderfully after about 2 hours of decanting. Still young, with some present yet integrated tannins that will need a bit more time to mellow down. Beyond its attractive aromas of red and dark cherries and berries mixed with notes of licorice, coffee, and leather mingling with earthy and oaky nuances, it boasts an impressive complexity, structure, and texture. The palate is rich, opulent, and layered, expanding nicely till the lingering finish. Although really approachable now, it deserves a few more years of cellaring to fully express itself and its full potential. Looooooooooove it.

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein @_chateaulatour #chateaulatour #latour #pauillac #bordeaux  #greatwine #redwine #tasting #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommlife #sommelierlife #ilovemyjob #wineyearly #lovewine


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Thursday, March 14, 2024

LeDomduVin: Portrait




LeDomduVin: Portrait



With Time comes Confidence
With Age comes Wisdom
The unavoidable passing of Time
How to get old while being young at heart

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #portrait #quote #gettingold #youngatheart #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #winelover #winepassion #wineinlife #lifeinwine #wine #vin #vino #wein #dominiquenoel




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