Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

As today is the last day of this year 2012, I just wanted to wish you all the best, health and success for the New Year 2013. 

Happy New Year 2013

And to bring you one last 2012 smile, 
I'd like to share a few intriguing signs found here and there around Hong Kong.

I'm confused? No Cigarettes, only Pipes allowed?.....

How can children play and have a good time outside with so much restrictions in most public parks around town? More especially, if they can't "No Drying of Linen and clothing" and "No hawking"....

Obviously kids who smoke when they play with their "Remote-Controlled Model Car" must be a big problem in Hong Kong, as it is very often the only sign covered by the "No Smoking sign" on the board (see both above pictures)...

Hey! How did that happen? The "No Smoking sign" is now incorporated with the other "No" signs.
What about a bit less restrictions for kids who wants to play in the parks as they are the only gardens and green playground they can have due to Hong Kong lack of space and activity areas? 

Traditional typo....

Hawking anyone?

Happy New Year 2013
LeDom du Vin   

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tasting Session with Bertrand Demontoux portfolio

This an old post that I totally forgot to publish, so here it is. Bertrand, I hope you are well and New York is treating you good.

Tasting Session with Bertrand Demontoux portfolio  

I have known Bertrand since I've worked in, let's say at least for 5 or 6 years, may be more. During that time, I saw him evolved from fresh French salesman and brand manager representing Jaillance to constituting his own portfolio and now having his own distribution company.

He is not even 30 and has already embraced the New York city mantra: "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere."

For the past two years, he put most of his efforts, time and more especially savings into that project. Traveling various regions of France during his spare time to find the right producers, and the most expressive, balanced, Terroir oriented wines with excellent quality / price ratio.

Tall, always put together and formally dress, Bertrand has a taste for quality, refinement and elegance, which is reflected in all of his wines and their labels that he even took pride to redesign himself, for better consistency, image and presentation. And it works pretty well, I must say. Even customer's comments and fee back regarding his wines and labels are full of praise.

Bertrand is now part of these small importers / distributors who have flourished over the last 4-5 years and enabled New York to become one of the greatest wine cities, or should I say "Vinocity, of the world, by offering more eclectic and esoteric wines from smaller, more artisanal, often Organic, Biodynamic, Lutte Raisonnee and / or sustainable producers and wineries, located in previously little known, poorly regarded or rarely mentioned as well as up-and-coming viticultural areas of both world.

He passed by the other day with 6 wines and I need to admit that I liked all of them. His portfolio is rather small for now, but the producers and their wines have been chosen very carefully for their balance, elegance, focus, complexity and Terroir characteristics. Moreover, they are all Natural wines (Bio or Organic or Lutte Raisonnée or Sustainable).

Here are a few of the wines that we tasted that day:

2010 Clos des Augustins Pic Saint-Loup Rosé Languedoc France 
Suggested retail price $14-$16
Imported / distributed by Bertrand De Montoux

60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache. Biodynamic and vinification in cement tank. Clean, soft, unctuous, creamy, mouth coating yet bright and crisp due to refreshing acidity; excellent balance, long, mineral, a touch spicy on the finish. Beautiful texture and acidity and focus. Great quality / ratio wine from an appellation lesser known to the US market. Very nice. (more info at

2010 Château d'Anglès La Clape Rosé Classique Languedoc France
Suggested retail price $14-$16
Imported / distributed by Bertrand De Montoux

80% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah & 10% Grenache. Lutte raisonnée, cuve beton (cement tank), from  La Clape, which one of the best appellation of Languedoc, located east of Narbonne, regrouping about 20 wineries sharing the "Montagne de La Clape" directly facing the Mediterranean sea. The wine is produced by Eric Fabre, ex-Technical Director of Château Lafite Rothschild, which says it all. Light melon color, fragrant nose, the palate is textured, oily, mineral, long, lot of depth and complexity. Lovely well crafted wine. (more info at

2009 Domaine des Pierrettes "Element Terre" Sauvignon Blanc Rilly-sur-Loire France by Geffard et Guilbaud
Suggested retail price $12-$15
Imported / distributed by Bertrand De Montoux

100% Sauvignon Blanc. Lutte raisonnée, produced by Vicent Guilbaud et Cyril Geffard, who learn some of their skills at Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin. 18 hectares of vines. Very crisp, soft, light, good acidity, mouth coating, ample, excellent balance with a lot of character. limey, crispy finish.  Lovely. (more info at


LeDom du Vin

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thinking out loud.... Boozeday: a Mayan Calendar misinterpretation

(presumably) Acan - Mayan God of wine

Boozeday: a Mayan Calendar misinterpretation (a good occasion to unveil some of our stashed wine gems).

As we are coming closer to the fatidic date of December 21st and the misunderstood and misinterpreted message from the Mayan calendar supposedly announcing Doomsday or/and the end of the world, I think it is about time to think about opening some of these precious bottles stashed away for better occasions, and rename that day: Boozeday!

My view is the positive one:

Such occasion to celebrate may not happen again (or will it?). Wait a minute, the end of the world has already been predicted many times over since the middle ages and more especially over the last few centuries and so far we are still here. It was even supposed to happen last year in October, and some new source says that it won't happen this year but in 30 years from now.

Moreover, depending on certain calendar depending on tradition, culture, religion and belief, the year 2012 from the Gregorian Calendar (Western or Christian calendar), which is the most internationally accepted as the civil calendar, corresponds to another year. So how can we be so sure about the interpretation of ancient hieroglyphs pointing at the end of a Mayan calendar dating back from 1,300+ years earlier discovered about 40+ years ago?

Chichen Itza Mayan Temple (that my wife and I visited during our honeymoon)

Well, some interpretations talk about doomsday, the end of the world as we know it: planet crashing against the earth, giant meteorite encounter or even the lining up of all the planets in our solar system and all the consequences that may result from it. Some even push the theory of Aliens visiting earth (again? anyone wants to meet in Bugarach?). But other versions, more optimistic, favor the probability of a conscious awakening of mankind, an enlightenment, a considerable change for the better. And I tend toward the latter.

After all, what is the end of the world and how can we really interpret it? For some people that have been the victims of wars, genocides, famines, diseases, contagions and natural catastrophes, the end of the world already came. Think about it. They lose their family, friends, houses even their hopes and dreams. Despite some help from the local community and benevolent people, certain Governments and some ONG and other Foundations, they lost everything they knew and love.    

So, I'm hoping for a considerable change for the better. A better understanding of our world as a whole, not necessarily divided anymore by greed, envy, power, politic, money, religions and races. A needed step to move forward and end the non-sense that we can witness everywhere, everyday. A better comprehension of our different cultures and traditions and what we can learn from them to satisfy our needs and preserve our world.

And for that we need common sense, intelligent reflexion on solutions rather simply pointing at the problems and more especially a lot of people that are willing to change things, rather than just a minority as it is the case presently. But we also need the best friend of men for the past 4000+ years: wine.

Wine as always been present and fervent actor of some of the most historical decisions ever made in the history of mankind. Beer and other spirits like Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Bourbon, Pisco, Mescal, Tequila, Rhum, Sake and other Jiu, may have had an invaluable influence too on the greatest minds of our times.

It was customary for the Egyptian. Greek and even the Roman Empire to consume an insane amount of wine apparently, embedded in their culture, tradition and life style. As a proof, one can also come to realize that the Roman Empire boundaries stopped were they couldn't produce wine (due to the climate, geography, etc....). And I will pass on the chapter of Christianity and the knowledge of the monks perpetuating the planting of vines and thus the production of wine everywhere they went for the purpose of the church as the sacramental wine, their own and their landlords consumption and the undeniable impact on western world and overall modern civilization up to these days.

In any case, end of the world or not, let's take that opportunity as an excuse to invite and gather with friends and family to enjoy a great meal and open some great bottles of wine. Because, if the end of the world happens then you will have had a great time enjoying a gargantuan meal with some of the greatest wines that you stashed away for special occasions. And if we all happen to survive until the 22nd, then the only thing worth remembering will be that you had a great time (maybe a great hangover too) and life can continue.

Yet, it may have made you realize something else too (conscious awakening anyone?). And when I say you, I'm not talking about you only, but us all, to realize that we definitely need that change to happen, and from a simple theory transform it into a reality. Men finally coming to their senses to realize that something grandiose and meaningful needs to happen for the good of the human race: turn the page, forgive and forget the past and look toward the future by learning from our mistakes and go forward at  a more peaceful and creative pace, rectify our behaviors and open our minds.  

And the only thing that can really open our minds is wine. Wine makes you usually happier, more confident, gives you a spark of freedom of speech and invigorate your ideas and dreams. As it has been said for centuries, wine, more than any other alcoholic beverages, basically untangles your brain and tongue.

Doesn't he look thirsty with his tongue out?
He could use a good glass of wine  or some Mescal for sure ...

Whatever you may do on the 21st of December of this year, make sure a glass of wine is not too far to quench your thirst (whatever thirst that is). Some may think about having their greatest meal, watch their favorite movies or TV series; some will go to a concert or a party; some will think of the most intense sex endeavors, some will think about their past, the best moments and memories of their life; some will try to go to their favorite places; some will be surrounded and some will be alone; some will be sad, depressed and afraid; some will even think the worst as we can already witness all over in the news.

However, whatever you decide to do on that day and whatever may happen (that is if something really happen, but I don't think so), whatever will come after will and need to be better in any way, shape or form. It has to be a day of reflexion upon ourselves and our actions in our everyday life, with ourselves and with others.

A chance to gather with the ones we love and the things that have a sentimental meaning for us, and to understand what is important in our life. What do we want to do with our life? And what can we do to make it better?

And what better than a day spent talking freely, putting our cards on the table, opening up and discuss, confront each-other with the things that we always wanted to say or do, complemented by a nice glass of Jaja (French slang for wine).

Of course, you don't have to wait for the 21st to do that, but on that day, a least you will have a good excuse to do it. We all need an excuse for everything, isn't it right?

I could continue to bore you with my philosophical and spiritual way of thinking, or even develop on the great job that producers using sustainable, organic, biodynamic, Fairtrade and other Natural and "good for the people and the world" culture (and not only wine producers) achieve everyday all around the planet (as I did in many of my previous posts); or even talk to you about all the initiatives taken by millions of people everyday to make that world better, but I think that is enough for this post.

So, stay tune for more thoughts and notes on wine and life in general, and soon with the selection of wine that I may or could drink on Boozeday!

Live and drink responsibly with the respect of others and the environment. There are nothing more important than family and friends, and live a positive life the way you can with what you have.

Oh, by the way, before I forgot, there is a new French book that just came out about people that take good initiatives, it is called: Un Million de Revolutions Tranquilles by Bénédicte Manier.

I highly suggest it for those of you who can read French (no translated English version yet, I don't think). It is very informative, educational, interesting and eyes-opening in many ways.


LeDom du Vin

Step into the Green! Drink more Biodynamic, Biologique and Organic wines and spirits and food) from sustainable and natural culture and respect the environment! Support the right causes for the Planet and all the people suffering all around the globe! Also follow projects and products from the Fair Trade, an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries to obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Also support 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. "Commerce Equitable" or "Fair Trade" is evidently and more than ever a needed movement connecting producers and customers, to be aware of others and their cultural and traditional products based on high quality, natural components and craftsmanship.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

LeDomduVin: 2009 Cloudy Bay "Te Koko" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand

2009 Cloudy Bay "Te Koko" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand

Those who have tasted the extraordinarily complex and rich Pouilly-Fume wines that the late Loire Valley wild boy and Sauvignon Blanc Icon Didier Dagueneau used to craft will love Te Koko.

I had the pleasure of meeting Didier at a few tastings in the mid '90s and will never forget these brief yet memorable encounters. Wherever you are now, I'm sure you continue to craft wonders in the very unique style characteristic of your personality. Hommage a toi Didier, the wine world misses you and your gems.

"The grapes were harvested in the cool of night to preserve fruit flavour and loaded immediately into the presses. After settling the juice for a period of two to three days, the juice was racked directly to the French oak barrel (less than 10% of which was new) and allowed to undergo a slow wild or “natural” fermentation. The primary fermentation, which took until December (8 months) to complete in some batches, was followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine was left in barrels on yeast lees until October 2010, when it was racked and lightly fined for clarity. The wine was bottled mid-November." - Courtesy of

Behind its clear, clean pale yellow robe with greenish nuances, Te Koko 2009 presents a nice, clean, aromatic nose full of mineral, floral, and slightly oaky notes mingling with zesty white and yellow fruit. Lovely and expressive despite the woody hints, which are quite present yet well integrated into the other aromas. At first, on the palate, it almost feels like a white Burgundy, somewhat similar to those of Domaine Leflaive, yet with a touch less mineral, but with ripper fruit. The rich texture is definitely reminiscent of a good and ample Pouilly Fume. The mineral and acidity balance well the voluminous mid-palate and gently extend towards the long finish. Loved it. (Tasted 2.11.2012)


LeDom du Vin

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