We’re celebrating National Wine Day with a #TBT of a love affair that’s a tale as old as time: Wine and Art. On March 14th, ABC’s Atanas Nechkov and I poured at an art exhibit, an “Evening in Provence” by American-born French Impressionistic painter based in the South of France, Jill Steenhuis. Needless to say, this was probably the best combination for those who appreciate the finer things in life - that is of course, art and wine.
The moment you walked into the Country Club of Orlando, where the event was held, Jill’s art spoke for itself. The nature and complexity of her paintings brought a sense of nostalgia, yet comfort. Her paintings and drawings displayed beautiful landscapes of Paris, many of her paintings resembling those of famous Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, whom the painter herself described as her inspiration for her own work.
The detailed work of art transported you to places like the streets of France, fields, harbors and of course, with a glass of decadent French wine in hand, chateaus and vineyards. While guests relaxed, laughed, and admired the art, Atanas also gave a beautiful presentation of three Bordeaux wines and one Burgundy Pinot Noir, all different, yet marvelous wines that made the occasion that much better.
The first wine of the night was L’Orangerie de Carignan 2014, a blend of 60% Merlot 20% cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that exhibits ruby red color, aromas and flavors of red currant, blueberries and black cherry. This wine is a best-selling red wine by the glass in the brasseries in Bordeaux! For that reason it is easy to drink, it’s smooth, fruity and balanced. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with grilled meats, pasta dishes, mixed salads and aged cheese.
The best way to describe our second wine is best to leave it to the expert, the 2012 Château d’Armailhac . “Part of the empire of the Chateau Mouton Rothschild, this estate was once known as Mouton Baronne Philippe. This impressive, deep, opaque ruby/purple wine, with loads of charcoal, crème de cassis and a flowery-ness, this is rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, quite pure, and avoids any of the astringency or hollowness that some Médocs possess in this vintage. The wine is complete and finishes authoritatively. The tannins are there, but ripe, integrated and velvety. This is a very impressive d’Armailhac to drink over the next 20-25 years.” - 91 points, Robert M. Parker, Jr. 218, The Wine Advocate, April 2015
2013 Domaine Farondes Burgundy Pinot Noir Cave de Bissey is a group of growers established since 1928 in Bissey sous Cruchaud. This small village is located in the Côte Chalonnaise between the Maconnais region and the Côte d’Or. It is one of the oldest cooperatives in the region and is very well known locally for the quality of the wines. 65% of the wine produced by the members is sold at the cellar in France. It remains a small-scale operation with just 40 growers and 5 employees.
Last but not least was the rich 2013 Domaine Farondes Burgundy Pinot Noir exhibits clear, ruby red color and aromas and flavors of dark berries such as blackcurrant and blackberry, developing good aromatic intensity; a lightly tannic structure gives a well-balanced wine with pleasant persistence. Ready to drink or may be cellared for 2 to 3 years.
Now that you have four great wine recommendations, I hope you’re graving your keys and driving to your nearest ABC to pick up a bottle (or two), or are already swirling your glass and celebrating my favorite holiday of the year!
Cheers and Happy National Wine Day!