Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the demi-bouteille of Château Fourcas Hosten

On my last evening in Bordeaux, I wanted something rustic. That old-school French cooking. I found it at La Tupina.

Wood burning grill ... game meat hanging ... thick tablecloths and heavy cutlery. I really, really love France. And French people, for that matter. It's the little things they do, that marks them so differently than the Spanish, or at least the Catalans. I don't want to be picking on them, but for example - a Spaniard restaurant will always assume you speak no Spanish, and give you an English menu. They won't care if you (try to) speak Spanish, nor will they deign to attempt any English. I've even had people laugh at me for my admittedly poor castellano. The French, in contrast, welcome you trying to speak in their language - they appreciate the effort. Why is that? We're all just trying our best, aren't we? I'm in your country, I want to at least try to learn a bit of your language, not fumble around with poorly translated English menu items.

We, however, shouldn't generalize. After all, when we are in a foreign country, we have an obligation to understand and respect local customs and traditions. If the Spanish choose to act un-civil and boorish to visitors, well, that's their prerogative. The staff of La Tupina were a delight, recommending me to start with the classics: frog legs mounted on a parsley and garlic sauce, followed by grilled duck breast. All I had to think about was what to drink.

2004 Château Fourcas Hosten, AC Listrac-Médoc. I know, I know. A half-bottle?! In my defense, I just finished a long day driving around Sauternes, and I had an early appointment the next morning at Château de Fargues with Philippe de Lur Saluces - not the kind of rendezvous one shows up tardy and disheveled for. So I contented myself with a simple red Bordeaux, just approaching maturity. This wine was a joy. Lustrous red in colour, fully open aromas - dark fruit, minerally and fresh. Tight-knit tannins showing its as yet unreached plateau, but with an already elegant and fine texture. Utterly satisfying, and proving yet again that 2004 is a vintage that will dance at 20 years of age.

It's the little things that matter during this job search too. At the risk of sounding boorish myself, it's important to remind yet and again that it's my duty - my obligation - to stay true to the things I gained during the MBA, and its value. It's hard, most definitely. But as even this half-bottle of simple Bordeaux showed, there's a character in all of us that takes just the right circumstances to reveal itself.

What a magnificent 4 days in Bordeaux.


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