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Fancy French wine from Tess’ Market soothes two college reviewers

April 14, 2017

It’s amazing the amount of crap we write that hits the cutting room floor before you kind souls read our writing. We are men prone to waxing nostalgic. We are men prone to making the same six jokes, some involving hip-hop, some involving partying with wine in settings not necessarily conducive to drinking wine. Frankly, in reflecting upon our boring consistencies, we are in effect doing some form of what we do every week. But that being said, sometimes sticking with a classic is the best route. We felt, after the radical departure from traditional viniculture that was last column’s sangria, that we should stick to a classic old-world style and reflect upon the things that make a good wine good and awesomely crappy wine awesomely crappy.

We ventured into Tess’ Market one evening with the intention of purchasing the coolest looking bottle of wine. For those who haven’t been to Tess’, don’t go. We only say that because they have an incredible selection of wines (and some cool barrel-aged stouts) that we don’t want anyone to pinch from. Realistically, Tess’, which is over on Pleasant Street and used to supply kegs to Bowdoin parties back in the 80s, is totally worth the visit. The staff are friendly, helpful and, as mentioned above, have a crazy-extensive selection of wine. The wine we reviewed this week certainly came in a cool bottle, featuring a tasteful drawing of three flowers arranged to create a mini-Tricolour. The wine is the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2016.

The charming little red, as its name may suggest, is French, from the villages of the Beaujolais region. The Beaujolais-Villages moniker is reserved for mid-tier wines from 38 villages within Beaujolais. The region makes use of the Gamay grape, which is noted for its light bodied and fruity wines. A quick glance-over of wine blogs reveals that such bottles are a good wine for the value and a worthy representation of the region. An even quicker glance-over of wine blogs suggests that these wines are intended to be served chilled. We didn’t chill it for our taste and liked it just fine. We can only imagine what treats await those with refrigeration.

Some refer to Gamay-based wines as poor man’s Pinot Noir; we here at Bottom of the Barrel beg to differ. This wine is great for sippin’ outside in a “I-own-a-deck-with-a-fire-pit” kinda way. It is a red wine, and it bears red fruit and blackberry notes. But this wine is a cruiser and a sipper. It’s a Patagonia vest on casual Friday at the office. It’s meant to be consumed chilled outside a cafe on an April day. The wine feels sophisticated but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is easy drinking and fruity but in a grown-up way. If you like wine but don’t want to commit too much, this is the wine for you.

Additional Notes:

Appearance: 3.5/5

Legs: 2.5/5

Aroma: 4/5

Taste: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Tonight’s Soundtrack: “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles, karaoke version

Justin: “From now until graduation you can find me on a lime Adirondack chair on the Bowdoin Quad consuming wine or a wine derivative.”

Will: “I’d drink the crap out of this wine with mussels. I think the frequency with which Bowdoin serves mussels in Thorne is awesome. I’d eat mussels with pretty much every beverage.”


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