Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I trust the coffee connoisseur

The coffee connoisseur helped me move a few more bottles this week. Two of my coworkers - call them  sales chief and Big Green - wanted Cabernets. Neither is a finicky drinker, and I suggested the Pedralongo 2007 Do Umia, a red blend of the Spanish grapes Mencia, Caiño and Espadeiro about which CC raved in August. "He's got a great palate," I promised Chief and Big Green, each of whom signed up for a bottle.

The reader's suspicions may have been raised. How do I know what synapses fire in CC's brain when he sniffs and sips? I don't, of course, but I know that CC disdains the coffee brewed in our office Bunn machine and is particular about what he drinks. CC rejects coffeemakers in favor of a french press, and he prefers fresh-ground beans. He adds only small amounts of raw sugar and cream - not enough to taste, he says, only enough to lighten the flavor. Processed sugar  - "shit" was the term he used - and lighter grades of milk "make the coffee taste like shit," or, more precisely, "Maxwell House." (One of these weeks we'll have to see what CC makes of a Burgundy that tastes of, as the oenophiles politely put it, barnyard.)

CC likes his brew dark and bold, a palate that I believe leads him to prefer the bigger, more robust flavors that many American men favor in wine. His disdain for milk and processed sugar lead me to believe he'd reject overly fruity, poorly balanced wines. I'm guessing, in other words. But CC loved a Cabernet from Broadside in Paso Robles, Calif. that other drinkers enjoyed, which gave me confidence, and he's willing to try new wines. He found the '07 Pedralonga complex and hard to pin down. CC will consume another bottle this weekend, when Chief and Big Green will get their first taste of the red from Galicia in northwest Spain.     

The week's other noteworthy buy was a Clos Roche Blanche 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, a wine from the Loire that I tasted on Monday and found crisp, lean, almost like a Muscadet. When I mentioned that reaction to one of the people at Chamber St. Wines, there was a long pause suggesting consumer palate error before he told me that the wine was very lightly oxidized. 2B, so named for her penchant of buying two wines per order, will get a chance to compare it to a Francois Cazin, 2010 Cheverny Le Petit Chambord, a Loire blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay.

The boss-man (not to be confused with Chief) went for a Texier Cotes du Rhone Brezeme, a syrah from one of his favorite regions, after two months of Loire drinking that included a dip into Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route, which begins in that region. The marathon runner in the cubicle next to me (Mr. M for short) rewarded himself for his 3:07 time in the Lehigh Valley marathon last Sunday with a 2009 Beaujolais from Julien Guillot. Mr. M found that the gamay stood up well to a Gouda he scarfed down to replenish his calcium supply, while a Broadside cab, a muscadet, some mommy juice, a Cali chard and a Bordeaux wine rounded out the case. Until next week, salut!

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