October 11, 2006
Paul Jaboulet Aîne 2005 Tavel L'Espiegle, $11
"The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite," wrote A.J. Liebling in Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris. The same could be said about writing about wine, and Liebling is one of the few people who wrote about both as easily as if he were breathing.
To read his books, you get the sense that a meal without wine is simply unthought of. So when he writes of a Parisian bistro he frequented in his poorer, fresh-out-of-school days, where the chefs served up a mean brandade de morue, a creamy, salty purée of codfish, and the wine list held an affordable Tavel with a "rose cerise robe," and a flavor "warm but dry, like an enthusiasm held under restraint," one wants to go directly to Paris. Or at least to the kitchen, to whip up some brandade and to pour a glass of such spirit-lifting pink.
Jaboulet's Tavel will do the trick, cherry-red and dry as stone, and still a bargain.
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, NY.
This review first appeared in the Denver Post.