Friday, March 19, 2010
A new Wine for Henri'
Caleigh left for school, bright and early and Cindy and I got up and out of the house and drove off for another full day type road trip. Our destination was Cahors; and then Saint-Cirq Lapopie, a revisit of two years ago, it was along with LaRoque Gageac, our favorite beau plus villages. I had reviewed the route we would take, and decided that we would first drive just past Cahors and drive up to Mont St. Cyr. to a look our point above Cahors. This would allow us to get a birds eye view of the town, and scope out where we would focus on visiting. Then we would scoot over to Saint-Cirq Lapopie for lunch, hopefully to the place we ate at two years ago, after reading about it in a Conde Nast article. So as we’re driving ever more west, Cindy leafs through the various guide books and as we drive, and we learn; our lunch destination is closed for the season, another thing we learn is an alternate lunch place.
So we continue ever west and realize that the environs of Cahors are dry in appearance, and Cindy and I joke about maybe that’s why Cahors wines are so dry and dark, no water, harsh heat in the summer, having to fight for every drop of water, well you get the point. The trees have a dry lichen coating them, kinda like a dry swampy look, or as we joked “it’s a dry, kinda dry.” Finally we enter the outer burbs of Cahors and make our way to the main bridge, instead of entering into the medieval town, we head out of town, up a winding narrow road. We found out halfway up, that it was only one way. Nothing worse that driving up this windy hilly road, thinking that at any moment there may be an oncoming delivery truck, with the driver concentrating on the list of items that he needs to drop off in the next town. So after 8 kilometers of the Burma trail we reach the peak overlooking the town of Cahors. Man Oh Man is this town packed with Architectural beauties. Sure the burbs may be mundane, but cross that bridge and there is a lot of photo’s begging to be taken, coincidently enough the bridge goes over the Lot river.
The town is surrounded by water on three sides, as one of the towns leaders, diverted the Lot by building damns and escarpments to direct the natural defense. Then they built some bridges, the beautiful medieval one still remaining is said to have been completed, because as it was way behind schedule, the architect made a deal with the devil. In exchange for his soul ( some contractors (yours truly) might debate the validity of an architect having a soul) the architect made the arrangement that the devil see that it was sped up, and completed. When the job progressed quite rapidly, the architect got cold feet, he asked the devil to fill a barrel using only a sieve, the devil made a historic attempt but alas could not fill the barrel, the architect got his soul (?????) back, and while finishing the last keyway stone on top, the piece repeatedly kept falling out, through the years. In the renaissance some masons ( probably without the direction of an architect ) finally secured a piece, which interestingly enough had the added detail of a devil trying to remove in chiseled into it. So as we looked upon Cahors, we decided to drive straight through as the drive was longer than anticipated, and truthfully, I really wanted to photograph the town from a distance. We decided to continue on this narrow widow maker of a road, which shortly thereafter turned into a two way road. Cindy was surprised to find out that the map was correct and we dissected the mountain between us and lunch in no time flat.
We finally arrive in Saint-Cirq Lapopie and it is pleasantly deserted. We park the gasping little Citroen, and visit our old friend. We made our way to the substitute restaurant, and wow did we make the absolute correct call, or Cindy did anyway. We asked for a recommendation for the wine to accompany our meal, and this wonderful waitress, who proved to be the best, most helpful, non rushing, not standing over you every second, not replacing water after every sip, young lady said. “Well this is a nice Cahors wine, pointing it out to Cindy. I could have sworn you could hear a duck being stepped on under our table, accompanied by, “ Wah, Wah, Wah, Waaahhhhh.” We had spent fifteen positively sophomoric moments on the drive over chuckling about the wonderful black tar Cahors dry, dry, dry wine. We looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights. I thought I should ask “Well, if you say so, do you have Chicken, duck, or crow on your menu?” We countered with “We like Bordeaux, red wine.” She smiled, honestly and just said. “This is a red wine that will pair nicely.” Again pointing at the Cahors wine. We knew we had no choice, because how would this sound. “No thank you, we will skip the tar laden local swill and have the toffee nosed Bordeaux,but good luck shilling the local
product." There is no way anyone reading this could remotely side with our dipshit logic, I think we’re good people overall, but I was about to get served…in so many ways, a lesson which is best served room temperature. Cindy being the ambassador looks at her and smiles and say. “That sounds great, we’ll have that with our lunch.” I look at her as if to say, “Enjoy your bottle of pitch tar local dry wine, Baby cose I‘m having an aperitif.”
We both order the Chef’s Suggestion, as we ordered the waitress’s selection might as well keep symmetry. Cindy and I ordered an aperitif, I had the Truffe Vin and Cindy had the house special called Fenolon which consisted of some Cahors wine, cassis and brou de noix. For some reason I love, adore Truffles, there is an earthy flavor, difficult to explain, I just connect with it, this white, sweet wine was infused with truffle. I don’t care for sweet wines, to me they’re an oxymoron, but this sweet truffle flavor was good, it was silly, it was so good. You can quote me on that. Cindy’s house special was like Kir, but darker and syrupy. The young lady returns with our bottle of Cahors, and leaves it on the table, no ceremonial “Would you like to sniff the cork, you nitwit poser, lick the top of the bottle and breathe through your………..She wanted to let it breath while we enjoyed the aperitifs. Being the whistledick that I am I’m thinking. “they probably have to come back in five minutes and add a thinning agent to the wine.” Anyway we finish the aperitifs and nibble on the bread with Truffle butter, and I pour a glass of the Cahors wine for Cindy then myself. Hmmm interesting color, darker than a pinot noir, but a little lighter than a Bordeaux. Doesn’t smell like a diesel and limestone blend, tastes kinda light but full bodied, but not like you could stand up a fork in it. “Let’s get Mikey to try it, he‘ll try anything….He likes it!” As we ate our main course paired with this wonderful red wine, I savored the lesson. You know what you nincompoop, at least you didn’t make a fool out of yourself in front of the waitress, I think we handled it pretty well.
She walks over smiling in her genuine way and asks how I like it. (She actually meant the meal, but shiferbrains me answers. “ Wow. that’s really great wine, I’m surprised.” Cindy, thank god interjects nicely. “ We don’t have any much of a selection of Cahors wine in the states, but we will now look.”
A preconceived incorrectly, biased non factual, set in ones ways elementary life lesson. Check
Tomorrow our spoiled ingrate blogger will describe the beauty that is Saint-Cirq Lapopie.