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2015 Wine Camp, Day Eight: Banquet

I needed to sleep in. In has been a fantastic week, but I am exhausted. We usually finish dinner by 11:30, return to the hotel around midnight and Bill and I have Cognac and talk about the day until 12:30 or 1:00am. Then I return to my room and write the first draft of this newsletter. In the morning I …

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2015 Wine Camp, Day Seven: The Games

The search for wines is finished, and now we will blind taste those we have invited to the “Grand Degustation.” It’s a little like American Idol. Hundreds audition, and a few are invited to Hollywood – or in our case, Margaux. We left Chateau Camiac around noon and drove over to Margaux to deposit the wines we had collected from …

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2015 Wine Camp, Day Six: Outside Lunch

After five fabulous days of Vinexpo and staying on the Left Bank in Margaux, we moved over to the Right Bank to visit our friends in St Emilion and Pomerol. Our first appointment of the day was lunch with Thomas Thiou from Reclos de La Couronne and Pierre Emmanuel from Chateau Pierhem. We met at Thomas’s chai and tasted his …

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2015 Wine Camp, Day Five: Bonfire

This was the last official day for Vinexpo and while there were no major events scheduled for us to visit we were looking forward to lunch with our friend Patrick who is the young winemaker at Chateau Tour Bicheau. I met Patrick when he was just 27 years old and still learning winemaking from his father and grandfather. Today he …

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2015 Wine Camp, Day Four: Volley Ball Tournament

Some days are a mix of highs and lows; today was one of those days. Our morning began with a tasting of about a hundred wines from St Estephe-a region in Bordeaux just north of Pauillac and home to some fantastic wines. Cos D’Estournel, Calon Segur and Lafon Rochet make their home here as well as many other great wines. …

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2015 Wine Camp, Day three: Sailing

Today was a little less hectic, but not without it’s stress. My first meeting was a wonderful lunch (Parmentier de canard – confit de canard mixed into mashed potatoes and simply fantastic) with two French friends. Benoit is a rep for about two hundred wines in the US and Guilhem is a college kid from Bordeaux that I’ve gotten to …

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2015 Wine Camp Day Two: Mountain Climb

Yesterday was our “Mountain Climb” day. We had three major tastings to attend beginning in the morning with the Grand Cru tasting of about 125 wines from the 2014 vintage. These are the famous ones you would recognize, and it was like tasting the entire Bordeaux inventory at Total Wine. I knew we had a long day ahead of us, …

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2015 Vinexpo: Wine Camp Day One

It is that time once again to make the pilgrimage to Bordeaux for the biannual wine festival – Vinexpo. I landed in Bordeaux on Wednesday – arriving a couple of days early in order to try to get over the jet lag before the serious tasting begins – and have had a great time playing tour guide for a friends …

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“Pinch Me; I Can’t Believe I’m Here!”

Yesterday was another one of those days that makes me say, “Pinch me; I can’t believe I’m here.”  My day began with a visit to Chateau Gloria to meet Jean Triaud the grandson of the founder and the person currently in charge of promoting the wines.  We had met in New York at the Grand Cru event and he had …

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Tasting the Left Bank

We were very encouraged after tasting twenty-four wines from the Right Bank and finding eleven we could include in the club.  That is a great start to being able to find ten wines for next year.  Yesterday we set up the bottles again to taste another twenty-four wines – this time from the Left Bank.  Although I would consider myself …

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"Life is too short to drink bad wine."