Wine By The Glass With D-Vine

A French startup is looking to change the way people drink wine, one glass at a time. The device being shown by 10-Vins at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas borrows the idea from the fast-growing single-dose coffee machines such as Nestle’s Nespresso and US-based Keurig. [Read more…]

Hubert le Gall’s Limited Edition Ruinart Blanc de Blancs

The new limited edition of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs bears the signature of Hubert Le Gall, the French artist and scenographer. Golden fine upstrokes and wide downstrokes flow over the immaculate whiteness of the coffret. An emblematic line in time interrupted only when the giftbox is opened. [Read more…]

Bordeaux vineyard vandals destroy ‘historical treasure’

Vandals have destroyed a plot of rare Bordeaux vines intended for a €3,000 wine by cutting 500 vine plants down to the root. [Read more…]

South Korean artist designs Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2013 label

Chateau Mouton Rothschild has commissioned a South Korean artist Lee Ufan to design the label on its Bordeaux 2013 vintage first wine. [Read more…]

Opening day set for Bordeaux’s ‘Guggenheim of wine’

Bordeaux’s new €81m (£58m) Cité du Vin wine centre will open on June 2 2016, it has been announced. [Read more…]

Bottle of Lafite Rothschild 1895 sells for $17,000

A single bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild 1895 vintage has been sold for $17,000 at a retailer in Dubai. [Read more…]

‘Napoleon’s wine’ sells for £25k

A bottle of wine believed to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte has sold for £25,000, while one of his hats made over £300,000.

The bottle, which is unopened and “still believed to contain wine”, was part of the collection of a Scottish baronet who collected a large array of Napoleonica in the 19th century and sold at one of Christie’s London sales earlier this month. [Read more…]

Christie’s is Auctioning a Bottle of Napoleon’s Personal Wine

Even if you don’t possess the military prowess of the famed French emperor, you can still drink like Napoleon.

During its Exceptional Sale on July 9, Christie’s is selling a rare bottle of wine that rumbled along in Napoleon’s personal military carriage. With an estimated worth between 15 and 32 thousand dollars, the hand-blown green bottle displays Napoleon’s seal of “a crowned ‘N’ enclosed in a [Read more…]

Riedel launches Vinum Extreme Rosé wine glass

Winemakers from Provence have helped glass designer Riedel to create the ‘perfect’ glass for the region’s rosé wines. [Read more…]

6 things to know about Sauternes, Bordeaux’s liquid gold

Due to its high acidity and sugar levels, Sauternes can age beautifully. Over time, its hallmark golden hue deepens into an almost copper color, and flavors of honeyed tropical fruit turn into notes of caramel, spice and crème brûlée. (iStock)

The holiday season is a time to indulge, and Sauternes — the sweet white wine from France’s Bordeaux region — is a perfect fit.

Made from sauvignon blanc, semillon and muscadelle grapes, Sauternes is often overshadowed by Bordeaux’s revered reds. But Berenice Lurton, president of the Classified Growths of Sauternes and Barsac and owner of the Sauternes-producing Chateau Climens wine estate in Barsac, France, says the sweet wine has unique features that are worth exploring.

1. “Noble rot” is good

It sound a little gross, but Botrytis cinerea, aka “noble rot,” is one of the things that make Sauternes so special. A microscopic fungus that creates some of the finest sweet wines in the world, it shrivels the grapes on the vine, effectively concentrating their flavor and sugars. “There are a hundred times more aromatic molecules in a wine made with noble rotted grapes, making their delicious juice extremely viscous and sweet,” Lurton says. (For more about Botrytis cinerea, click here.)

2. It’s all about the region

Sauternes depends on a unique microclimate for its production. Located 25 miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, the Sauternes region is located along the Ciron, a cold tributary of the warmer Garonne River. In the warm, dry autumn months, the temperature difference between the rivers creates a mist that descends on the vineyards in the evening and remains until late morning. This is an ideal climate for “noble rot,” and Sauternes is one of the few places in the world where it occurs on a regular basis. But there are no guarantees. Weather conditions dictate the amount of grapes available for harvest in any given vintage. (For more on the region, click here.)

3. They age well

Due to its high acidity and sugar levels, Sauternes can age beautifully. Over time, its hallmark golden hue deepens into an almost copper color, and flavors of honeyed tropical fruit turn into notes of caramel, spice and crème brûlée. An opened bottle of Sauternes will keep longer in the fridge than a red or white wine. And while you can age these wines for decades, they are also delicious in their youth. “Nothing like a glass of Sauternes after a tiring working day, alone or with friends, to get back to life,” says Lurton.

4. They’re versatile

Sauternes has a reputation as a dessert wine, but Lorton says “all these restrictive labels which have been stuck on them for decades” have hidden its versatility. Because Sauternes strikes a balance of sweetness and acidity, it pairs well with savory dishes, including foie gras, roast chicken, blue cheese and spicy cuisine.“If you try a Sauternes with Thai, Chinese or Indian food, you will be completely baffled!” Lurton says. “They are also wonderful with cheeses and light desserts with seasonal or dry fruits.”

5. Sensuality in a glass

When sipping Sauternes alone, you can appreciate all the intricate layers of fruit, flowers and spice. Gorgeous aromas and flavors of honey, orange, apricot, grapefruit, ginger, acacia blossom, nutmeg and even saffron can often be found in Sauternes. “It is a luxury perfume in the glass, and the taste of it is a perfect melding of sweetness and freshness,” Lurton says. “For me, it is nothing but sensuality in a glass.”

6. It’s an old, respected wine

In 1855, Emperor Napoleon III set up a ranking system or classification for Bordeaux wines. In addition to the five-class system for reds, Sauternes and Barsac (another sweet Bordeaux white) were given their own classification. They were placed into two tiers — First Growths, which included nine wines (including Chateau Climens), and Second Growths, which included 11 wines, as well as “Superior First Growth” for Chateau d’Yquem, of which no red wine was deemed worthy. There have been a few minor changes to Sauternes’ classification since then, and it continues to have a stellar reputation today.

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6 things to know about Sauternes, Bordeaux’s liquid gold