When you’ve lived "abroad" as long I have, there comes a time when you question you’re identity. I’ve lived around here just eight years longer than I did in London, so when does the accent get unclipped, the bow tie get tossed and the subtle cynicism become blatant chiding? Then there’s that other trait of the true Englishman — a less than subtle, less than clandestine contempt for their neighbors across the English Channel. Some of my best friends in our 'hood are French and German and I rarely deride their temperaments for my entertainment. I've probably morphed into an Engla-vanian,
This started me pondering the hypocrisy of the Englishman’s less-than- neighborly disposition when it comes to the subject of wine.
Somehow with all the “baggage” and battle scars the last few centuries left on the shores of England there is one weakness that even Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill were unable to conquer — our love of German and French wines. New World wines are fine and dandy and jolly good slurps, but give 'em a glass of Hock (the name given to German wines by Queen Victoria who had trouble pronouncing the small Rhine town of Hockheim) or a glass of Claret (the name the English gave to Red Bordeaux) and the sun is still glistening on the British Empire.
I suppose I really am a true Englishman because I just came across Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose (PLCB Special Liquor Order Code: 58065; $11), a French wine that I thoroughly enjoyed, and it's available in our very own PLCB shops. Which reminds me, did you hear the one about the Englishman, the Frenchman and the German...
Chateau Bellevue was established in 1974, one year before the region where it is located – Côtes du Frontonnais – became an Appellation Contrôlée.
It is located in the south west of France just north of Toulouse by the river Tarn. The vineyards are on the left bank of the Tarn River. The indigenous grape variety of the region is the fragile Negrette, which is found rarely outside of Cotes du Frontonnais. The Rose blend is 70 percent Negrette, 15 percent Gamay and 15 percent Syrah.
This is a fresh, fruity, though not sweet, summer wine. I served it at some recent wine tastings and it was the hands down favorite for all the guests attending.
You'll have to special order the Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose.