It has been a little quiet around here lately, but for good reason as I'm knee deep in prep for my annual Wines of the Tour de France. Which means I am spending my time finding the best wines to pair with this year's route. So far, I've been to 6 stores with my faithful excel spreadsheet in hand and consulted with a few NY stores on email and twitter. My 10-year-old has even suggested that I stop mumbling about wines from the Pyrenees and has mumbled herself about her mother's wines of the Tour ocd. As always, I'm struck by how much easier it is to source my Wines of the Giro.
I started this project to force myself to drink different wines. As much as some might imagine the best plan of attack to be the so called greatest wines from each region, budget is a reality so representative or interesting is a more realistic goal. Some wines may be more expensive than others, but these are wines that are readily sourced now and almost always under $50 if not much less.
In case you haven't followed along before, the rules. Note that these are my rules and any inconsistencies or quirks are my own.
1 For each stage of the race, drink a wine that comes from the closest region to either the start town, finishing town or actual route.
2 Each day, publish a post describing both the days race action and the accompanying wine.
3 In cases when the stage takes place in non wine-growing regions, find an alternate local drink. Beer, cider and hard alcohol are typical substitutes.
4 Some pre-drinking is allowable, to avoid 7 a.m. wine tasting, but all wines must be consumed no more than two weeks before the start of the race. Thus, wines tasted at trade tastings in January do not count.
5 However, wines purchased at an earlier time, that I have in my so-called cellar, are perfectly acceptable if they pair with the route.
6 The first stage is for Champagne and the final day in Paris is paired with either Champagne or a wine from the winner cyclists home region.