Quebec’s Bromont International Horse Trial is kicking off this week, and Horse Nation is raising its glass for a toast led by our very own wine connoisseur Kirsten Collins.
Top photo: Garçon! There’s a horse in my wine! Horsey red wine glasses from Wild Wings Collection.
(This week’s offering is deux parts wine review and un part French lesson.)
Heading to Bromont this week? If so, I really hate your guts. But all pettiness aside, I wish you safe and enjoyable travel, Horse Nation. As long as you’re going to French-speaking Quebec you may be delighted to learn that Quebec has a thriving wine industry. Sadly, my local wine shop here in east Tennessee does not stock any of them. And so, in compensation, two French wines are offered for your enjoyment.
Ted the Mule (au Français, Tête de Mule)
A 60/40 Syrah – Grenache blend that I would classify as a solid medium-bodied red, let me just say that Ted has opened new vistas in my wine-drinking horizon. From the label:
Ted the Mule stubbornly upholds French tradition, blending the noble Syrah… with the playful Grenache sourced from the sun-drenched Rhone Valley. Though spunky and energetic, Ted has a serious side and sports a bit of a kick.
I can totally attest to that part about the kick. The first mouthful gave me pause, and for a brief frightening second I thought I’d picked a loser. Relax, for I did not. Ted gets smoother after that first splash across your palate. The label informs one that while the wine is
…comfortable at a formal table with top cuts of grilled meat, Ted also enjoys hangin’ on the couch with a slice of pizza or a bowl of pasta.
How handy! I paired Ted with a late supper of scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes and had no trouble downing a couple of glasses with the meal. And bonus points to Ted for having an equid on the label.
Cuvée Stéphi (or, as the French would say, Cuvée Stéphi)
The first thing you must know about this wine – and this is vitally important if you plan to tuck la bouteille into your backpack – is that it sports a screw cap. Like her buddy Ted, Stéphi is a blend, but, being a girl, her proportions are all different. Stéphi is a 65/35 Grenache – Syrah blend and I must say I think this is the proper ratio. This wine is just plain delightful.
Cuvee Stéphi is a custom project by the Bourgeois family in French Catalonia, who bills their wine as a “gem” and I couldn’t agree more. (Here’s a fun fact that my wine purveyor shared: Stéphi inherited her winery from her family, and hers is the first all-female staffed winery in France.) From the label we learn that this wine is:
…a rich, intense wine with an opulent nose of ripe red berries, a smooth full mouthfeel and a soft, spicy lingering finish. It will marry perfectly with your grilled meats and more hearty foods.
It will also marry perfectly with your tongue. A bottle of Cuvée Stéphi belongs in every serious horsewoman’s tack trunk.
So begin the countdown to Bromont, Horse Nation, with le vin in hand. And don’t forget to j’embrasse your cheval.