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Small Pleasures

Small pleasures are a lovely part of enjoying wine. Pretty little wines that don’t cost much, but deliver pleasure and enhance a Monday night dinner. Tonight with an all Oregon omelette with Tillamook Cheddar and Apple Orchard Smoked Ham from McMinnville, a charming little bottle of Bordeaux provided just such a moment. Running somewhere around $10, this is the type of Bordeaux ignored by the American press and public. However, I found it disarming with my dinner for its clean flavors, medium body and obviously regional character: this could be nothing but a Bordeaux. This is exactly the type of wine it is hard to find at this price point from New World producers as the Australians are so often just too fruity and the American wines are just too characterless to provide such a nice counterpoint to a meal.

Tonight’s wine was the 2004 Chateau les Bordelaises, a plain AOC Bordeaux from Dominque and Jean-Louis Pointet and it is a charmer to anyone who loves the angular character of a true Bordeaux. I don’t expect lovers of Yellowtail and Mondavi will understand why I find this wine so delightful, but here is a wine with no pretense, yet plenty of terroir and enough character to actually make you think for just a second before taking another bite.

(Recommended by Doug Salthouse at SmartBuy wines in New Jersey)