Tasting 2: Du Marchand Red ($11.99/litre) (2 Stars/5)
First sip: watery. Second sip: my mouth feels puffy. Second glass: not so puffy.
We brought back the Sour Grapes committee to do wine tasting #2, this time with an award winning (Médaillé) vintage named Du Marchand. We still don’t understand bouquets or tannins, or how to detect subtle flavours, or really how to gauge overall quality. We are the same bottom-of-the-barrel wine tasters that we were last week, but that’s okay, because we are sure that Du Marchand comes from the same part of the barrel.
When red wine is poured out of a bottle, the first thing that you gauge is how it looks. Is it dark? How would you describe the colour, the hue? Then you notice how it pours into the glass: how thick is it, how heavy is it? And then you feel it pour into your mouth, and you can taste how heavy it is. Wine reacts very differently from water when it’s poured from a bottle. I’ll let you decide whether to pour it into a glass first or straight into your mouth.
After decanting in the now-standard Boreale pitcher, we poured the Du Marchand into a few mugs and passed them around the living room. The first thing we noticed? It wasn’t thick. It was like watery juice. The second thing was that it was the colour of a car taillight. The vintner calls it “ruby red” on the back of the bottle, but we suspect he’s just looking to associate his product with a valuable gem. In discussing the colour (sorry, “colour profile.” Everything to do with wine has a “profile.”) we reached an impasse:
“I think it looks like Cran-Apple juice.”
“Cran-Apple? Are you serious?”
“Well what do you suggest it looks like?”
“It has the classic Cran-Grape hue, learn your Ocean Spray.”
The Ocean Spray litmus test results are still pending.
We all drank our first mugs without much problem or hesitation. The wine itself smells vaguely of feet. Not straight-from-the-gym feet, but three people felt that the Du Marchand had a foot odor problem. Others complained that it left a bubble in the backs of their throats, like when you drink something very sweet; one of our tasters complained that his mouth started producing a lot of saliva as soon as the wine hit his tongue. The Du Marchand had what qualified tasters would probably call a “subtle flavour profile.” I call that “no real or discernible flavour.” I would love to say that it tasted fruity or woody or spicey, or even winey, but it was just there. It looked and tasted like someone had poured a real glass of wine through a Brita water filter and then into my mug.
The label suggests you pair this wine with “beef in a sauce or grilled and mild cheeses.” We paired with grilled cheese sandwiches.