OK I'm gonna start blogging, for better or worse here it comes!

The 5-wine Sip-to-Give tasting being offered this Friday ($15 per person) will include a couple of older wines and an add-on wine that is much older ($10 add-on)!!!

We'll be featuring the wines of Catherine & Pierre Breton from France's Loire Valley and the sub-region (appellation) Bourgueil. The wines (with the exception of the bubbly we'll be pouring), are all made from 100% Cabernet Franc.



I fell in love with this producer on a trip to France about a decade ago. Their "Nuits d'Ivresse" (Night of Drunkenness), was the first wine I had tasted, with no sulfites added anywhere in the winemaking, that totally rocked it for me! I also loved their dog (which they called, rather accurately, "Le Petit Chien").

Catherine and Pierre Breton make inspiring wine with such integrity that tasting their wines brings out my curiosity keeping me present to the adventure of each sip. They embraced a holistic form of farming called Biodynamic® farming starting in 1994. They have become international icons for the natural wine movement in an area where the climate and soil can make organic viticulture difficult.


Tasting Lineup (You'll taste 5 wines for the $15 tasting fee):

Vouvray Brut La Dilettante ($27)

'12 Trinch! ($25)

'11 Nuits d'Ivresse ($36)

'07 Bourgueil Clos Senechal (n/a)

'97 Bourgueil Les Perrieres (n/a)


Add-On Wine for the Tasting ($10 additional fee):

'76 Chinon Beaumont (n/a)

If the '76 is corked, there's an '83 as backup :)

The expectations around what the aroma & taste will offer when opening an older wine, is half the enjoyment, and angst!

The expectations around what the aroma & taste will offer when opening an older wine, is half the enjoyment, and angst!


Here's additional information on each of the wines that will be in the tasting:

Vouvray Brut La Dilettante: 

While Catherine and Pierre work together in the vines and the cellar for all the Breton wines, the Vouvrays are Catherine’s pet project.  The wine comes from 50-year old Chenin Blanc vines planted in flinty soil.  A very gentle pressing is followed by a short vinification in stainless steel.  There is no maloactic fermentation and the wine is bottled in the spring following harvest.  Made for immediate consumption. 

Bourgueil Trinch: 

“Trinch” is named after a German expression meaning “cheers” championed by the poet and philosopher Rabelais.  Trinch is a Cabernet Franc from younger vines vinified in stainless steel with a cold maceration.  It is made for early consumption and typically has very accessible fruit, soft tannins and low alcohol.  Bottled in the Spring after harvest.

Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse: 

Nuits d’Ivresse “Drunken Nights” is the name of a special cuvée of selected old vines from top clay and limestone sites in Bourgueil.  The wine is vinified in barriques and kept in wood for a year then bottled the following December a little over a year after harvest.  This wine is an homage to the methods of Jules Chauvet and does not see a drop of sulfur throughout its lifetime (harvest, vinification, bottling).  Therefore it must be drunk quickly or stored in the dark at a proper temperature (14°C or less).

Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal:     

Clos Sénéchal is one of the top two red Bourgueil wines produced by the Bretons.  It is from a parcel on the hillside above the plateau of Galichets, where clay and limestone soil sits atop the famed tuffeau of the Loire, the chalky white limestone quarried to build many of the famed châteaux of the region. Sénéchal is macerated in open wood vats and fermented and aged in wooden foudres.  It is bottled without fining or filtration after 18 months of aging. 

Bourgueil Les Perrières:    

This is the Breton’s greatest red, from one of the most prized hillside parcels in Bourgueil.  The terroir is siliceous clay and limestone, and old vines give very low yields of 20 hectoliters/hectare on average.  The maceration is done in open wood vats and the fermentation and élevage is done in 550-L barriques, a variable percentage of which are new.  The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered after two full years in wood. 


So what exactly is a Sip-to-Give tasting? 

Every Friday (at Pairings Portland Wine Shop) there's a 5 wine tasting flight ($15) from 1 winery or producer. There's snacks available for a small additional fee. We'll have some Olympic Provisions sausages as one of the pairing elements available.

You're also welcome to bring some food with you!

The weekly tastings start at 5  (this tasting I'll be pouring by 4) & go till at least 8 pm. 

Each month there's a changing non-profit partner and 5% of the proceeds from these Friday tastings, plus 5% of all shop sales (from 5 pm-close) go to the non-profit partner of the Month.

For April the non-profit partner is the KERNS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION