|Georges Duboeuf- It's All Good
by Kevin R. Kosar
When I was in New Orleans a year or two ago, I stumbled upon a small restaurant in the Garden District whose name I've sadly forgotten. What I do recall, however, was its slogan, plastered, as it was, on its menu and the sign outside- "It's All Good." And it was- the black eyed peas were marvelous, as was the cornbread, the collard greens and everything else I inhaled that evening.
I mention this only because that phrase comes to mind when I think of Georges Duboeuf wines. Duboeuf, as you likely know, is a whale in the world of wine. Duboeuf is a negociant, meaning he travels about buying up lots of grapes and then blends them to produce the wines he sells. Duboeuf has made a great name for himself primarily by delivering fine wines at low prices year after year. He's the Cal Ripken of the wine world- steady and always good.
The other week I got an invite to have lunch with some other wine writers and Georges Duboeuf. When I walked through the door of the smart Atlas restaurant, located on Central Park South, in Manhattan, I nearly fainted. The bar near the front door was lined with Duboeuf wines, about 24 of them in all, waiting for me to taste them. And, I was told by Veronica Williams of Talbert Communications, who helped host the event with W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd., that after we wine writers were finished tasting, there would be lunch. We'd begin with foie gras and Anjou pear creme brulee, then move to braised veal cheeks with toasted barley pilaf with spring vegetables on the side, and then exit with coconut passion fruit layer cake paired with an orange muscat wine.
Well, lunch was tremendous and once again Georges Duboeuf delivered. With a straight face I can tell you that not one of the wines I tasted was less than good and some were excellent.
Before I offer some tasting notes on a few of the more memorable wines, let me say this. Unless you are an expert, picking a wine can be a terrifying experience. Whether one wants to take wine to a party, give it as a gift, or share over dinner with a friend or date, the specter of humiliation is never far. To uncork a bottle of wine only to find that it smells of vinegar is a horrible experience, an no amount of consoling by friends or a loved one can erase the stinging shame.
If you'd like to avoid gambling with unknown wines, grab a bottle of Duboeuf. Whether its one of his Beaujolais, Chardonnays, a Pouilly Fuisse, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or whatever, you can rest assured that you're not going to get stuck with a rotten bottle. And with most retailing between $5 and $12 a bottle, Duboeuf wines are very affordable.
Beaujolais 1999 Villages de Varennes-