Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
The irascible and inspiring Travelling Gourmet explains the TRUE reason behind the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines…
MAN’S violent nature manifests itself in the many wars through the ages. At the link above are the wars in ONLY the 19th Century! Napoleon Bonaparte was undoubtedly the biggest villlain in the 19th Century. Driven by his inferiority complex due to his lack of physical height, Napoleon, the mischievious malignant midget was also a megalomaniac and was not even French. Napoleon was born on the island of Corsica. He was really Italian.
To his credit, Napoleon set up the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines which wine wannabees and even some “experts’ speak of in hushed terms…They forget why it was put in place. The simple reason: to prevent FORGERIES and fake wines being passed off as superior wines. I have nothing against Bordeaux wines…I LOVE many Bordeaux wines like Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, Chateau Angelus (that featured briefly in the movie “Casino Royale” starring the ugliest actor to play James Bond 007 ever…), Cos d’Estournel, Chateau Petrus (the real thing, NOT made in China fakes) and many more. I like the elegant and expressive wines of Chateau Smith Haut Lafite for their masterful expression of the ‘terroir’. They are excellent with red meat like venison, a good ragout of lamb and carrots and many more gourmet dishes. I mean, of course the red wines of Chateau Smith Haut Lafite. I remember as if it were yesterday…staying in the Chateau with mes bon amis, Florence and Daniel. They are as humble and charming as their wines and property. They were also Champion Olympic Alpine skiers! Chateau Smith Haut Lafite also have their own cooperage and Cooper. Yes, mais oui, they make their own barrels and toast them too, as I was privileged to observe first hand. Un grand moment! Many happy memories of cyclying around their huge estate inspecting the grapevines and the soils will always be with me. I fell in love with their happy, portly Labrador dog, fondly named “Barrel”. I love good dogs…and d’accord, very good wines!
However, it is perfectly clear to the true wine connoisseur that many of the not so well crafted wines from the Bordeaux Appellation d’Origine Controllee are way over-rated, and appeal only to my friend which I code-name “baboon” who is a ‘label drinker’…and others of his ilk…
C’est la vie…a votre sante!