Margaux was the second AOC in the Medoc region that I visited. Though only 15 kilometers from Pauillac, the red wines of Margaux are fruitier, and more elegant.
I toured the Chateau Kirwan property. Like Pontet-Canet of Pauillac, Chateau Kirwan was one of the select few wineries recognized in the 1855 classification of the grand crus of Bordeaux, and it was at that time that Margaux received its AOC.
My visit to Chateau Kirwan reaffirmed why I love traveling, and why I love traveling by myself! I got a private tour from the very knowlegeable “François.” Not only was he doing his professional studies in wine and wine tourism, but he did his undergraduate studies in Food Geography, including a 3 month stint of research in Napa Valley, California. Clearly, we had a lot to talk about!
We discussed wine. We discussed food. We discussed the effects of the commercialization of both, and we compared the wine/food culture of Northern California with France.
We also discussed how the newest generation is approaching food and wine. For example, I like to refer to my generation as the “push of a button” generation. We expect all of our needs to be satisfied with the push of a button. The microwave, internet, and smart phones have all helped in creating this lack of delayed gratification. My generation approaches food and wine the same way. We rarely cook using natural, fresh, local, in-season products. Instead, we head to a drive-thru or Trader Joe’s for those microwaveable enchiladas!
And by golly, WHO is gonna buy wine and wait 20 years for it to mature?! Maybe this is why my generation has been flocking to rosé’s.. a wine that offers some of the complexity of red wine, but you don’t have to wait years for it to mature.
Another thing that is interesting about the food culture in France, and Bordeaux in particular, is the respect given to “3 meals a day.” You probably won’t find much open between the hours of noon and 2. In the U.S., 30 minutes for lunch is the norm. You barely have enough time to swallow your food. And I’m sure some of my new attorney friends will tell you that they operate with NO breaks for many, many hours at a time. You eat while you work!