Chateau Coutet

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Chateau Coutet’s Cameo on Downton Abbey

I’ve never paid much attention to the wine on the Crawley family’s dinner table on Downton Abbey.  All that changed Sunday night in episode two of the new season, when one of my favorite wines made a cameo appearance.  I said to my husband “Stop!  We have to go back and see that again.”  In a wonderful scene Lord Crawley goes over the wines to be poured with Carson for the evening’s dinner service.  There it was, in between the Cheval Blanc and Haut-Brion, a bottle of Chateau Coutet Sauternes, vintage 1919.  This happens 19 minutes into the program.  Yes, I took pictures of the TV screen. “What surprised me with Downton Abbey is how often Sauternes is served.”  That’s Aline Baly, co-owner of Chateau Coutet. “In almost every single episode where there’s a dinner scene there’s a Sauternes, which was referred to as pudding wine.” Sauternes is the sweet…

10 Wines for Thanksgiving — No Pinot or Chardonnay Allowed

I know when the holidays are nearing because of the massive number of pitches, press releases and (a small amount) of wine start coming in. I’ve been getting these since before Halloween, just like the department stores putting out Christmas decorations super early. Much of the wine is Pinot Noir. I certainly understand that. It’s a safe and expected choice.

Not knocking Pinot here, but I like to introduce my guests to interesting wines. So no Pinot Noir or Chardonnay here, just my top 10 recommendations to try along with the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. All the wines, except for a big splurge on a Sauternes from Chateau Coutet (hey, it’s the holidays), sell for $25 and less. Read more

EAT DRINK – Sweet wine for Thanksgiving…seriously!

Thanksgiving is a time for tradition.  The traditional turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and yams with that marshmallow topping.  A safe, time-honored wine, Pinot Noir.  Yawn. This year I’m gonna shake things up a bit.  I’ll be pouring a sweet wine for the main event and not just for dessert. I’m inspired by Aline Baly, a champion of drinking what most of us consider to be dessert wines, from the beginning to the end of the meal.  Aline’s family is the proprietor of Chateau Coutet in Barsac, a sub-district of the Sauternes region in the southern part of Bordeaux.  Chateau Couter is a Premier Cru Classe Sauturnes.  That’s all they make. Last time Aline was in the San Francisco Bay Area, she invited me to join her for lunch at Wood Tavern in Oakland (one of my fav restaurants).  To demonstrate how versatile her Sauternes wines are, we ordered straight…