If my kids needed a quick buck, I would give them a dollar for every 1st growth Bordeaux Château they can name; Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild. Why? Well, the Sommelier in me hopes that one day they might have the opportunity to try one of these aristocratic wines and I wouldn’t want them to miss out because they couldn’t identify them. Plus, I would insist that they bring me, their one and only mother, a bottle of any 1st growth they taste.
The odds are that they, like us, are more likely to consume one of the other 56 Châteaux (2nd-5th growths) or petit château wines simply because there are more of them and they’re more accessible. Some of these “Cru Bourgeois” wines are still pretty amazing. Before you can truly appreciate the crème de la crème, you need to drink some $19.99 (or less) Bordeaux wines. It’s kind of like the theory of the frog prince(ss). You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you can appreciate it when you find the prince(ss).
As far as my kids, I know their future will include lots of frogs and mediocre wines, but if I can do one little thing to prepare them to have their eyes (or mouths) open to recognize a prince(ss) or 1st Growth, it’s worth a buck.
Annette Solomon, CS