With all the celebrity deaths, the never-ending-recession, and the health-care reform craziness that's been going on this summer, it's nice that AMC has given us something to look forward to; Mad Men. Like every other 30-something in America, I am slightly obsessed with Matthew Weiner's stylistic vision of early 1960's life on Madison Avenue. The show has redefined the concept of “event television,” for Mad Men is a show that we all look forward to, that we all plan our Sunday nights around, where nothing really happens. Sure every once in a while there is a twist in the plot, but really it's just a bunch of people, going about their day to day lives, looking fabulous. It's all about the beautiful clothes and sets, the non-stop martinis, the long lunches. It's about romanticizing a time and a place in America and in Americana.
In the early 1960's the average American didn't really drink wine, most people were all about liquor. Americans loved their martinis, their Manhattans and myriad of other wonderful cocktails. But we must not forget the likes of Jack Kerouac and his fellow bohemians. They popularized a lifestyle that involved drinking red wine in dark smoky bars while people read poetry and someone in a beret played the bongos. Some people were drinking wine and what they were drinking was most likely imported from France. Bordeaux has become synonymous with “French wine,” over the years, whether it is fair or not. Most people think Bordeaux is all that France has to offer the world. Most people think Bordeaux is exorbitantly expensive, difficult to drink and as stuck-up as wine can get. This is not necessarily false, but there are always exceptions.
I could not find much information about Chateau Caillou Les Martins on the web, most likely because it's a smaller winery, located in Lussac-Saint Emilion. This bottle, their less than $20 red from 2005, won the silver medal at the “Challenge International Du Vin,” and it's easy to see why. This is a perfect, everyday red. A great bottle to bring to a dinner party where red meat or heavier fare is served. A blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine has an earthy dark nose, with notes of plums, green pepper and spice. On the palate the wine has big yet ripe tannins, more dark plummy fruit and a black pepper finish. A wine that you could picture the folks of Sterling Cooper indulging in (after a few martinis, of course) at one of their beautiful 3 hour, steak lunches.