Even in the Côte d’Or – or maybe because it is the Côte d’Or(!) – wine service still leaves a lot to be desired when there are faulty wines – particularly whites. It is, perhaps, even more difficult if you are drinking in the more rarified regions of wine lists as when you ‘simply’ want a villages Meursault.
I, together with various visitors in the Côtes this week, have drunk very well but despite the eye-watering price of many bottles, not all restaurants are prepared to stand behind those less than perfect bottles that they sell. In just the first 3 days of this week, all the wines in the image that follows were drunk. One was corked and replaced without question or (obvious) ‘self-testing’ by the restaurant. Another was deemed oxidised and the sommelier agreed – but the owner didn’t – and refused to credit or replace the wine.
I ask myself, have things got better since 2001 and 2002 village whites were oxidised at restaurant tables? Many years ago, I remember one sommelier tried to explain away (to his table of ‘only tourists’) an oxidised 2002 Puligny villages by saying that this particular winemaker (Henri Boillot) actually made wine in an ‘oxidative style, much like Pierre Morey‘ to which one of my dinner companions (there were two – both winemakers) pulled out his phone in exasperation and said ‘Oh really?! Should I ring Pierre to ask him about that?‘ The facial colour of the sommelier changed and he ran away to get another bottle – which was perfect!
Since those days, much has improved – and that’s largely thanks to the introduction of DIAM – but neither of our problem bottles this week were sealed with DIAM: