Date: 13 October 2014
Location: Bordeaux, France
Wine: Clos Puy Arnaud 2010 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Cuisine: Modern French

Wine List: Comptoir Cuisine sits on Bordeaux’s grand, central square across from its ornate and brightly-lit opera house. Classically Bordelais, its wine list is a compendium of the region’s well-known names with vintages mostly extending back across the last decade. Diners need not worry about picking a lemon from this smartly-curated list.

Pick: My dining companions were journalists from various European cities. They were a good bit older, so I suspected that by the time we each selected a wine, we’d have a collection of wines from producers I mostly knew.

I wanted a discovery. Of the two best recent vintages, 2009 and 2010, I prefer the latter for its more vibrant acidity and less extravagant extract. Having chosen a vintage, I scanned the Right Bank sections – my favorite Merlots in the world come from those vineyards – and found a Clos Puy Arnaud from Castillon. The producer was new to me, the vintage was right and I’ve enjoyed a number of good drinks from Castillon lately. The cherry was its “Organically grown” footnote. Only one of my tablemates knew the wine, but we all snapped pictures of its label before we left so that we could buy some back home.