Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's In A Name?

I am not easily offended. I swear like a sailor and unless something obscene is directed at ME, I usually do not get offended by it. So, when I saw a line of wines called Fat Bastard, well, I think it goes without saying that I had to try it. The cute little hippo on the label may have helped a bit too.

Fat Bastard Wines was started in the South of France by two men. Thierry Boudinaud is a renowned winemaker and Guy Anderson is a friend of Thierry’s from London. One day, Guy arrived to visit Thierry in his wine cellar to sample his most recent vintages. After sampling several, they thought they were good but nothing really blew them away. The next day, Thierry decided to let Guy try an experimental wine he had in the back of his cellar. Thierry explained to Guy that they had left the wine on the lees (yeast cells). After trying this experimental wine, the two knew they had a winner. The wine was a beautiful color with a rich, round palate. After a few minutes, Thierry exclaimed, “Now that is what you call a fat bastard!” Fat bastard was a term Thierry often used to describe something that is great. Both men agree this wine needed to be shared and there was no question about what to name it…Fat Bastard.

The two men proceeded slowly when it came to distributing the wine. The first vintage consisted of only 5,000 cases of which 2,000 went to an American friend of Guy’s named Peter Click. Even with the small distribution it was clear that people in the U.S. and Europe loved the wine. Many bought it because of the name and liked it so much, they returned to buy it by the case. It seems both the name and wine were home runs. Who knew a lot of people buy wine because of the name? Some retailers in the U.S. were reluctant to carry the wine in the early 1990s but it seems they got over that fairly quickly.

Fat Bastard carries several varietals. I have only tried two so far. Both wines retailed for around $10. The first one I tried was the 2009 Chardonnay. This wine is fermented in both oak barrels and steel tanks. The wine was a pale gold color. The aroma carried hints of vanilla and a bit of toast. The taste was full bodied with vanilla carrying over. I also detected an almost floral taste. I drank it paired with grilled chicken and barley risotto but Fat Bastard recommends pairing it with cheese, poultry and cream sauced pastas. I liked it a lot and will definitely be purchasing it again.

The second variety I tried was the 2009 Pinot Noir, a variety I do not drink enough. The wine was a beautiful ruby color. Upon pouring, I detected a floral tone as well as a hint summer berries. The berries carried over to the taste and were joined by cherries. The taste was smooth with a nice finish. My husband and I drank it with grilled flank steak. Recommended pairings are white meats like chicken, veal and pork as well as fresh fish and salads. I think I’ll buy another bottle this week and try it with grilled pork tenderloin. I also look forward to trying the other varietals and maybe buying some merchandise from their online store…I can’t resist that little hippo! In my opinion, Fat Bastard is a winner and not many bastards can claim that!

1 comment:

Manisha said...

I loved Fat Bastard! I like what you've written about the wines I already know and love, so i can't wait to try the ones you recommend that I haven't tasted yet!