Bordeaux Matchmaking at Cipriani

This is a guest column. I was unable to attend this event. thankfully a friend of mine did make it and he wrote this account which I'm sharing here at Gabe's View. I look forward to attending a future event of theirs as this sounds like a lot of  fun. I hope you enjoy reading it.


I stood outside of Cipriani on Wall Street waiting for my party companion. They had set up a tent in front of the entrance lined with tables, and women sitting about 3 feet from each other with lists of guests in alphabetical order.

Another woman stood at the entrance to the tent greeting older men wearing impeccably tailored tuxedos and the women in ball gowns who accompanied them. I was there for the Bordeaux Matchmaking event – an event organized with the intention of reintroducing Bordeaux wines to America as a more casual, affordable wine. Two thoughts came to mind as I watched a group of men emerge from a black Bentley – 1) I’m grossly underdressed, and 2) this crowd isn’t doing anything to positively help the bold, expensive, and unattainable image of Bordeaux wines that we’ve grown to know.

I came to find out that I was standing about 15 feet from where I should have been. Cipriani is a large restaurant with many entrances, and apparently plenty of room for more than one event. The educational wine tasting I came for turned out to be more of a dance party with plenty of great food, attractive and hip 20 – 30 somethings dancing, laughing, and of course tipping back their glasses of delicious and affordable Bordeaux wines. And by the time the saxophonist joined the DJ school was out, and Bordeaux dance party was in full swing. If this sounds atypical of a wine tasting, it is. The purpose of the event is to show that Bordeaux wines can and should be enjoyed casually is a hip, party atmosphere. The event certainly achieved this. Plus, the wines are quite good.

Among those I tasted were a Chateau de Fonbel – a red in dark, vibrant purple from the Right Bank of the region. It has hints of black currant, cassis, and according to the info on the table pencil shavings. I also tried a white, citrusy Mouton Cadet – very similar to a sauvignon blanc in its’ dryness, but also subtly sweet, a dark and bold Chateau La Bonnelle, and a sweet white from Chateau Lupiac. I detected a hint of horseradish in the nose, and again in the first couple of sips. The flavor eventually mellowed into a soft, subtle white which according to Mollie Battenhouse, wine director and advanced sommelier at Maslow 6 wine shop in Manhattan goes quite well with foie gras – a combination I will be sure to try. Battenhouse is also on as part of their Le Wine Buff video chats. All of the bottles featured were under the $35 price point – a number most people should be comfortable paying for what I found is extraordinarily great wine.

By 10:30 the wine was nearly gone, and the table hosts began packing up their stations. The party was hardly over, though as the music got louder and the crowd – at least the ones not dancing began to flock towards the bar. I took what was left in my glass and walked out onto the terrace, and gazed out the window watching the black town cars, limos, Mercedes, and Rolls Royce’s arrive in anticipation of what I came to learn was Platts Global Energy Awards dinner letting out. With my head slightly tipsy from the wines, and my stomach generously coated with the delicious hors d’oeuvres I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to have been at this party rather than the other one.

Could they have had nearly as much fun as I did? Doubtful. I only wished I had the means to attend the remaining two events in Chicago & Miami. And with that I went back inside – this night was just beginning.