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Château Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc 2014 We are back to Bordeaux for this week’s “Wine To Try.” Although there is a sea of great red wine, I have a favorite w hite that graces my table quite fre- q uently. Q uick re-cap from last week: Bordeaux is a region in the southwest of F rance that specializes in wines that are blends of several different grape varieties. As with many Old World (European) countries, the wines are not labeled by the name of the grapes, but instead the region in which they are made. Although the grapes are an important part of the wine, their biggest role is to transport the flavor of the region, something that is called “terroir.” When you buy a wine called “Bordeaux,” you are going to taste B ordeaux! Of course, that sense of place comes through in w ines all over the world. But in Bordeaux, it is huge. And once you develop a taste for it, you are in for one of the best adventures of your life. Wine To Try: Château Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc 2014 . Don’t let the language on the bottle intimidate you. It’s just French. Let’s work backwards here. This is a white ( Blanc ) wine from a place called Bordeaux . The commune, or county of Bordeaux where the winery is located is Haux . Now, focus on the picture of the beautiful mansion on the label, and you’ll be transported to the house that was built by the Lamothe family. They have a better name for house, and it is “Château.” This also doubles as the winery at which the wine is produced and bottled. Every single bottle of wine made in Bordeaux has its o wn personal label that usually portrays the family residence where the wine is made. You can pretty much just walk through the Bordeaux aisle in your local wine shop and experience the regal architecture of this place. Château Lamothe was founded in the 16th century. There is an obvious respect for history here that comes through not only on the bottle, but in the taste of the wine as well. Grapes: 40 percent sauvignon blanc; 40 percent semillon and 20 percent muscadelle. These are the T hree Musketeers of Bordeaux white wines. The acid- i ty of the sauvignon blanc is tempered by the creami- n ess of the semillon, while the muscadelle adds a beautiful floral note. R egion: The grapes for this lovely white were picked from several sub-regions throughout Bordeaux, thus the label just states “Bordeaux”. If the grapes had come from any other specific area (such as Graves, Fronsac, Bourg, etc), you would also see that name listed. Taste: Aged totally in stainless steel (no oak), this wine proudly displays crisp, clean fruit flavors of cit- r us (think grapefruit), flowers (think honeysuckle), and mineral (think the vineyards of Bordeaux, baby!). T hese wines are meant to be drunk while young - the wine that is, not the consumer. For best results, pick up vintages that are within two years of age. This one is 2014, and is drinking just beautifully. Food Pairings: I served Château Lamothe de Haux Blanc recently at several events, and found that it paired quite nicely with herb-coated chevre cheese, creamy pesto pasta, carrot-ginger bisque, shrimp scampi and chicken French. The generous dash of sauvignon blanc in this wine also gives it the ability to take on any asparagus dish (aka salads, risottos and soups). Price: $12-14. A great starting point for your immersion in the wines of Bordeaux. Stay tuned for more on the reds soon. Holly Howell is a Rochester area freelancer who writes about wine. Drop her a line at HollyH@Roch- ster.rr.com. WINE TO TRY Awhite from Bordeaux HOLLY HOWELL Château Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc 2014. HOLLY HOWELL WILD ABOUT WINE NEW YORK - Drinking, and not drinking, is as old as A merica itself, from the beer-loving pilgrims on the M ayflower and Paul Revere’s boozy horse ride to Prohibition and the rise of Alcoholics Anonymous. Some nations drink more and some less, but nowhere do those two things collide and replay on a loop through history quite like they have in the United States, said S usan Cheever, who’s written “Drinking in America: O ur Secret History.” Cheever was addicted to alcohol, as was her father, author John Cheever. She’s visited the subject of drinking in the past, and she’s been in love with history since acollege professor inspired her. But this project, pub- l ished in October by Twelve Books, was “really a eure- k a moment,” she said in a recent interview. Nobody has really gone deep enough into American history and booze, she said. “What about the fact that 100 years before Prohibition we were the drunkest country in the world, and w hat about the fact that in the 19th century, writers didn’t drink,” Cheever said. Her book is filled with detailed anecdotes and quirky, alcohol-fueled moments through time. Cheever offers these observations among her favorite bits: Paul Revere and the American Revolution Think evening, April 18, 1775: “I’ve been to Concord, Massachusetts, many times. I r eally thought that the first shots of the war were fired at the Old North Bridge, so I was really shocked and interested to read about what happened on Lexington G reen, where Paul Revere stopped for a couple of shots,” she said. “He got there so much faster than the British. He got to Lexington at midnight, saying ‘The British are coming, the British are coming,’ and the militia turns out, and the British aren’t anywhere near. So they all go to Buckman Tavern and drink for three hours, then the B ritish finally get there and what ensues was 70 rela- t ively or very drunk militiamen,” Cheever said. The rum Sure, there was the Boston Tea Party, but rum ruled the Colonies: “ The British were trying to tax alcohol, so no taxation without representation wasn’t great on tea but it r eally wasn’t good on rum. In some ways, the American Revolution was about rum. It’s as if they fought the American Revolution not for the right to vote, but for t he right to drink,” Cheever said. R um was definitely the drink of the Colonies, and “no one stood for rum consumption the way Ethan Allen did.” S tories abound, the most famous of which has the leader of the Green Mountain Boys so soaked with rum that he was unaware a snake had bitten him multiple t imes after he fell asleep in a glen. When he awoke, he complained of the mosquitoes. Abraham Lincoln He abstained, likely due to hard-drinking relatives: “I thought I knew all about Abraham Lincoln. I did n ot know that he was one of those rare human beings, a nd I mean rare, who didn’t drink and didn’t judge. His mother asked him on her death bed not to drink and he took that very seriously,” Cheever said. “But he fired George McClellan, who was his sober general in the Union Army, and hired Ulysses S. Grant, w ho had already been court-martialed once for drink- i ng. When the generals came and complained to Lincoln that Grant was drinking too much, Lincoln famously said bring me some barrels of what he’s drinking so I can give it to all my generals.” Prohibition Drinking, suffrage and taxes: “I didn’t know the way that Prohibition and women’s temperance were wrapped around each other. Many of the women’s suffrage crusaders, Elizabeth Cady Stant on and Susan B. Anthony, had started out as temperance crusaders,” Cheever said. “And it was thought that Prohibition would be great for women because drinking was a male problem. Men were drinking and they didn’t bring the money home to the women and children,” she said. “ The income tax was instituted at the same time. Before then, thanks to Alexander Hamilton, almost the entire federal budget was based on liquor taxes, so they couldn’t have had Prohibition. It couldn’t happen until t hey had an income tax.” Writing and drinking Booze and the muse: “For me the biggest revelation of the book was the link between writing and drinking. It’s so limited chronologically. It’s not true until about 1925. In the 19th century, writers didn’t drink. Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Emerson, Longfellow. Nope. No drinkers. It’s not a bout the writers. It’s about the drinking culture,” C heever said. “Of course, some writers drink a lot, so much so that the five people who won the Nobel Prize for literature w ere all alcoholics, but only for two generations. I hadn’t really done the math, and then it occurred to me that, of course, it came out of Prohibition, that Prohibit ion made drinking that much more attractive to writers,” she said. Susan Cheever on America and alcohol LEANE ITALIE ASSOCIATED PRESS AP “Drinking in America: Our Secret History,” by Susan Cheever.