- Publish Date: Aug 16, 2010
Queen Of Pinot We chat with wine legend Véronique Drouhin-Boss. Ever debated which produces better Pinot Noir, Oregon or Burgundy? It’s all a matter of personal taste, of course, but if one is truly better than the other, the only person who knows for sure is Véronique Drouhin-Boss--and she probably isn’t telling. She makes the wines of both Maison Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy and Domaine Drouhin in Oregon.
The Drouhin family started growing grapes in Burgundy in the late 1800s--the sort of point that would have most winemakers turning up their noses at other regions. Yet it was Véronique and her father Robert Drouhin who were among the first in the Old World to see Oregon as serious spot for Pinot Noir. Véronique has made the Pinot at Domaine Drouhin since her family set up shop there in 1988.
Being part of a winemaking family with a storied history in two major wine regions, obviously, gives one the opportunity to taste some of the oldest, best wines ever made. Then again, give Véronique a ripe cheese and a well-made bottle of wine she hasn’t tried before, and she’ll be perfectly happy--just like anyone else. Read our full interview with Véronique Drouhin-Boss below. Bottlenotes: Where did you grow up?
Boss: Beaune, Burgundy. What was the first time you remember drinking wine?
I don't remember it, but a couple days after I was born I was given a drop of Musigny 1856! Yes 1856! Growing up, wine always had an important place on the family dinner table. It still does. What are your favorite types of wine?
Without question, my favorite is Pinot Noir, and when it is from Chambolle-Musigny I am in heaven. But I am always interested to try well-made wines from all over. What are your favorite kinds of food?
I like food that is thoughtful and well-prepared. The region is less important, though I have a fondness for Asian cuisine with all kinds of vegetables, some spices, ginger and lemongrass. What is your favorite wine-and-food pairing?
A ripe cheese with a great bottle of white wine. If you were stranded on a desert island, what one type of food/wine would you choose to have?
Gosh, I hope that never happens to me, but given no choice it would depend on the climate. If in a warm environment, dry white wine and fish. If it's going to be cold there, then Pinot Noir with any kind of risotto. What's your favorite wine memory?
We had a dinner here in Beaune, and an American friend brought a bottle of 1904 Clos de Vougeot, a wine made by my great grandfather, Joseph Drouhin. It was the first time I had a wine made by him--and another friend went in my children’s bedroom, waking them up telling the three of them they had to try this wine from their great grandfather. A stunning wine and a stunning experience! Do you have any wine-related disasters?
A hail storm that destroyed half of our crop in Chablis in 2007 in less than a minute. What is your motto for enjoying life?
Don't regret the past, don't look to the future, enjoy each moment of the day.