Bold Women from Bordeaux….and Minnesota!

Bold Bordeaux Women and Bold Minnesota Women
Wrapping up Women’s History Month this year is a complicated affair. The month started with a big promotion in New York City: “Strong Women Make Big Bordeaux Bottles”. A group of women winemakers and winery owners came to New York to promote a fun side of Bordeaux by pouring their accessible Bordeaux wines at events all over the city. I had the opportunity to interview several of the women in a videoconference and received samples of several of the wines.

By the end of the month, we are following the directions of #stayhome and Julie’s mom is staying with us until the situation becomes more stable in the US. When Joyce offered to make her favorite pot roast recipe, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to mix those strong Bordeaux women with our strong Minnesota women. Voila! Bordeaux wines paired with pot roast!

Bordeaux is a large region with around 7000 total wineries. Courtesy of

Bordeaux is a large wine region in western France, adjoining the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the home of the fabled classified growth wines, exceptional to be sure, but also out of the budget for many wine consumers. The classified growth wines are a tiny percentage of the wines produced in the region, and there are literally thousands of wineries making wines which are both delicious and affordable. With all that variety, there is certainly a Bordeaux wine for both your taste and your pocketbook!

Disclosure: the wine in this post was provided as a media sample. All opinions expressed are mine.

Les Cèdres d’Hosten Listrac-Medoc AOC 2012

Les Cèdres d’Hosten Listrac-Medoc AOC 2012 (Sample $24 typical or online here) 12.5% alcohol
Château Forcas Hosten is located in the Listrac-Medoc AOC on the Left Bank of the Gironde estuary, where the climate and gravel soil allow Cabernet Sauvignon to fully ripen. Part of the property has a more clay based soil, which naturally suits Merlot. This results in their wines offering a blend. As the second wine of the estate, the Les Cèdres d’Hosten is crafted for early enjoyment with a blend (in 2012) of 61% Merlot 39% Cabernet Sauvignon. Note the blend changes each year by the weather from that season. Sophie Solnicki-Thierry is the deputy general manager of the estate, and she represented the estate in New York in March. Finally, if you’re planning to visit Bordeaux (in the future…) you can visit!

Eye: Clear, medium ruby color
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity aromas of dried dark fruits, blueberry, blackberry, plums (not all the way to prunes), cedar, eucalyptus, fresh rosemary, clean earth.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity flavors which follow the aromas: dried blueberries, blackberries, plums, clean earth, eucalyptus, rosemary, cedar. Medium+ acidity, medium tannins, very smooth and silky. Medium body, medium alcohol, medium finish. Wine gives a decidedly dry impression throughout, the fruit isn’t particularly sweet and the finish is definitely dry. Looking forward to enjoying this with dinner.
Conclusion: Very good quality wine with good balance between fruit and earth flavors, leaning more to the earthy side. Very good structure from both acid and tannins. The only thing holding this wine from being outstanding is the finish, which is nice, but only medium. This wine shows its’ age beautifully and is drinking very nicely now. Further aging is not recommended as the fruit will start to decline.

Château Dubard Bel-Air Puisseguin Saint-Emilion AOC 2016

Château Dubard Bel-Air Puisseguin Saint-Emilion AOC 2016 (Sample, $20 typical or online here) 14.5% abv

Château Dubard Bel-Air is located on the Right Bank of the Dordogne river in the community of Puisseguin Saint-Emilion. The climate and soils on the Right Bank favor Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wines tend to be a bit richer in fruit and earlier to mature compared to their counterparts on the Left Bank. This wine is 90% Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc. Marine Dubard is the winemaker who visited New York for the promotion early in March. Again for the future, you can visit!

Eye: Clear, medium ruby color.
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity aromas of fresh ripe fruit: black cherry, blueberry, blackberry. A bit of slate, very well controlled toasted oats, and a touch of leather and dusty basement. This wine gives a very fruit filled impression.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity flavors of generous, ripe fruit: black cherry, blueberry, blackberry, with slate, leather and the hint of oats in the background. Medium acidity, medium- silky tannins, full body, high alcohol, plush texture, medium finish.
Conclusions: This very good quality wine is quite generous and fruit forward with nice earth behind. All elements are in balance with good intensity and complexity and adequate structure. The reason this wine is very good vs. outstanding is that the structure is on the soft side, suggesting the wine should be consumed in the near term. Drink now, not recommended for further aging.

Château de Cérons Graves AOC 2017

Château de Cérons Graves AOC 2017 (sample, $20 typical or online here) 12% abv

Château de Cérons is located in the Cérons commune of the Graves region on the Left Bank of the Garonne river, well south of the city of Bordeaux. The estate is in a unique region with gravel and sand soils plus the fall conditions for noble rot. The estate produces red and white dry wines, plus a sweet white wine like those from Sauternes. We had the opportunity to enjoy their dry white wine, made from 50% Sauvignon, 40% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Gris. Caroline Perromat represented the Chateau at the New York City event. On your future trip to Bordeaux, you can visit.

Eye: Clear, medium lemon color.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of citrus: lemons, lemon peel, mandarin orange, a bit of grapefruit. Sweet white flowers, wet gravel.
Mouth: Dry, medium intensity flavors which follow the aromas: lemon, lemon peel, mandarin orange, grapefruit, flowers and wet gravel. Medium+ acidity, medium body, lean crisp texture, medium alcohol, medium finish.
Conclusions: A very good quality white Bordeaux wine. Bright fresh citrus flavors balanced by lively acidity. The wine has nice complexity, but perhaps not enough to merit an outstanding rating. Still a perfectly enjoyable wine at the dinner table. Julie loved this wine! Can drink now, the wine has sufficient structure for additional aging.

The best pairing came down to personal preference for the wine, all were very nice at the dinner table.

Bold Minnesota Women and Pot Roast
Julie’s mom, Joyce, is staying with us until the Covid-19 situation stabilizes a bit. Joyce loves to cook and is known in her family for a mean pot roast. We decided it would be a perfect fit with our bold Bordeaux wines and it was.

All three wines we enjoyed with the meal paired nicely with the pot roast. The slowly cooked tender beef didn’t require a red wine, the Château de Cérons had plenty of body and acidity to cleanse the palate from the rich dish. The red wines came down to preference for a more earthy style in the Les Cèdres d’Hosten or a more fruit forward style in the Château Dubard Bel-Air.

#Stayhome Pot Roast

Joyce says this has been her one and only pot roast recipe for about 40 years, given to her by her friend Wilma. Julie remembers this as her pot roast from growing up!


  • 2.5-3.0 lb chuck roast
  • 1 envelope Lipton’s (dry) onion soup mix
  • 6 carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 12 oz. new potatoes (preferred) or small yukon gold potatoes, cut in half or quarters if needed


  • Preheat the oven to 300° F
  • Place the chuck roast in a dutch oven
  • Sprinkle the roast with the Lipton’s onion soup mix.
  • No need to add any liquid, just cover and place in the oven.
  • Check the oven after an hour or so to ensure the roast isn’t cooking too quickly
  • After 4 hours, add the carrots and potatoes
  • At 5 hours, remove from the oven, skim off any excess fat and serve!


3 Responses to “Bold Women from Bordeaux….and Minnesota!”
  1. Nancy says:

    Num! Comfort food in a time we all need comforting.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Leftover Pot Roast into Soup A few weeks ago my mother-in-law, Joyce, shared her pot roast recipe. We paired it with some delicious red wines made by bold women winemakers in Bordeaux. Today […]

  2. […] . We had fun making a couple of videos of her tried and true pot roast technique. First, for the pot roast itself, then using the leftovers for pot roast soup.  Joyce firmly believes the real reason to […]

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