There’s something utterly charming about sitting round an aged oak barrel with a winemaker, tasting his wines and coming away with a case of your latest find. But sometimes you get a glimpse of the more commercial side of the business.
Certainly that’s the case if ever you visit Mouton Cadet.
The brand is the affordable arm of the Mouton Rothschild winemaking dynasty.
I visited its factory in Saint Laurent Médoc on a wine-tasting tour of Bordeaux. We were each given a white coat and a white hat – well, it was more like a shower cap, really – as we arrived.
We were shown around, seeing where the grapes were delivered, the huge metal vats where the wine fermented and also the bottling line.
It ended with a trip to the factory’s wine tasting room (pictured), where we sampled some of the wines made there. We had also been to the Château Mouton Rothschild on the same day.
The contrast couldn’t have been greater – both in terms of the wines and the experience.
Mind you, we all seek out the bargains as we fill our trolleys in the supermarket. There’s nothing wrong with an inexpensive wine for midweek drinking.
Mouton Cadet may not offer the prettiest wine-tasting experience, but it’s one I won’t forget.