No Wine November #Chablis!


This is my third month of not drinking any alcohol due to my prostate cancer and prostatectomy, entirely self imposed when the general advice is to “cut down” on things like caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol. But I have never been one for half measures in my career, life in general, or my hobbies. I remember when I retired from running my psychology consultancy business at 55 and sitting outside with my brother in law in Kathmandu on a warm evening; he said to me “why do you only have two speeds in life, flat out or dead stop”? That conversation led to me restarting to work professionally for just 10 days each month to finance 10 years running an education charity for poor kids in Kathmandu.

So, here I am now with my wine tasting/drinking on “dead stop” despite having a heck of a collection of expensive Burgundy reviewing what I will NOT be drinking this week. And the answer is …. Chablis!
Chablis is a small village in France at the extreme north of the Burgundy wine region. Their world famous white wine is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape and classified into 4 Appellation or “grades”. These appellation/grades are awarded to areas of land, not to wines or to winemakers, and are based on the soil composition, the slope and aspect of the area, or more simply the field. Each “field” is sub divided into parcels of land being owned by many different winemakers. The top fields are graded as Grand Cru Chablis, then there are a series of fields graded as Premier Cru Chablis, followed by the “Village” fields just known as Chablis, and lastly the lowest grade fields known as Petit Chablis. 

Chablis, River La Sereine

There are 7 fields (areas of land) graded as Grand Cru Chablis and they are named as Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouille, Le Preuses, Valmur and Vaudesir. I have a single favourites here, Les Clos, but what now enters into the fray of buying any of this Grand Cru wine is …… who owns a parcel of land in each and makes the wine to MY taste. There are lots to choose from and this is part of the fun of visiting a French wine region, choosing a grade/field, then wandering around and tasting different winemakers efforts!

Chablis, Grand Cru Vines

For Grand Cru Les Clos it’s a toss up between winemakers at Domaine Pinson and Domaine Des Malandes. So I buy them both on each visit at around £34 per bottle from the vineyard, whereas they retail here in the U.K. at close to £50 each! So here they are, my two favourite white wines of Chablis I will NOT be drinking this month. Cheers!

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, Winemakers Pinson and Des Malandes

{The background to my prostate cancer surgery and this months posts you will find here Prostates, Robots and Purgatory. }

If you would like to make a donation for Prostate Cancer UK then please click the link.

Categories: Burgundy, Wine

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7 replies

  1. So, your Yankee cousin has a question… I know that there are certain wines that have specific descriptions to be designated as such (champagne and Chateneuf du pape among others). Here in the USA, there is a plethora of choice of Chablis- I’ve never looked at the bottles to notice (mostly because Chablis isn’t really a favorite), but do American grape growers use French Chardonnay grape vines?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Chablis is the name of a village in France. It has 000s of acres of vines, all Chardonnay, divided into climats (fields) divided again into parcels of ownership. So, to get a good Chablis you need to know the field and the owner. Most is unoaked or lightly oaked. So this is the same across the whole of France with wines being classified according to “terroir”, you might need to google that.

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  2. Congrats on finding an outlet that allows you to sustain the no drinking mode. Is it hard at all to write about wine when you know you have committed to not doing so? Duh, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your knowledge about this sort of thing. I expect it’s a very scenic area to visit, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I know it’s a bit “removed” if you don’t live in Europe and can’t visit these places, but I hope my posts can inspire folks to visit their own vineyards local to them and explore more than the wine itself! 🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back. I missed your posts and often wondered why you were no longer on-line. Of course, at times I feared the worst, but thankfully it’s “only” prostate cancer. I hope the recovery goes well and you are eventually able to do more than write about what you’re NOT drinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margaret, it’ll take a while before I write about what I AM drinking but hopefully I can post a few interesting things over the next couple of months 🙏🙏


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