Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wine event: Wines served at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 - Zero carbon footprint?

Picture: UN Climate Change Conference Dec 7 -18, 2009 in Copenhagen

118 Heads of State or Government met in Copenhagen on December 17 on the eve of the final round of discussions of the climate summit for dinner. The dinner was offered by Queen Margarete II and Prince Hendrik.

From Germany, Chancellor Merkel was there, from the US, Secretary of State Clinton, from the UK, Chancellor Brown. President Obama had not yet arrived in Copenhagen. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had arrived but was not invited. A controversial guest was President Mugabe from Zimbabwe who attended the dinner with Ms. Grace Mugabe.

Picture: Greenpeace action organized in the Bourgogne in 2009 ahead of the Copenhagen summit

What do you put on the dinner table at a climate conference? The answer: you make sure that the carbon footprint is low. Indeed, key ingredients for the royal banquet placed the emphasis on locally-sourced products rather than exotic materials flown in from afar. But the dessert -- a date cake with caramel sauce -- carried a little carbon guilt, as did the wines.


Brandade with Scallops
Sauce Verte

Ballotine of Turkey
Puré of Peas
Fried Potatoes
Tarragon Sauce

Date Cake
with Caramel Sauce


La Cigaralle du Prince 2005
Chateau du Cayx 1999
Madere Hors d’Age
Mercier, Champagne

The first two wines came from the Château de Cayx. Situated at the heart of the Cahors region in France, the Château de Cayx is owned by Prince Hendrik, the husband of Queen Margarethe, who is French by origin.

La Cigaralle du Prince is a white Vin de pays du Lot. It is produced from a 4-hectare plot situated essentially on limestone terraces surrounding the Château. It is 100% chardonnay. Low-temperature fermentations in stainless-steel vats help to preserve the fruity character and freshness typical of the Chardonnay varietal. The wine is estate-bottled.

The Chateau du Cayx is a red AOC Cahors. It is produced essentially on limestone and clay terraces surrounding the Château. It is Malbec 85%, Merlot 10%, Tannat 5%. Vinification in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks followed by a 12-18 months’ period of barrel-ageing, depending upon the potential displayed by the wine.

Madeira is a fortified wine made in the Madeira Islands, which belong to Portugal. The wine is produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry to sweet wines. The islands of Madeira have a long wine making history dating back to the days when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or the East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirit was added. On the long sea voyages, the wines would be exposed to excessive heat and movement which transformed the flavor of the wine as the wine producers of Madeira found out when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique wine making process which involves heating the wine up for an extended period of time and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation.

Mercier is a famous Champagne Estate based in the Epernay. The house was founded in 1858. Today, the house is under the umbrella of the LVMH group and is the number one selling brand of Champagne in the domestic French market.

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