July 24th 2011, by Gavin
Many old friends will be familiar with this Bauduc summer cocktail but you can add another optional ingredient: cranberry juice. This is a great drink that you can prepare in advance of a small party. Without any vodka, it’s pretty low in alcohol too.
For 25 long drinks, pre-mix in a very large jug:
2 bottles of Château Bauduc Rosé 2010
50cl Cranberry juice
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
Slug of vodka (optional)
Keep the mix cold and slice up 3 limes into wedges. When guests arrive, put ice into some tall tumblers and half-fill with the Rosé mixture. Then fill each glass completely with Canada Dry (you’ll need about 2 litres in all). Garnish with fresh mint leaves if possible, and squeeze a small lime wedge over each glass and drop it in.
April 26th 2011, by Gavin
We like weddings. Especially big ones.
It’s the time of year when we get asked to quote for many special occasions. Thankfully our wines often seem to fit the bill, as far as quality, versatility, prestige, provenance, a smart label and price is concerned. And you won’t see it everywhere.
Receiving this sort of feedback too is encouraging for any wine grower:
“The Bauduc wines drew a remarkable number of positive compliments, way outside the usual drunkard expletive. Really, so many people came up to me to say how good they were… My purpose in writing is merely to say thank you for a) the Bauduc which you must never be complacent about – it is seriously good b) the sound advice on bubbles.”
(Mark Johnstone, 25 June 2010)
Another advantage is that buyers can collect the wine from our Calais collection point, saving £25 duty per case in the process. As long as the wine is for your own use, such as for a wedding, there’s no limit to the amount you can take home from France.
So we’ve decided to go one step further for a trial period, following an idea from a customer who wanted to buy a barrel (all 25 cases) of wine. For a substantial order, we’ll print the names of the happy couple and the date on our Château Bauduc label. We are, after all, known for putting the names of famous chefs on our label, not least Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay. The same applies for anniversaries, birthdays, special events, and so on.
February 24th 2011, by Gavin
In my list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, there’s no mention of switching from corks to Stelvin screwcaps for white and rosé, and changing our whole bottling process. There’s just a brief squiggle in the margin of ‘New Year Goals’, saying ‘check with customers about closures.’
Perhaps we should ‘check with customers’ more often because a month after asking, we’d used different bottles, different closures, revised back labels and a different bottling machine for over 130,000 bottles. Later in this post I’ll cover the bottling but here’s a reminder of how our customers made the call to change.
Although I’m a big fan of Twitter, and have a rather feeble Facebook Page, we wanted some swift, one-to-one feedback, without too much interference from either lobby. So on 14 January, with the help of a nifty online survey program called Wufoo, we emailed our customers (we use Campaign Monitor) with the question ‘what closures should we use to bottle our wines?’
As a guide, I wrote an accompanying article called 10 Questions about Corks v Screwcaps and within a week, over 1150 kindly completed the online survey. More than 700 people added a comment, which was staggering, given that most of the UK wine trade and press think the subject a bit passé (me included, in all honesty, before I understood that customers have such strong views).
This was the result, which I’ve edited from the Survey Results post with my self-serving Pacman effect to highlight the conclusion we came to:
With almost two thirds voting for screwcap for white, plus 19% ‘Don’t Mind’, 84% is a persuasive majority. Only 12.4% expressed a preference for cork for our rosé, our top selling wine in the summer (i.e. we’d be sealing it with a closure that only 1 in 8 wanted).
It’s a different story for Bordeaux red with 77% voting for cork or ‘don’t mind’. 23% is still a sizeable vote for screwcap for this, the most traditional of wine regions, but it should be remembered that we’re from the cheap seats, not the royal circle.
January 14th 2011, by Gavin
The debate about corks versus screwcaps is hardly a new one, so why now?
Today, we’re emailing our customers with a 30-Second Survey to see whether they prefer corks or screwcaps on our whites, reds and rosé. We’re bottling next month, so we’d like to know what our customers prefer.
What closures do Château Bauduc use?
All our wines in our current line-up (pre-2010 vintage) are bottled with natural cork from Portugal. After some poor experiences with corks ten years ago, we did a trial using Stelvin – the leading brand of screwcaps – for our 2002 vintage Bordeaux Blanc. The 2002 bottles sealed with Stelvin are still drinking well today.
Why not carry on with Stelvin screwcaps back then?
Consumer reaction in 2003 was mixed and some restaurateurs were not in favour. The acceptance of screwcaps since has obviously changed in most countries, especially the UK, but not in France. More importantly, we changed cork suppliers – we now use two or three – and the quality of corks has improved dramatically. It’s a small point but we were also quite attached to the uncommon ‘antique’ green colour of our bottles, which until now have not been available here for screwcaps.
July 28th 2010, by Gavin
We hardly ever get emails from irate customers, or potential customers, so this one really stood out. Forgive me for the length of this article but I thought I’d reproduce the exchange in full, excluding contact blurb etc. The customer’s emails are in Blue, my wife Angela’s in Mauve, mine in black.
Really sorry you had so much trouble with the website – I will try and find out why your password didn’t work. If you let me know what wine you would like we can arrange to have it delivered for you.
All the best, Angela
From: Gavin Quinney Subject: Re: Password, idiots and so on
Dear xxxx Thanks for the email. Obviously our website gave you some problems, so sorry about that. I’m afraid I can’t find you registered on our system at all. When you put in your email address, at the question:
‘Are you a new or existing online customer?’
Did you click ‘I am a new customer’ or ‘I am an existing customer, and my password is..’?
If you click ‘I am a new customer’ it should work. By all means give me a call.
Kind regards, Gavin Quinney (aka Chief Idiot)
May 23rd 2010, by Gavin
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July 1st 2009, by Gavin
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October 2nd 2008, by Gavin
Not a single red grape harvested in September at Bauduc. Not one – that must be the first time ever. Then again, there are merlot grapes on the vine up the road at Pétrus in Pomerol, so it’s not that unusual in the circumstances. Our merlot usually ripens a week or so after the plateau of Pomerol. This gives me a quick insight – pop up to Pomerol and whatever the top guys are doing, mark next week’s diary accordingly.
This year, we’ve decided to make a cracking rosé. Not that we have deliberately set out to make un vin rosé ordinaire in the past, it’s just that we haven’t focused enough on the style and that’s been reflected in the results.