NGW: Château Clément Saint Jean Medoc 2009 Revisited   5 comments

I was not terrified– but I should have been.  I am not dead– but I so easily could have been. 

I was fifteen years old and riding in the back seat of my dad’s 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix after returning from a family vacation to Acapulco.  As we neared our destination, in Killeen, Texas, the car, painted a creamy almost yellow color was, in an instant, surrounded by an armada of dark sedans.  Angry Texas men emerged from these vehicles, drew weapons, shouted for us to get out of our car.   This was not the way we had planned to end our evening…

It was the Summer of 1975– the year my family almost died.  If you have never had an arsenal of loaded guns pointed at you by an army of jittery Lone Star State police officers, this may seem like an improbable tale.  Somehow, we managed, to avoid becoming roadkill on that Texas night.   

In a case of mistaken identity, our car, the aforementioned 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix, was taken for another car (same make, model and color, apparently) carrying felons that had been robbing God-fearing Texas-folk at shotgun-point earlier that evening.  It did not help matters that my dad brought back a souvenir Mexican sombrero that we just happened to put on the shelf behind the back seats so that it, and nothing else, was all that was visible by anyone following our car.  Yeah, from the outside, we even looked like Bandidos.  But really fancy red-velvet-sombrero-wearing-mariachi-bandidos— ay-yaay-yaay!


There we were, completely surrounded– my dad and my cousin’s husband, who were in the front seat, got out.  The latter was immediately set upon, bent over the hood of the car and treated to the local ritual salutation known as “Texas Frisk’em” —  just like in the movies.  My dad, despite orders to raise his hands, just kept asking in a spanish accent, “What did we do wrong?”  The barrels of a thousand pistols, though, seemed to be speaking a different yet completely understandable language.  Hands up might have been a better choice.  

I got out of the car next.  As a 135 pound 15-year-old kid, I do not believe that I cut a particularly threatening figure.  But with my mass of curly hair, I was probably not clean-cut enough to completely pass muster in this Texas town.  I recall as I got out of the car that there was one gun in particular that seemed to be pointed right at me– its aperture taking the measure of me.  If you asked me to describe the man behind the gun, I could not do it.  All I saw was a gun pointed in my direction.  And when I think back on that night, that is the first image I see.

Next, my cousin, a lovely, though pudgy girl emerged from the vehicle.  I vaguely remember telling my mother and sister to get out of the car.  As mom stepped out, shoes in hand, with my 11-year-old sister in tow, the officers had an OSM (“Oh S**t!” Moment), now realizing they had almost taken out a family of innocents visiting from New Jersey. 

“Holster up, boys.  There’ll be no killin’ tonight”– we survived a near Texas mass-a-cree.

Do I hate Texas?  Hell no.  Why?  Well, aside from the fact that we were permitted to live, this was also the Summer of my first real kiss courtesy of  the red-headed Texas lass that one of my other cousins fixed me up with.  Turns out her specialty was the flip side of the Texas constabulary welcome we had received just a few days earlier– she was the first to introduce me to the infinite pleasures of the French Kiss in the back seat of my cuz’s family car.  Who knew they parlayed the Fraan-say in Texas?  How could I possibly be anti-Texas after that?   

Château Clément Saint Jean Medoc 2009

What, you may ask, do these recollections have to do with wine or food?  Wait for it, cuz here it comes…  In what is definitely a bit of a stretch, tonight’s wine, a little red-headed French number reminds me of that girl.  Don’t ask how this happened– it just did.  And when it does, you go with it.

Château Clément Saint Jean Medoc 2009 ($14).  Concentrated, as befits a very good vintage, but not over-extracted this nice little wine is another Cru Bourgeois from the 2009 vintage,  with sweet spice and a tinge of earth and gravel on the nose.  It’s filled out with stoney red fruit, red cherry lip gloss and cedar notes.  Tame and well structured tannins leave me licking my glass.  Where did she go?  What was her name?  Rated **1/2

I have reviewed this wine before, giving it what at the time I thought was an admittedly generous *** rating.   Is a little bottle variation at play here?  Perhaps.  Could it be  palate variation?  Maybe.  Most likely, it was just my state of mind then and now.  But this is consistent enough that I would still not turn up my nose to it at any time and you shouldn’t either.  That’s part of the magic of drinking wine– how you feel about it depends on what’s going on between the ears as much as what’s going on in your mouth in the moment.  I’m not making apologies for the earlier review.  But that was then and this is now.  In any event, this is worthy of further consideration (e.g. drinking, slurping, lapping and licking). 

As befits this post, and in honor of the fact that we did not become Texas Toast on that Summer night in 1975, predictably, I give you a recipe for Texas Toast– OK, it’s just really good garlic bread.  As Cookie says in the movie, City Slickers:

You ain’t gonna get any nouveau, amandine, thin crust, bottled water, sautéed city food.  Food’s brown, hot, and plenty of it.

Texas Toast

12 to 15 servings


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 cloves garlic, pureed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 loaves good white bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices


Mix together the butter and garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush both sides of the bread with the butter and place on the grill. Grill the bread for 1 to 2 minutes per side until lightly golden brown.

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay and the Food Network

While I don’t hate Texas, I have a respectful, and quite rational, fear of the place.  I have been back since then– almost getting into a road-rage-paint-swapping-fist- fight in Houston once (I was a passenger that time as well).  So when visiting the Lone Star State, here are a few simple survival rules to consider: 

  1. Like they say, “Don’t mess with Texas.” 
  2. But if Texas wants to mess with, pray that she will be gentle.
  3. If instructed, at gunpoint, to put your hands up– do so.
  4. Always, “Remember the Alamo!”
  5. Drive yourself, but take it slowly over some of those dangerous curves, regardless of the form they may take.  Giddy-up!

The little guy in the photo at the top of this page doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  No-Guilt Wednesday (NGW) is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank ($15 or less), eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.

Posted March 20, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

5 responses to “NGW: Château Clément Saint Jean Medoc 2009 Revisited

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  1. Well, I love toasts! And I miss watching Bobby Flay on the Food Network channel.

    Razel Rull-Navarro
  2. I’m just as busy as the next guy, in fact I’m getting ready to go grocery shopping (7.00 AM) so I can get a discount on my gas ($4.00), then I’m on my way to work (40 min. drive), but I just want to say how much I enjoyed this post! You have a great talent, and when I read these elitist writers-bloggers go on and on at just how superfluous we small time bloggers are, I have to scratch my head for what they are missing.

    • Small time does not necessarily mean small ideas. We write for ourselves and if an appreciative audience “discovers” us, that’s a bonus.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you find it as entertaining to read as I find it to write.

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