To re-start the Q&A series here on LENNDEVOURS, I asked Lisa Donneson, proprietor of Bouke Wine, our standard set of questions. If you haven't heard of Bouke yet, check them out. Lisa, with veteran winemaker Gilles Martin, is making some interesting, affordable wines meant for everyday consumption.
What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?
When I was on the Experiment in International Living as a teenager, my Italian host family poured red wine into my water glass as a natural course of events. They also introduced me to tripe and pigeon, but I didn’t know enough Italian to probe, nor did they want to dig into the dictionary to tell me what was on the plate. All smiles, you know!
What event/bottle/etc. made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
The first time I ever walked onto a vineyard was in Val de Pesa, Chianti Classico, where I went grape picking with my husband on our first date. The excitement, romance and memory of the sunlight and views have stayed with me all these years.
Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?
The red is the most serious of the three, and is evolving into a wine on a higher plane. Wine store proprietors and wine educators think the rosé is a killer wine. Bloggers like the white best because it is truly delightful, subtley aromatic, and food-friendly, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve with Bouké. Consumers like them about equally – I know, because I received ratings from Wine Fellows at a 3-day tasting event. I love them all (my babies!), but I’m particularly fond of the rosé. I love its aromas, volume, complexity and finish. It think it’s a seductive wine.
What has surprised you most about being a member of the LI wine community?
The community is supportive of one another and is becoming more cohesive. At the end of a tasting event, I trade wines with other wineries. It’s interesting to see what they created from the same raw materials.
Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the summer. Côte Rotie, Rioja and Burgundy for special occasions in the winter. Chianti any time.
Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?
Blue cheese with the remaining red wine at the end of a multi-course, formal meal. As long as you’re going the whole nine yards, I would transition into a sweet wine.
Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself. Describe the combination of wine, location, food, company, etc. that would make (or has made) for the ultimate wine-drinking experience.
The memory of aromas and their associations are very powerful. Great wine experiences start with the pleasure of the wine’s aromas and taste of the accompanying food, but also the light surrounding you and the people you share it with. Imagine the salty smell of the ocean at a beach picnic in the Hamptons with a lobster roll and crisp local white wine. Think of a sunset barbecue on the North Fork, with a glass or rosé in your hand and someone incredibly interesting standing right in front of you. Remember the plump tomatoes at the end of the summer, cooking pappa al pomodoro with friends, sipping red wine and simply enjoying each others’ company.