(Adapted from an earlier 'private' email)
I woulld agree that even for the most indiscriminate of palates (such as mine own), two buck Chuck wins hands down over Battembang's new wine product (and no, the price has not increased, for the information of ex-pats everywhere). The red wine reminds me of a bad Spanish sherry, and the ros(ey) ...well, it defies description really!
The journey to the vinyard is a pleasant motorbike ride through various villages along a manageable dust road. Once there, I joined the company of a Khmer woman raised in Oregon and married to a plastic surgeon with whom she doesn't travel (much like the situation between my husband and me). Both somewhat outspocken and fiercly independent, we got along well and talked as if we had known each other for years. We were joined by a couple from France who spoke a few phrases of english but knew Italian. A cosmopolitan mix, employing several languages often in the same sentence.
Long story short is that I made a purchase of two bottles (one of each variety) with the idea of burying them and digging them in a decade or so to see if they had 'matured'. The French couple present warned me not to be so hopeful, and that at best they should be "enjoyed" young but served very cold. In fact they couldn't reiterate these instructions enough.
They will be well traveled little wines by the time they reach the US, and I may try to convince the Long Beach Khmer population to support their country by importing the first Cambodian wine ...and then work to encourage an actual demand for the stuff by promoting it as the. Unique product it truly is.
If anyone else in Los Angeles is interested, the wine in my luggage could belong to you. .Allow me to sell you a bottle ...or two!!
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