Autumn is here. Can’t deny it. Wanna know how I know? The bourru is here.
It’s the moment when the people of wine regions can officially declare that summer is over. Cozied into the fruit and vegetable markets, among the vendors of gourds, appears a stand of wine bottles filled with “fizzy-lifting-drinks” otherwise known as Le Bourru.
Bourru literally translates to surly or gruff, and describes perfectly the texture and finesse of this juice. Bourru is the first fermented grape juice after harvest. For whatever reason, the winemaker didn’t want a particular batch to make it into their final blend, so they bottle it up and send it to the nearest markets. The problem and novelty comes from the juice still being in an unstable state of fermentation. And since-
– the juice is in a state of active carbonation, the bottle can’t be sealed with a cork. Or, it can, but it’s gonna expode once the pressure builds up!
They slap a capsule with tiny holes on the bottle and hope it doesn’t make too much of a mess in the back of the truck. This is a fact, I swear to Bacchus, I forget EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I have ended up with sticky juice (not all those sugars are eaten up yet) all over my jeans or shoes or trunk of the car because I forgot to handle the bottle gingerly and keep it in an upright position. So now I carry it home like this:
This year I bought my Bourru from a Medocain producer (50 kilometers away). The juice was Sauvignon Blanc with an approximate alcohol content of 11 – 13 percent. The tannins were gripping and the flavor was in the overly sweetened pineapple juice range. It was actually not a bad little apéritif.
Nothing high brow about it, just a good ol’ harvest refreshment. My favorite way to benefit from the full aromas of this once a year treat? Serve it in recycled holiday edition mustard jars! haha.