Fat Bastard Revisited and Gabrielle Meffre at Le Crocodile (Video)

I’m not sure why but I always figured that cheekily named “Fat Bastard” had to have something to do either with the guy who might drink it (me) or the guys who made it—Thierry Boudinaud and Guy Anderson.

But here’s the real story, as told by Fat Bastard co-owner (and Gabrielle Meffre globe-trotting sommelier) Anthony Taylor.



Now known pretty well the world over, this label was revolutionary for its time when introduced in 1997. Not only because it was just a tad rude and irreverent. But also because (even if it was aimed at the Brits) it was French, at a time when, well, the French just didn’t do that kind of thing to wine labels. Not in those days, anyway.

We met up with Fat Bastard this past week over lunch at Le Crocodile. (Full disclosure: we find resistance to such invites futile.)

Best selling Fat Bastard Chardonnay

Fat Bastard Chard label, complete with hippo, just in case you missed the point!

While the main purpose was to taste the Gabrielle Meffre Rhone Valley AOC wines, Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2011 (Vin de Pays d’Oc) made an appearance as the reception wine: fresh fruit-forward, more new world style with some tropical notes and fresh citrus on the palate. Good value for $14.99 BCLS—and excellent with wild mushroom tartlettes! 88 pts.

It’s precisely that more generous (but not overblown) character that prompted Anderson, when he tasted the first edition, to say: “That’s a fat bastard wine,” which it likely was. And the name stuck.

That same good value carries through to Gabrielle Mefffe Plan de Dieu Saint Mapalis, which delivers a juicy well structured blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah 30%) and Mouvedre (20%) with good tannins and a touch of spice to close. BCLS Specialty $15.99 89 pts.

Bump it up a notch for Gabriel Meffre Gigondas Sainte Catherine 2010, medium bodied, layered and quite plush with solid red berries, rounded tannins, juicy acidity and pepper notes before a long, silky finish. 91 pts. BCLS Specialty $32.99

Gabrielle Meffre Rhone Blanc with superb arugula and asparagus salad

Gabrielle Meffre Rhone Blanc with superb arugula and asparagus salad

There was more, a whole lot more to this lunch. And what struck me was how smartly the wines paired. In particular the Gabrielle Meffre Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2011, whose stonefruit and floral tones were delicious with Le Crocodile’s grilled asparagus and arugula salad, and perfect, just cooked spot prawns and a mild truffle oil vinaigrette. Too bad this wine’s not in the BC market …  89 pts


Le Crocodile duo of duck breast and caribou two ways, with two wines

Le Crocodile duo of duck breast and caribou two ways, with two wines

Chef Michel Jacob saw fit to to pair two wines, the Gigondas and Gabriel Meffre Plan de Dieu St Mapalis 2010 (89 pts) with his extraordinary duo of duck breast and caribou, served “two ways” with morel sauce and with port and apple sauce. I could geek out and say that the Plan de Dieu went better with the caribou, and the Gigondas with the lamb but, really they both worked beautifully. In a word. Superb.

The surprisingly affordable ($35), smooth and silky, black cherry toned Chateauneuf du Pape St. Theodoric 2010 was the perfect close, with a French cheese platter. What can I say? It’s Le Crocodile.

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.

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