Saturday, December 26, 2009

It’s All in the Bouké

Bouké is a very special new-ish wine. It’s special not only because it’s wonderful, but also because it was created by my good friend Lisa Donneson. Lisa and I met on the tennis court--we belong to the same club in Brooklyn Heights, NY--and I have long been impressed by her intelligence and fierce curiosity about, well, everything. I bumped into Lisa on the street one day and she told me she had just earned a coveted Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Next thing I knew, she had launched a wine company called Bouké in 2007. Bouké is produced on Long Island, and Lisa has partnered in this venture with Gilles Martin, a French-born winemaker who has worked in many of the world’s finest wine regions. Lisa’s goal is to “satisfy the tastes of an emerging generation of American wine drinkers who share her belief that wine should be an everyday pleasure for the senses.” The Bouké line includes a white (my favorite, it’s a floral blend of 43% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Gris, 17% Sauvignon Blanc and 7% Gewurztraminer); rosé (a fruit-forward, stainless steel-fermented blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot); red (a full-bodied blend of 35% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 5% Petit Verdot); and the newest member of the line, Bouquet dessert wine. Bouquet is a fortified wine that is a blend of 96% Gewurztraminer and 4% Chardonnay. Its color is white gold, and the wine has notes of orange, ginger, passionfruit, lychee and rose, a fruity-floral counterpoint to its crisp acidity and 17% alcohol content. Bouquet should be served chilled, obviously, and is an ideal accompaniment to desserts, biscotti and petits fours or savory foods such as foie gras and semi-soft cheeses. It also makes a great gift for dessert lovers, who will have ample opportunities to enjoy Bouquet. To learn more, visit Lisa’s website at