Here's how it works: rank the wines from 1 to however many (generally 5 to 6 bottles) after tasting both with and without food. Go around the room and talk a little about the wine and share your rankings. Total the score. Tada. Lowest score is the winner. This time we had a tie, so don't get too confused on the numbering...
You're probably wondering what we drank? Well here it is:
In the order they were ranked by our intrepid tasters (my rank in parentheses):
1. Domaine le Goubert 1995 Gigondas "Cuvee Florence"(1) - Grenache less than 80%, Syrah an/or Mourvedre
2. Domaine Rabasse Charavin 2000 Cairanne "Cuvee D'Estevenas"(2) - Corinne Couturier top reserver wine
2. Domaine de l'Oratoire St. Martin 2000 Cairanne "Haut-Coustias"(3) - Mourvedre 60%, with Syrah and Grenache
4. Bosquet de Papes 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape (4) - Dominant Grenache
5. Domaine Rabasse Charavin 1995 Rasteau (5) - blend of 70 year-old vines, Grenache 60%, Mourvedre 40%
The warm-up wines were:
Clos des Papes 1996 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - This was by far one of the strangest whites I've had. It tasted something like a watered down whiskey, which I'm told is the characteristic "butterscotch" of aged Grenache Blanc. I didn't dislike it, but I'm not sure what to do with it either.
Chateau Pradeaux 2005 Bandol Rose - This was listed, but I think I missed it altogether. Oops. My bad.