Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bordeaux vs. Pinot Noir

The other day I was sitting on the patio enjoying a fine summer evening. Vidaldi's Four Seasons playing on my iPod, a good Giuoco Piano opening game of chess played out to an interesting draw, a cool onshore breeze, a glass of locally produced Pinot Noir, and a towering Sunflower above me.

Who could ask for more? But I did have more. As usual I was working on my maze.

Well, anyone that knows me can tell that this is a posed picture. What gives it away is the glass of wine. I'm far more likely to have an old Taco Bell cup filled with Diet Coke in front of me. I confess that the pictures are just a set up for an important research project.

The August Ink Drop included a sample of Montgrappa Bordeaux ink. Bordeaux is fine wine produced in France reputed to be some of the best in the world. BevMo has a Chateau Ausone 2007 St-Emilion for a mere 1059.99 dollars a bottle (that 1059.99 instead of 1060 is to make you think it is cheaper). That seems a bit steep, so why not see if some of our California wine could work as well as the Bordeaux? It seemed like a question that needed to be answered, so I set about doing just that.

It turns out that I didn't have to open and possibly waste a new bottle of wine. I had a partly filled bottle of well aged left over wine which had be in the fridge for sometime before being move to the top of the fridge. It was left over from a Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago. I doubt if it was even potable any longer, but I wasn't going to drink it.

I was going to fill a fountain pen with it and draw a maze with it. Here is a picture of the filling process. The 'wine' is so corrupted it is actually brown.

The Montegrappa Bordeaux in my Ducati Limited pen worked great, It flowed smoothly and shaded even with a fine nib. The Concannon Pinot Noir was less satisfactory. In fact is was almost invisible. It could be the pen's fault, but somehow I doubt it. The Pinot Noir is not dark enough. Maybe I should have tried a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Under UV light the Pinot Noir shows up a little better as you can see in this a picture.

It was too difficult for me to draw with invisible ink, so I decided not to finish this one.. Besides, an invisible maze is getting close to useless. I'm not saying it is totally useless, just sort of.

The results are fairly conclusive; the Montegrappa Bordeaux is much better than the Pinot Noir when it comes to drawing with it.



  1. Who could grow such beautiful sunflowers? What a green thumb she must have! What a breathtaking background for Monk's Pen!

  2. The maze won’t be useless. You can just frame it and hang it on your wall. It would surely a great way to beautify a blank wall, right?