In previous posts I’ve mentioned a wine club I have joined. I joined upon returning to NYC from Napa in search of other wine-curious individuals. In the year plus since the formation of our “club”, I have become close with some of the core participants. Five of them joined me on my small NYC porch yesterday for an intimate BBQ & wine Memorial Day get together.
Four of the six participants have some affiliation with the wine industry. Two work for a wine distributor, one works part time for a retailer and I have my many wine industry related activities. Everyone brought some wine, some food & great anticipation.
We began the day with some white wines & finger foods. Bread, crackers & chips with four types of cheese, a funky guacamole recipe I concocted from recipes online, greek olive hummus, & tehina all served as great compliments to the white wines we were to open. We started with a 2004 Chateau La Blancherie White Bordeaux that was crisp, cool & refreshing. We then cracked open a 2003 Domaine de Paul Blanck Furstentum Alsace Pinot Gris that surprised us all with a touch of sweetness, but was once again, quite refreshing. We wrapped up our pre-BBQ stage with a 2006 Tenuta Kofererhof Kerner from Alto Adige that had very pretty floral & tropical notes and was mouth wateringly crisp.
A brief break followed so that we could clear up the “apps”, get the grill going, and move on to the meat (both literally & figuratively) of the afternoon. On the menu was vegan mushroom risotto, grilled veggies, a London Broil and dark chicken skewers with red onions & an assortment of white stone fruit – a recipe I got from a fellow blogger and new friend, Cathy of The NoblePig.com. While all the food was very well received, enjoyed & devoured, the real treats of the afternoon were the Bordeaux, courtesy of the writer/part time retail wine salesperson & his cohorts. We decided to decant the 1998 La Mondotte from Saint Emilion as this 10 year old wine is still relatively young. This was no baby, as its fresh blue fruit, earth & minerality exploded on the palate and was an incredible compliment to the food we were enjoying. Moving right along to something even older, next was a 1982 Chateau Boyd-Cantenac Grand Cru that had some minor sediment deposits but was VERY alive. While its fruit was subtle, the wine showed earth, tar, leather – all wrapped in a well structured package with a silky mouth feel. WOW. Finishing the Bordeaux was not the least bit challenging and gave us the opportunity to try a bottle I had been saving for a special occasion (and for our writer extraordinaire & Petit Verdot lover) – an Israeli (mostly) Petit Verdot – The 2005 Sea Horse Winery “PetiteVerdot plus. Serving this wine after the 2 bottles of Bordeaux is not something any sane Israeli wine advocate would consider. But I promised, and figured what the heck. We were all rewarded as the wine was a winner. A rich ruby color with fresh berries and some Israeli earthiness, I was thrilled to hear a comment I have been hearing a lot of late as I continue with my journey to put Israeli wines on the map – “This is the best Israeli wine I have ever tasted”. I’m sure the setting, food & buzz played a role in prompting the comment, but it was great to hear nonetheless, and it did happen to be a very nice wine (not YET available in the US).
Thoroughly satiated, we wrapped up our long afternoon/evening with some fresh fruit & yet another treat, a 2001 Renobilis Recioto di Soave sweet dessert wine. This sweet yet wonderfully balanced treat had a bouquet of wild flowers and tropical fruit that seemed to sing sweet songs on the palate. It went beautifully with dessert and was the perfect ending to a special day.
While the food and wine truly was exceptional, it was the company that made the day – and certainly enhanced the pleasures derived from the wines. Many thanks to my five fellow partners in crime. It was truly a pleasure sharing the experience with you and I look forward to many more such special events! THANKS!
Happy ELABORATE wine tasting!