Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Real Book Clubs Don't Drink Crap

In my last post I railed against Seven Daughters for their weak wine and their even weaker website. One of the aspects of their website that really annoyed me was targeting their wines to book clubs and "girls nights in." The irony is that I'm in two book clubs myself (one of which is coed) and in both clubs we take our wine (somewhat) seriously. In other words, we drink quality wine.

And tonight was no exception. My Hoboken book club got together at Joanna's to discuss our latest book "Julie and Julia." Naturally, Joanna (a phenomenol cook) made Bouef Bourguignon which meant we would be drinking a good red Burgundy (not to be confused with Ron Burgundy) and to contrast some Oregon Pinot Noir (pinot noir is the primary grape in red Burgundy wines).
Suffice it to say, I'd been looking forward to this evening since we scheduled it - but the best was yet to come. When I arrived at Joanna's, our resident new mom, Robin, was there along with her cute new baby. What a pleasant surprise to finally meet Robin's adorable baby girl. Moreover, Robin brought another surprise - a bottle of Merry Edwards Pinot Noir, one of my favorites. The five of us who were lucky to show up on time or early made quick work of the smooth and jammy Merry Edwards.
From there we moved on to a bottle of Four Graces pinot noir. A little tighter and oakier than the Merry Edwards, but still a nice, medium bodied, fruit forward pinot noir. Fruit forward sometimes gets a bad rap, but who doesn't like a little fruit in their wine?

Unfortunately, we didn't get to the bottle of Burgundy until after we were done with dinner, but it was still a lovely bottle. It was a ruby, dry, structured and somewhat smokey Drouhin Cote De Beaune. It wasn't as heavy as other wines from Burgundy I've had, but it worked well because it didn't shock the tongue after the more medium bodied wines we'd just had.
And it kept getting better because the coordinator of the group, Wendy, showed up with a kickass port - Taylor Fladgate 10 year. A few years ago I had the good fortune of visiting Taylor Fladgate and I've loved their ports ever since. Their 40 year old is like liquid silk melting down the back of your throat. Yes, it's that good. But the 10 year is pretty darn smooth, sweet and luscious itself. So, yes, it is totally justified to call it "kickass port." We had it with Joanna's "Reine De Saba," also known as Julia Child's awesome, yummy chocolate cake. O.k., it's not widely known as that but I'm thinking my book club would agree with my assessment.
All in all, it was a wonderful night filled with a little discussion, a lot of laughs and even more food. Most importantly, we drank good wine the way it is meant to be drunk - with good company.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the book - most seemed to like it though many found Julie to be annoying and a victim of TMI. I personally liked the movie better. Plus, I thought the discussion around what you would name a street was more interesting (one day I am determined to live on "Awesome Road" or "Dude Avenue").
Here's to next month's meeting! And if anyone has any advice on what pairs with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," I'm all ears....

Until tomorrow night's wine class,

Alli M.
p.s. Mousume - As always thanks for being a good sport while representing the entirety of the U.K.


Joanna Russell said...

Thanks as always for the compliments. You were a perfect sommelier! And you are right -- the port with that cake was fantastic! (Thank god I only have two small slices yet; I know I'll be enjoying the leftovers with berries and port tonight.)

elliej said...

We don't get dinner with our book group -- and definitely no wine. I'm being gypped!

Alli M. said...

EllieJ - You've got to talk to your book club about this.....We're talking about doing a blind wine tasting on our next meeting. And in my other club, we often try to go to BYOs so we can have fun with pairing. C'mon, spice it up!

Alli M. said...

Then again, I'm guessing you don't have a cook like Joanna in your group. Seriously, she deserves all the compliments I can throw her way.