A few weeks ago, I officially joined The Chaine des Rotisseurs, a centuries old food and wine club that began as a guild for French meat roasters. As you can imagine, the induction ceremony, which was also the 50th Golden Anniversary dinner of my local chapter, was a foodie and wine lover's paradise. Though the location was Jersey, the food, the wine and the presentation was all French --cand all amazing.
Over the course of the evening, we were served eight different wines. Though I tasted all eight, in the interest of keeping this a post and not a novel, I'll tell you about my two favorite wines of the night - a Sauternes, a varietal I love, but one which I do not drink often (enough) and a Burgundy Pinot Noir.
Our first course was a foie gras paired with Guiraud Sauternes 2005. Sauternes and foie gras is one of the most classic pairings and though I do not care for fatty goose liver, I do love sauternes. Sauternes are made from the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle grapes in Sauternais, a region in the Graves area of Bordeaux. The grapes used in Sauternes are generally infected with botrytis or "noble rot." This rot leaves behind a greater concentration of sugar and fruit acids which gives Sauternes their lovely sweet honeysuckle notes. The Guiraud was a golden hued sauternes with classic notes of honey and cream and a faint citrus note. The palate was lush, but not syrupy. It doesn't have the most wine-o-cratic price (aprox. $40 for a half bottle), but for an excellent six year old Sauternes, it's a good deal.
For our fourth course (out of seven!), we were served a Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin les Champs-Chenys 2004 from Burgundy. It shouldn't surprise any of you that this was my other favorite since Burgundy = Pinot Noir. Unlike the pinots I was drinking in Oregon, this one had a little more age and a lot more mushroom and game notes that are common in Bugundy pinot noirs. My favorite thing about pinot noir, though, is that if it's made well, which this one certainly is, no matter what other notes exist, you can always get bright fruit notes and this one delivered with a palate of cherry, plum and cola. It paired perfeclty with the duck breast as well as the beef (fifth course). I barely took a sip of another wine after this one. Like the Sauternes, this is pretty pricey, but in the context of its age and region, at $50, it's worth it.
As the holidays gear up and my participation in multiple dinner clubs increases, I expect to have a lot to write about going forward. I will do my best to make sure to keep you up to date on the latest trends and smart buys in the wine world.
The key is to keep the writing as high of a priority as the corking!
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,