Monday, October 22, 2012

good wine, good times

so before I move into full depth of our recent journey to the Nordic capitals of Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen - let me catch up on the end of last week.  after returning to Chicago on Wednesday we had a Thursday of getting through mail, finances, laundry etc. 
but on Friday we managed to break away for a wine dinner featuring the wines of Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO) held at City Winery.  City Winery opened last August and is going strong with wine, food and song.  It is a combination restaurant and music venue and wine bar/tasting venue in the hip Randolph Street corridor. 

We knew the Drouhin wines- we have bought at DDO for years and even visited the Beaune cellars of Domaine Drouhin while in Burgundy.  So we were not at all surprised by how good the wines were.


Since the wines were the reason we had come we will start there:

Everything showed well over time but it was a bit disconcerting when the staff kept grabbing glasses away from us that we wanted to keep tasting OVER TIME and with more air and "age" on them.... after years of the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) in Orgeon we were unaccustomed to a wine tasting giving short shrift to the wines themselves-

I may be wrong but there seemed to be an issue with availability of glassware which really shouldn't be an issue in a wine bar... but-

back to the wines- we own a couple of the vintages of the Chablis but haven't delved into the Vaudon which we did buy last time we were at DDO visiting to taste- here is what we have- and over time you might get reports on these - but we aren't drinking 05 and later- we are still working on the 00 and 02s in the white burgundy area

2005 White Burgundy Chablis Premier Cru Drouhin
2008 White Burgundy Chablis Premier Cru Drouhin - Moirein
2009 White Burgundy Chablis Premier Cru Drouhin - Vaudon

the clear winner in the whites was the beaune clos des mouches which was no surprise at all... the winner in the reds depended upon who you asked- I liked the Gevrey but Phil preferred the Volnay - and as the Volnay opened up (we clung tightly to our glasses) I found them both to be lovely elegant wines.

and as I write this post and I went back to my wine inventory and find- LOL- I already have purchased some (must have been with Howard Silverman or with Knightsbridge from the 09 burg tasting last December...LOL) this would be a good reason to put this document in my drop box so I could call it up on the phone - because at the end of the evening I ordered more - LOL

2009 Burgundy Drouhin Gevery Chambertin

although that is the only Drouhin red burg on the list I bought another two Gevreys as well so no wonder I liked that one...LOL

2009 Burgundy Dugat Gevrey Chambertin
2009 Burgundy Humbert Freres Gevrey Chambertin - Poissenot

the meal was somewhat hit or miss- the chilled mussels and clams salad didn't hit the right note - all the elements really needing to be at least room temperature to get the essence of their unique flavors versus the alike-ness of their chewy consistency when chilled...

the frisee and goat cheese on beets sounded like a choice destined for my "worst course" award but instead it was really right on with a light touch of vinaigrette and a lovely balance of each element of the pairing.

the mushroom course with the escargot in pastry would have been first rate but didn't make the grade for a dish served to 35 people- the pastry came out a big soggy versus light and crispy...

and finally the main of short rib and puree of turnip was a winner as well - so we were two out of four on the plus side...

we were kind of dumbfounded when the intro remarks from the wonderful Dreyfus Ashby host went to really basic Burgundy geography and French wine terminology (named for regions and villages and plots of land versus the new world grape varietal naming- that kind of basic) but perhaps the audience was less into wine than what I would have expected for this kind of specialized event... anyway- we had some good wines and a decent meal and our table mates were very compatible- so we came home happy that we had trekked down to the west loop during rush hour to do the event.

and for those of you who may never have laid eyes on a map of the world's best wine making region- here you go:

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