2010: A Great Year For Wining And Dining

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - December 29, 2010
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A hedonistic Champagne

New Year’s Eve is here, and it’s a great time to look back 2010. Here are some of this year’s highlights in no particular order.

* Dinner with the Japanese Consul General Kamo, his wife and friends. It was such a delightful group of people with some very nice wines. The whole evening was completely enjoyable.

* Dinner at Alinea Restaurant in Chicago. This has to be one of the most creative and spectacular menus in the country. The dishes are unlike anything you have seen or tasted. The experience was almost overwhelming and the wines were terrific: 1990 Alain Robert R.D., 1971 Camille Giroud Grands Echezeaux and 2001 Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet “Les Caillerets.”

* Tasting 1978, ‘85 and ‘90 DRC Grands Echezeaux in one evening - and that was just one of the highlights at a dinner hosted by a good friend at Hiroshi’s Eurasion Tapas. Terrific food and even more fabulous wine, all were intertwined for a wonderful evening.

* Tasting the 2009 vintage wines in barrel at Domaine Armand Rousseau with winemaker Eric Rousseau. The wines were impeccable and stunningly good. I am frightened to see what the prices for these wines will be once they are released, and even more frightened what they will be worth over the years. If you can afford them, they are some of the greatest red Burgundies I have ever tasted in barrel.

* Dinner with Peter Wasserman at his family’s farmhouse in Bouilland, a tiny hamlet just outside of Beaune.

He was overly generous, as is his way, with 1937 Giroud Volnay, a wine that still haunts my palate to this day. He followed it up with 1993 Domaine Leroy Chambertin, which was another stunningly beautiful wine, yet so very youthful. They were like two different worlds, yet both gorgeous and awe-inspiring.

Star of the show

* A night filled with 1971s. Each year a dear friend of mine celebrates his coming to Hawaii with that year’s wines. Lucky for us it was 1971. Dom Perignon, Leroy Mazi Chambertin, DRC Grands Echezeaux, Arnoux Vosne Romanee Aux Brulees and Premier Cru - all from 1971 and they all showed well to great. Sometimes you would rather be lucky than smart and good-looking ... at least that’s what my friend likes to say.

* 1959 La Tache night. There were some other fabulous wines that evening, but the 1959 La Tache was the star of the show. It leaves no doubt as to its greatness, even in the company of other fabulous wines. I would not have changed a single thing about this wine. The food was fabulous at Chef Mavro, and the company was even better.

* 1990 and 1989 Krug Clos du Mesnil - and that was just for starters. Throw in a couple of Coche Dury Meursaults a couple of young Rousseaus, then follow them up with some young Gaja Sori San Lorenzo and 1990 Conterno Monfortino, and you have one of the most hedonistic dinners I had this year. I could have sat with just the first two Champagnes, and that would have made my night.

* Drinking 1990 Egly Ouriet Grand Cru Champagne and munching on some awesome hors d’oeuvres with some friends at a 3-Star Michelin restaurant ... while in my bathrobe and surfer shorts. Now that was fun!

May next year bring you even more and better highlights than the year past.

Happy New Year!

Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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