Best of 2018: William Kelley
I first met the immensely talented Jean-Michel Carette in the woods of Mâcon-Cruzeille, where he has gathering wild strawberries for his restaurant and I was exploring the vineyards. His superb restaurant employs the best seasonal products in an innovative way that references the classics, and while my culinary tastes are generally ultraconservative, I bow to Carette’s genius. My lunches and dinners here this year were often enlivened by wines served blind, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Montrachet, subject of a forthcoming Hedonist’s Gazette. Diners here can also credit me with having hand delivered the restaurant’s Thierry Allemand allocation.
Howard’s Gourmet, Beijing
Geographers may disagree, but this meal convinced me that China and France were once contiguous territories, so exciting were the marriages between Chinese cuisine and great wines from Domaine d’Auvenay, Château Rayas and Clos Rougeard. This stunning dinner featured dishes including the best whelk I’ve ever tasted, sharks fin in hairy crab roe and braised wild tortoise. More on this to come.
Dinner at La Balena, Carmel with Jean-Louis Chave
A memorably evening of old Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and beyond with one of France’s most interesting winemakers.
Best Tastings of the Year
Clos des Lambrays back to 1918 at the domaine, an intimate encounter with some of the greatest Burgundies of yesteryear. Deep, concentrated and seemingly-immortal, these are magical wines.
Coche-Dury’s Corton-Charlemagne 1999-2009 followed by a vertical of Keller’s Riesling G-Max in Beaune.
Happy New Year!
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