Chez Nous
Hedonist's Gazette

Déjeuner Chez Grand Puy Lacoste

Usually I dine at the Saint Julien restaurant during en primeur, but since the lecherous chef put us off our canard last year, the B.I. boys elected to spend the evening at a château and since that château was Grand-Puy Lacoste, I invited myself along. I will not say too much except that Xavier Borie’s wines showed brilliantly that evening, in particular one of the best 1990 Pauillac’s money can buy and yet another gorgeous 1985, the fleshiness and voluptuousness...

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Home Alone

With my wife having a long week-end in Paris while I was tied to my desk editing and proof-reading the next issue of The Wine Advocate, I decided to take a break and treat myself to a special evening of wine and food. A Bolognese sauce I made from scratch and simmered for about four hours was, even by my critical standards, superb. I started off with a glass of Nicolas Feuillate’s barrel-aged Champagne from the 1997 vintage. It was very good, but not a knock-out by...

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Dinner Chez Morgan (For Jeff Leve & Others)

I sometimes view the main forum on eRP as a modern-day “Dallas” played out in cyberspace. Regular readers will be familiar with the “big characters” whose contributions, insights and occasional insults make the forum such a compelling soap opera....

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Dinner at Home with Friends

We began with a Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1996. More elegant than their profound 1995, it is an exquisite example of 100% Chardonnay champagne that is pure elegance and finesse. It appears to have a decade of life left, but why wait? With respect to the red wines, as I have said since the mid-eighties, you can never have enough 1982 Bordeaux. Now nearly 25 years of age, these wines, which I purchased for what now appear to be dirt cheap...

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Dinner at Home

Dinner began with a brilliant Chardonnay, the 1999 Marcassin Upper Barn, which I believe is the last vintage this estate made of this wine from a vineyard owned by Jess Jackson. Notes of honeysuckle, pear, and brioche soared from the glass of this light gold-colored, medium to full-bodied Chardonnay. It is still young, with good acidity as well as tremendous flavor intensity. We then moved to a group of Pinot Noirs. Marcassin’s sensational 1998 Marcassin Vineyard resembles a Ponsot Clos de la Roche...

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Les Vins Chez Bob

It could be the presence of an illustrious guest from Essex or it could be Robert Parker’s altruism. Whatever the reason, we were spoilt by some exceptional wines chez lui whose theme was the epochal vintage that put him on the map, the pivotal vintage that ushered Bordeaux into the modern era: 1982. Subsequently the vintage has become venerated from all quarters and rendered practically unimpeachable, akin to badmouthing Pet Sounds, Citizen Kane or Essex....

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Dinner at Home with Three Châteauneuf du Pape Proprietors

To celebrate the first visit to the USA by several Châteauneuf du Pape proprietors, my wife and I pulled out all the stops and prepared a totally American meal. It began with a wonderful chopped chicken liver recipe given to us by a Jewish friend, followed by unbelievably rich, decadent, jumbo lump Maryland crab cakes sauteed in clarified butter, and one of the finest cuts of beef I have ever had, a rib roast from Marin County’s Bryan Flannery that...

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Dinner at Home With Friends

A dinner my wife and I (mostly me) cooked for some friends included my famous crab cakes, made from the highest quality Maryland jumbo lump backfin crab meat I can find. With very little filling and just enough mayonnaise to hold them together, these butter-sautéed beauties are to die for. First we drank the 1998 Dom Pérignon, which, while not up to the 1996, the 1998 is unquestionably better than their 1993 or 1992. I enjoy this Champagne more and more...

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Dinner at Home with Friends

My favorite smoked salmon, from Brown Trading Company, is a special Scottish salmon smoked to the specifications of New York's great French chef, Daniel Boulud. The subtlety of its intense flavor is what makes it so exceptional. I do not like smoked salmon to be too smoky, and this tastes almost like sashimi salmon with a very gentle smoky edge to it. We then moved on to what are the world's greatest crab cakes ... mine. Each weighs about a...

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