Chez Nous
Hedonist's Gazette

Dinner at Home

It's rare to start a meal without Champagne, but two of my guests do not care for Champagne, so we began the evening with three California Chardonnays. The 2001 Kongsgaard is a beautiful minerally, buttery, still young and backward Chardonnay. A magnificent effort, the 2001 Marcassin Estate Chardonnay from their home vineyard on the Sonoma Coast exhibits lovely brioche notes intermixed with notions of marmalade, honeysuckle, and a steely minerality. This fabulous offering is a California version of a stunning Chevalier-Montrachet or Meursault-Perrières. Sadly, the 2001 Marcassin...

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Dinner with Friends Chez Parker

A sumptuous meal began with some of my wife's wonderful deep-fried jumbo back fin crab fritters (I can eat these anytime, anyplace), drunk with a spectacular 1996 Deutz Cuvée William Deutz Rosé. This is the fourth bottle of this rare, exquisite Champagne that I would rate this highly. What an extraordinary offering! It seems to me that the Deutz firm has ratcheted up the level of quality for all their cuvées. Moreover, given the price for Dom Pérignon Rosé or Louis...

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Dinner Chez Parker

To celebrate my promotion from Knight to Officer in France's Legion of Honor, awarded by President Jacques Chirac on Bastille Day, 2005, we hosted a dinner with dear friends. The evening began with Spain's extraordinary black ham from that country's finest purveyor, Joselito (which, I have heard, US authorities will finally allow to be imported into America by the end of 2005). We then moved to my wife's renowned clams casino, wonderful clams sauteed in garlic and butter mixed with...

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Dinner Chez Moi

Dinner with longtime friends who are also great wine lovers included a stunning array of wines. Since one of the guests did not care for Champagne, we began with three still whites. The Verget 1995 Chablis Valmur can be variable, but this bottle was young and vibrant, tasting like a barrel sample. It revealed beautiful minerality, honeyed citrus notes, and tremendous persistence, but it was extremely young and backward. The fabulous, young 1995 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes was much more accessible. Lovely...

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Birthday Dinner, Chez Parker

Some spectacular food included terrific salami from Salumi (the father of Mario Batali) and the great Spanish black ham from Joselito. With respect to the wines, the surprise of the evening was a magnum of 1969 Veuve Clicquot Rosé we opened to celebrate both my birthday and our 36th wedding anniversary (although I'm a lot older than that Champagne's vintage). It was in great shape. Although it faded about an hour after opening, there wasn't much left, so no harm. Wow, certain...

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An Italian Dinner at Home

We began the evening with two brilliant Champagnes. The crystal clean 1996 Dom Pérignonexhibited loads of citrus and laser-like precision as well as tremendous intensity and palate saturation. This brilliant, zesty 1996 may be less plush than the compelling 1990. The slightly more oxidized style of the 1990 Bollinger R.D. is an acquired taste. It seems to evoke "love it or leave it" reactions in more tasters. I love it because of its white Burgundy-like creaminess and earthy, rich, full-bodied personality. The 1990...

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Dinner at Home With Good Friends

A dinner with some dear friends provided an occasion to taste some favorite wines from my cellar. The 1985 Salon Champagne, a 100% non-malolactic Chardonnay, was still remarkably fresh and lively even at nearly two decades of life. Even more momentous was the virtually perfect 1983 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste.-Hune Vendange Tardive. A tour de force in winemaking, it is one of the finest white wines I have drunk. I had the good fortune to have it on two separate occasions over the last year....

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My Birthday Dinner - A Quiet Evening at Home

While it may have been eclipsed by their newest release, the 1996, the 1990 Dom Pérignon, is a beautiful Champagne with more force and flavor than usual. Honeyed brioche notes mix with copious quantities of fruit as well as superb delineation. A still too young, but virtually perfect wine is Coche-Dury's 1995 Meursault Perrières. A spectacular effort, it reveals a liquid minerality infused with plenty of honeyed fruit, and a tight yet expansive character that must be tasted to be believed. I...

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Chez Parker Welcome Home Dinner

In my opinion, there is no better purveyor of high quality beef in the United States than Lobels. Returning home after a long tasting trip is always marvelous, and being treated to Lobels' steaks on the grill was the icing on the cake. While I was ready to drink some Châteauneuf du Pape after all the Bordeaux I had consumed, my wife wanted some Bordeaux that were close to maturity, so I decanted both the 1982 Le Gay and 1982 L'Evangile three hours before...

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