Chez Nous
Hedonist's Gazette

New Year's Eve, 2003, Chez Parker

A quiet New Year's Eve with dear friends included some gorgeous Champagnes (two of my favorites). The deep 1990 Moët-Chandon Dom Pérignon Rosé was almost like a serious red Burgundy. The 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal is just beginning to awaken. It's a sensational wine, although I suspect most of it has long ago been consumed by drug overlords and other assorted gangsters as the wine is a favorite of the underworld according to my sources. The reds were a sentimental group of "last soldiers" from...

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Dinner at Chez Parker with American and French Friends

A word of advice. No one should turn down an invitation to have dinner at my house. The evening began brilliantly with a spectacular magnum of 1998 Peter Michael Chardonnay Point Rouge, which reveals a degree of richness and definition that is riveting. One of the finest wines of this maligned vintage in California, it is drinking superbly, and has the potential to last another 4-5 years. Atypically, there were two corked bottles, the 1987 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (a potentially super wine)...

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Chez Parker: An Italian Festival

When I was in Paris I treated the great Italian chef, Tom Cerillo (better known as Tommaso, of Brooklyn's restaurant of the same name), to several meals at French bistros. In exchange, he agreed to provide some of his food (my favorite dishes) to my home for a dinner party with a group of Italian wine and food loving friends. He is a great chef, so this was a feast. The two dishes of stuffed peppers, the duck paté, Tommaso's...

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Dinner Chez Parker

I  was both chef and sommelier for a night of debauchery at my home while my wife and daughter were at the beach. This was a blind tasting with some friends who are terrific wine tasters as well as eaters. The Champagne and Chardonnays were palate teasers/cleansers. Most of the tasting was centered around the 1982 Bordeaux vintage, but I have always wanted to see what would happen if you took the same chateau's finest vintage after 1982, and drank...

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An Evening at Home with a Dear Friend

I  pulled out the big eight from 1982 that I had purchased as wine futures in 1983, took possession of immediately upon their arrival to America, and had stored in a 52-55 degree cellar with 80% humidity since 1985. Storage is everything in wine, as I have noted in tasting 1982s that have been purchased at auction over the last few years. They have been far more evolved, in some cases even decrepit compared to the same wines that have been pristinely...

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New Year's Eve, 2001 at Chez Parker

There were no surprises at this New Year's Eve bash except that these bottles of 1982 Bon Pasteur and 1982 Cheval Blanc were less impressive than usual. Previous tastings have revealed how variable the latter wine can be. There were no inconsistency problems with the 1982 Pichon Lalande, 1989 Haut Brion, or 1970 Pétrus. Readers who purchased the 1995 Verget Chablis Valmur will be glad to know that wine is still an infant in terms of development, but it is one of the greatest Chablis I have ever tasted....

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Relatives and Friends Living Nearby are Invited Over for Hors d'oeuvres

Normally what I do is just pull out a huge assortment of wines that make no rhyme or reason but allow people to taste through as many different kinds of wines as possible. It is always an education, not only for them but for me as well. This day, I barely had a chance to go through everything. I noticed the wines that were drunk first by a group of people who only have a casual interest in wine (none...

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Châteauneuf du Papes with Friends ... again and again!

For 24 years, I have rarely accepted invitations to dine with producers, simply because I don't want to be beholden to anyone for favors they extend to me. It's a tough call, and often I am falsely accused of being arrogant and aloof. However, I do make exceptions from time to time for reasons probably too difficult for even me to understand. They are usually people I just like and want to spend some time with, because not only do...

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Châteauneuf du Papes with Friends ... again

It's obvious I can't keep my hands and palate off Châteauneuf du Pape. It is such a great time to be not only drinking the 90s, which are starting to hit that plateau of maturity, but with the newly arrived 1998s and 1999s showing up, it is just a glorious time to look at this underappreciated, undervalued appellation. With some good friends who also love Châteauneuf du Pape, we started with the stunning Prager 1999 Riesling, an incredibly layered, complex wine...

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