Events
Hedonist's Gazette

Daniel - The Legends of the Right Bank

This Right Bank Legends event at restaurant Daniel ranks as one of the top two or three culinary and wine drinking occasions of my life. All the wines were from superbly stored magnums, and, with the exception of the bottles brought by participating hedonist, Ed Milstein, all the reds were decanted three hours in advance. Knowing what lay ahead, I skipped the Champagne and waited for the 1986 Ramonet Montrachet, which was revealing the botrytis/funky notes that have appeared in the...

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Dinner at Ambassador Jean-David Levitte's Residence

This was a dinner held at the French Ambassador's Washington, DC residence to celebrate both my promotion to Officer in France's Legion of Honor, and the 150th anniversary of the 1855 Classification of the Wines of Bordeaux. In addition to Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, a very gracious and generous host, special guests included Jean-Paul Kauffmann, the well-known publisher of l'Amateur de Bordeaux, and Jean-Bernard Delmas, who recently retired after producing every Haut Brion vintage between 1961-2003. The food was prepared by the...

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Charity Dinner for the Colorado Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

In the idyllic village of Beaver Creek, Colorado, where we have a wonderful ski-in and ski-out residence, my wife and I hosted a charity event with the above wines and food. To my great honor and pleasure, friend and one of the country's great French chefs, Luc Meyer catered the meal at our home, remaining for the entire evening ... well above and beyond the call of duty. As anyone who has ever dined at Meyer's Left Bank restaurant knows,...

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Charity Tasting and Meal

This was an extraordinary meal prepared by Chef Daniel Boulud. The first five courses were all sensational, but my two favorites were the amazing Alaskan king salmon cooked in clay, which gave it amazing sweetness and intensity, and one of the greatest fish dishes I have enjoyed in several years, a grouper encrusted with bone marrow that was to die for. Those courses were followed by a magnificent ballotine of rabbit porchetta that was loaded with flavor. The only disappointing...

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Daniel Johnnes presents La Paulée de New York

This event, organized by importer and restauranteur Daniel Johnnes, is a hugely successful charity event that raises money for the Meals on Wheels program. It usually occurs when I am in Bordeaux tasting the newest vintage, but since my trip this year was later than usual, I was able to attend. What an amazing evening! There were more than 275 guests, including a number of Burgundian producers, who enjoyed what must be the greatest array of red and white Burgundies...

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Symposium for 150 Japanese Winemakers and Sommeliers

Mount Fuji, Japan One of the objectives on my trip to Japan was to visit the viticultural regions of that country and taste the first modern-styled Koshu, a historic Japanese varietal that has some Vinifera DNA in it. Denis Dubourdieu, the famed oenologist from the University of Bordeaux, worked with the Grace Winery to make the 2004, a non-chaptalized, 100% steel fermented offering that demonstrates tremendous potential for this varietal in Japan as well as important commercial implications for its...

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Café Citronelle, Washington, DC

The brilliant, creative genius of Michel Richard pulled out all the stops in a marvelous meal with only one glitch ... the Belon Oyster and Jellyfish in Aspic. There is something about jellyfish that I can't handle. Even though the Belon tasted great, I hated the combination. Other than that it was one fabulous course after another, with the remarkable foie gras brûlée and caramelized pork served with lentils two of the greatest dishes I have had in the last...

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Charity Dinner at Restaurant Daniel

Another marvelous meal prepared by the great French chef, Daniel Boulud, the early courses were brilliant. They included his incredibly perfumed, intensely flavored fresh anchovy dish, and delicate salad of crab. Daniel's crusty scallops were top-notch, but the two courses the blew me away were his stuffed bar (bass), which was filled with ceps and lobster, which worked incredibly well with the flight of Rhône wines. That was followed by another magnificent course, a balantine of stuffed rabbit. The only...

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Charity Dinner at The French Laundry

This charity dinner benefitted the scholarship program for San Francisco's Hamlin School. One of the distinguished participants on Mark Squires' message board, Bill Langelier, and his wife, Carolyn, purchased this dinner. Aside from the brilliant cuisine of owner/chef Thomas Keller, part of the appeal was a remarkable array of some of California's most highly prized wines, along with some top-notch white Burgundies. I was thrilled to participate in such a remarkable assortment of wine and food. Some comments on Thomas...

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