When you are the sommelier or the wine buyer for a high end restaurant you are constantly hit up with tastings, dinners, seminars, webinars, the list goes on and on. They are always worth your time if you can go but there are some that are a little extra special when compared to the others. Luckily enough I was invited to attend one of those extra special dinners the other night.
Fuad Jezzini with Pioneer Wine Co. wanted to show appreciation for some of his clients in the Denver market and he felt the best way to do that was to open some amazing bottles of wine over a nice dinner at FIRE. There were twelve of us around the table and twelve bottles of wine to go around; the line up for the night was stellar to say the least.
I was so excited because this was the first time I tasted a wine with thirty three years of age on it, a 1983 Chateau Margaux (Left Bank Bordeaux blend). It was also the first time I tasted a white wine that needed to be decanted, it was a Domaine Jean-Louis Chave 2010 Hermitage (Marsanne/Rousanne blend). They were absolutely amazing wines that both showed incredible amounts of complexity on the nose and palate!
Out of all twelve wines, we only had one white wine that was corked (a wine thats odor and flavor is reminiscent of moldy, wet cardboard; caused by a faulty cork). That will happen from time to time, especially when you are drinking wines with considerable age on them. Honestly, we were all thankful there was only one corked bottle because there could have easily been at least two more.
My two ‘stand out’ wines of the evening were the Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling from Mosel, Germany and the 2004 Colgin ‘Cariad’ from Napa Valley, California. All the wines were amazing of course but these two stood out to me because they were unlike anything I’ve tasted before.
The Riesling was so beautifully balanced as to not be too heavy on the palate. I made sure to save my glass of that so I could pair it with the apple crisp and I am glad I did.
The other wine I really enjoyed was a 2004 Colgin from Napa Valley, California. It was lush and muscular on the palate. The aromas were suggestive of smoked meats like duck and venison with underlying tones of rhubarb and plum sauce.
The wine was great but let us not forget about the food because it was amazing in it’s own right. For my first course I chose the grilled octopus salad with a legumes and a green olive vinaigrette. Second course was an airline chicken breast on a bed of mushroom risotto with green and white asparagus spears, drizzled over the top was a truffled chicken jus garnished with freshly chopped parsley. For dessert I ordered apple crisp topped with a scoop of sea salted caramel ice cream. Each dish was perfection on a plate, kudos to Chef Jakubiec and his team at FIRE.
Overall, my favorite part of this dinner was talking about the wines and their respective history with people who are like-minded. I love to hear stories about walking through a vineyard with a wine maker and his/her dog while they explain the history of the vineyard, etc, etc. It just fuels my passion even more.
As dinner was coming to an end I exchanged information with as many people as possible as to further grow my network. In order to be successful in this industry you have to have a strong network of people that you can call upon for advice and resources sometimes but it doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it constantly. Fortunately for me I have a very strong work ethic and am quite resilient.
I would just like to say thank you for following me on my journey to become a Master Sommelier, it means so much to have your support. Please be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up to date on all of my latest adventures!