Any week that involves dinner with my wine geek friends is a good week. But this one involved a bonus dinner with some of our wine geek friends, dinner at Bourbon Steak and an awesome Italian wine tasting yesterday. The week kicked off with dinner at our friends’ house. As we were enjoying some wine, and the dogs were running around happily, our friend asked what wine he should bring to dinner the following night. I started looking around his cellar and tagging things. I found several wines that looked interesting to me, so I slapped a tag on them that read “Drink with Stef and Ari OR DIE” It should be a lesson to all those with wine cellars not to let me loose on my own. I should mention that we brought to their house a 2006 Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador, which was excellent, and we also enjoyed a NV Piper Heidseck, and a 1997 Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, also excellent.
It was all really just a warm up for Wednesday night’s dinner at Bourbon Steak. There were thirteen of us (12 wine geeks and a 6 year old whose babysitter had cancelled at the last minute) in the private dining room. Not only did we enjoy the fantastic Miami spice menu, but we enjoyed an outstanding wine lineup, including:
- 1998 R. Lalou Cuvee Prestige Champagne (awesome, not too bubbly, yeasty and citrus-y)
- 2012 Kistler Sonoma coast Chardonnay, Les Noisetiers (nose of Meyer lemon, grapefruit on the palate balanced oak, will last a good long time.)
- 1999 Vougeot 1er Cru “Les Cras” (amazing smokey nose, but fell short on the palate)
- 1997 Barbi Brunello di Montalcino (cherry liquor, bright fruit, yummy, but not my favorite Brunello by a long shot.)
- 1997 Pio Cesare Barolo (this is a big wine and needs food, was amazing with my cacio e pepe pasta)
- 1996 Chateau Montrose (very young still, loads of spice, dirt – in a good way)
- (This is where the tasting notes get a little less legible)
- 1995 Rauzan-Segla (a little thin, but tasty)
- 1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon (nose is slightly green, but the palate is full bodied and fruity, perfect with food.)
- 1999 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon (this is a big wine, tastes very young)
- 2003 Domaine Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape (no notes)
- 1990 Schloss Schonborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Riesling Auslese (outstanding, but no real notes)
- 2011 Colterris Cabernet Sauvignon, from Grand Valley, Colorado (better than one might expect from a Colorado wine, but tasted blind, I thought it was a Zinfandel blend).
After all that good fun on Wednesday night, I had to continue my week with something fun. Yesterday, I was invited to attend the Kobrand
Wines Tour d’Italia, a trade and press only event, where winemakers from Italy come to the US on an eight city tour. Miami was stop #4. I have said it before, and will say it again: I really love most things Italian: espresso, tiramisu, pasta, pasta and more pasta, gelato… OK, so I mostly like all things Italian that are food. And wine. Several months ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Alberto Chiarlo, marketing director for Michele Chiarlo wines. They are located
in Piemonte, and make exceptional Barolo and Barbaresco wines. As Alberto was going to be at the Tour d’Italia, I knew the wines would be good, and I looked forward to the event.
The walk around tasting had views of the water and the Port of Miami, complete with cruise ships. Tables were set up around the room with a wide variety of Italian wines. Some of the highlights included Tenuta Silvio Nardi (represented by the lovely Emilia Nardi. We had a lovely chat about Montalcino and some of the other producers in the area.), Tenuta San Guido, pouring the always-popular Sassicaia, Masi Agricola, pouring the whole Masi lineup, including the single vineyard Amarones, and of course, the lineup of Michele Chiarlo wines, including the Barolo Cannubi.
It is a rough life, I know, but this week was spectacular for so many reasons. Not only did I get to see friends I don’t see often enough, but to enjoy great wines with them is always a special treat. Plus, following it up with a whole afternoon of wonderful wines is just icing on the cake.
What wines are you drinking lately? leave a comment below and let me know!