This week, I had the great pleasure of dining at Veritas in New York. Considering that we were a table of oenophiles (full disclosure: I pretty much only hang out with wine people), we couldn’t help but mine their extensive list for gems and old favorites. The Veritas crew graciously poured us a glass of grower Champagne from Agrapart to begin. From there, we went to a 1er cru 2010 Chablis from Daniel-Etienne Defaix, then Bernard Moreau’s Volnay Santenots 2008. Each was a wine of distinction, and I was glad that I was not paying!
The highlight, however, arrived with cheese: the Madeira. Why don’t I drink more of this stuff?! Richly textured, yet incredibly refreshing, Madeira is the perfect completion of a great meal. For us, it was the D’Oliveras Sercial 1969 and the D’Oliveras Boal 1968. Toffee, salted nuts, candied citrus peel, ginger… there is a lot going on in these wines! The Sercial was the showstopper for me. The driest style of Madeira, it’s a knockout with cheese.
Lucky for us all, we have the 1969 D’Oliveras Sercial at L’Espalier. Grab a friend, take a seat in the Salon, and select a mouthwatering assortment of cheese from Louis’s cart. Add two glasses of Madeira, and I bet that you’ll float back out onto Boylston Street with the same glow that I had in New York that evening.
We love our events at L’Espalier. For me, it’s an excuse to open new and different wines with guests having gathered, eager to share in the excursion. The sommelier staff here tastes a multitude of wines over the course of a week, and some seem in particular to take a tenacious hold of our minds.
This week, I can’t get enough of the NV Barth, Spätburgunder Rosé Sekt from Germany’s Rheingau region. The German language befuddles me as well, but we can decipher this as a sparkling (sekt) wine of pinot noir (spätburgunder) and wow, is it a gem with summer salads, as well as flying solo as an aperitif.
Made in the traditional method of Champagne, it is fresh and bright – but my absolute favorite quality is that it tastes like pinot noir! Imagine that. Many sparklings (as much as we love them) do not express much varietal character. This one delivers in spades: ripe red berry fruit and a touch of spice.
It’s not even on the list yet, so this week’s attendees of Wine Monday and Cheese Tuesday had a sneak preview. Join us over the weekend to enjoy a bottle yourself!
Our upcoming theme for Wine Monday is Basque Country – one of my favorite areas of the culinary world. Not many wines make it to Boston from this small corner of Basque Spain and France, so come discover this unique line of summer refreshers. It will be a seafood-driven menu to complement the weather and the wines. Myself, I can’t wait, and hope to see you there!
Wine Director – L’Espalier