Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meet one of Burgundy's great winemakers

Anyone interested in the great wines of Burgundy should consider the last minute addition of the renowned Jacques Lardiere, Director of Winemaking at Maison Louis Jadot. Lardiere oversees the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay wines for the value lover like his ubiquitous Macon-Villages and my personal favorite the luscious Fixin. But, as befits one of the best Burgundy houses, he also makes some of the world’s most prized and expensive ($500+) wines.

But the most important thing about Mr. Lardiere is that he is a most charming, intelligent and thought-provoking dinner partner. A lucky few will have the opportunity to do just that at 7pm, Wednesday, March 3rd at Mirabelle restaurant in Austin. It’s being done as a benefit for the superb annual confab of The Texas Sommelier Conference.

The dinner will run $85, a small price to pay for the chance to taste seven Burgundies including two Premier Cru Burgundies and the Grand Cru, Corton Pougets, not to mention Mirabelle’s reliably great food. I don’t often write about winemaker dinners; there’s usually several each week somewhere in Austin. But this one is different. Make it if you can.

For those who can’t, Lardiere will be available and discussing Jadot’s wines from 5pm-6:30pm at the Austin Wine Merchant, which will also be offering tastes of several Jadot wines.

Again, if you have any interest in Burgundy wines, Mr. Lardiere is one of a handful of people with encyclopedic knowledge of nearly every vineyard in the appellation. Added to that, he doesn’t spend all of his efforts and time on the normal $50-$500 Burgundies. He also knows where the bargains are. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Drink like the stars!

Wish you could be at the Oscars on March 7? Well, you may not get to walk the red carpet, but you can drink the same concoction the stars are being served at the ceremonies.

The official drink of the Oscars is called the Golden Glamour and, in keeping with the wealth of the imbibers, it uses some pretty nice ingredients. A fun four-pack of Moet’s Imperial Champagne in splits (1/4 bottles) runs about $40, and includes a one-use ice bucket and four funny little cones that you stick into the bottle so you can drink your Champagne like an expensive beer.

The luscious vanilla liqueur called Navan also runs about $40. It’s named for its home town of Navana in Madagascar and the minute quantity used in the recipe is a testament to how powerful its aromas are.

For folks who love to do a big Oscar party, this is a must.

Golden Glamour
4 oz. Mo√ęt & Chandon Imperial Champagne
0.25 oz. Navan
1.5 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
Combine all ingredients in an old-fashioned Champagne glass. Top with fresh sprig of mint for garnish.