|Boulud & the Sommelier All-Stars!|
Chef Daniel Boulud assembled the best and brightest of his Sommeliers, led by Dinex Wine Director Daniel Johnnes, for an evening where the wine reigned supreme. Each of the seven Sommeliers selected two wines they found inspiring, and each duo was paired with a dish created to suit the wines. Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud Sommelier, Michael Madrigale commented, "It was nice to have the roles reversed. Normally we pick the wine to go with the food but tonight it's the other way around!"
Guests were greeted with exquisite bubbly hand selected by DB Bistro Moderne Sommelier, Alexander LaPratt. A pair of 2004 Blanc de Blancs included an A. Margaine Willers-Marmery "Special Club" and a Pierre Moncuit Les Mesnil-sur-Oger which were served alongside passed hors d'oeuvres including Mille-Feuille of Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Snail Cromesquis with Sweet Garlic and Wild Mushroom Pomponette with Fontina. Moncuit's offering stood up best to the array of delicacies and it was also interesting to learn that even this house's NV bottlings are from a single vintage, with no reserve wines added.
Next up, Daniel Johnnes stayed true to form with a duo of White Burgundies that included one of my favorites of the evening, the '09 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint Aubin 1er Cru "En Remilly." This delightful white featured perfectly balanced notes of stone, mineral and fruit that had me savoring every drop. Its counterpart was a '08 Jobard Meursault "Genevrieres" which was lush and lovely, and while both paired very nicely with the Crispy Scottish Langoustines with Minted Cucumber, I did prefer the Saint Aubin.
We entered the realm of reds in the capable hands of Blue Pilkington, Sommelier at Café Boulud New York, whose selection of Burgundies elicited a collective grin from oenophiles in attendance. The '06 Sylvain Cathiard Chambolle-Musigny "Les Clos de L'Orme" was refined and elegant while the '07 Domaine Dujac Chambertin Grand Cru was comparatively rich and decadent and remarkably approachable for such a young Grand Cru. Both wines harmonized beautifully with the Duo of Veal featuring Caramelized Sweetbreads and Tenderloin with Black Trumpet Mushrooms.
Next came the inspired Rhone selections of Michael Madrigale, Sommelier of Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud. Known for his predilection for large formats, Madrigale did not disappoint with a '07 Domaine Guillaume Gilles Cornas "en magnum" and a '06 Pierre Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape "Mon Aieul" "en jeroboam." The Cornas' initial whiff of black olive tapenade evolved into delightful savory, gamy notes while the young Chateauneuf had big flavors of blackberry, plum, licorice and appreciable tannins. This savor-worthy duo was paired with an earthy dish of Grouse with Huckleberries, Brussel Sprouts and Parsnips that deliciously enhanced nuances of both wines, making this my favorite overall pairing of the evening.
|Daniel Boulud, moi & Jay McInerney|
With the next course, Sommelier Kerri O'Brien of DBGB Kitchen and Bar introduced two unique "orange" wines. The '06 La Stoppa "Ageno" from Emilia-Romagna had a heady, perfumey aroma that was very similar to Tiffany eau de parfum, so much so I was tempted to dab some behind my ears. To drink, I preferred the '02 Berthet-Bondet Vin de Paille Cotes du Jura that paired remarkably well with the the cheese course of Tete de Moine, Vieux Comte, Langres and Bayley Hazen Blue.
The final say was had by Sommelier Mariya Kovacheva of Café Boulud Palm Beach, and her selection of Italian wines paired with dessert were also among my favorites of the evening. The '07 La Roncaia Picolit was lightly honeyed with a lovely acidity while the '08 Corte Sant' Alda Recioto della Valpolicella featured muted notes of plum, vanilla and spice. Both selections were delightfully elegant and well-balanced, so much so, I kept forgetting about the chocolates and petit fours in front of me, and that doesn't happen very often! I did manage to sneak a few of Boulud's signature madeleines though.
All in all it was a very special and memorable evening. While chatting with Chef Boulud after dinner, he asked us if we had lunch plans the following day and proceeded to make us reservations at his newest restaurant, Boulud Sud. Who were we to say no? That review to follow!