NYT Wine School Dinner (Nov 17, 2017)

FEWC made some progress catching up with the New York Times Wine School Dinners.  On Friday the 17th, Janet and Lenny hosted a combined NYT dinner featuring 2 types of wine:  Blaufrankisch, an Austrian red and Croizes-Hermitage, a French red from the northern Rhone Valley.

Before dinner we started with the Blaufrankisch, a 2012 from Wachter-Wiesler.  Before sitting down for dinner, Janet brought out stuffed mushrooms to whet our appetites.   They paired nicely with the wine.  The NYT wine critic claims that these wines are “spicey, peppery, fruity reds”.  I’m not sure any of the FEWC members would describe it that way.  By looking at this wine in the glass, you might think it was a Pinot Noir,  same consistency and color.  However, the taste left us feeling a bit flat.  It was OK, but nothing to write home about.

After sitting for dinner,  Janet brought out a first course of fresh beet salad with green onions, olive oil and lemon juice.  Delightful!  By then it was time to try the Croizes-Hermitage.  We actually had 3 different bottles: one by Papillon, one by E. Guigal and another by Pittnauer.   The main course was a European style veal stew with onions, carrots and white wine.   Amy brought a loaf of artisan french bread for sopping up the gravy and we were in business. It was delicious!

The wines seemed to go fine with these two courses, however, the meal was the star of the show… not the wine.

We topped it all off with a mixed berry tart, a nice, light treat for desert.

This was the first time we had tried any of these types of wine (that’s the great thing about the NYT dinners).  Janet liked the Croizes-Hermitage better than the Blaufrankisch.  While these wines were fine with the dinner, I’m not sure any of us would actively seek them out again.

As usual, we had a wonderful FEWC evening.

No FEWC this week, 11/3/17

We are taking a break from FEWC this week.    Yes, sometimes we have more than wine to think about in our lives.

We would, however, like to offer up a toast.  So everyone pour a glass of your favorite beverage and join us in saying, “Happy Birthday, Thea!”  We hope you have a wonderful day.

No FEWC last Friday

FEWC did not officially meet this past Friday but it was for a good reason. Four couples got together for our every other month BYOB dinner on Saturday.
It was Scott and Amy’s turn to select a BYOB restaurant… a barbecue place on the north side of Chicago called Smoque. Each couple brought one or two bottles of wine that they thought would pair well with BBQ.
Our evening was a wonderful adventure filled with good food, good wine and good company.
After dinner, we returned to Scott and Amy’s and enjoyed a few more bottles as well as some Fois gras out on the patio, squeezing in what was probably the last outdoor session for the summer.

For those who have not tried a BYOB restaurant yet, give it a try soon.
You know the wine will be good and it is very easy on the wallet!

This week’s wine – Sept 30, 2017

This week was not a typical FEWC get together. Instead, we had a New York Times Wine School Dinner. About two years ago, Scott came across an article by Eric Asimov, the NYT wine and food critic. Asimov wrote that he was starting a monthly column known as Wine School, where at the beginning of each month, he would recommend 3 bottles of a specific type of wine, for people to try with dinner among friends. We at FEWC thought it was a great idea and have been having monthly NYT wine dinners ever since!
The beauty of this idea is that not only does it give you a good excuse to have a fun dinner with friends, but it also gets us to try some wines that we would never have thought to try on our own.

Soooo… we actually combined two months worth of NYT wines with our dinner this past weekend. We sampled a few Sauvignon blancs from New Zealand and a Spanish white wine called Godello. Amy served a wonderful dinner featuring an octopus and zucchini appetizer, followed by crab and quinoa, a lamb patty on a bed of fresh salad and finally a delicious dessert dish she called “lamby-kins”. Let me tell you…. that is living! The wines went very well with the meal. I think the overall sentiment was that the Godello, one from A. Coroa and another by Montenovo, were better liked than the Sauvignon blancs we tried.

Do yourself a favor, go on “The Google” and check out NYT wine school. You will, without a doubt, be trying some delicious wines you would never have gotten on your own and you’ll have a great time doing it.

Hard at work doing wine research in Bordeaux

During our three days in Bordeaux, Will and Thea and Will’s father, Claude, brought us to the “La Cite du Vin”. It is a relatively new and enjoyable place to learn about wine from all over the world. We had a fun time… especially at the tasting room!