Last week (12-22-17) we reminisced a bit about Bordeaux

Sorry this is so late, but I wanted to mention that we held our meeting at Scott and Amy’s house and it was delightful!  With only a few days before Christmas, I think we all had finished most of the shopping and were ready for a nice relaxing night.

Being so close to Christmas, I felt it would be nice to have a wine that brought up memories of our  trip to France, so we opened a 2006 Chateaux Leoville Poyferre, which is the chateaux that we visited while in Bordeaux with Will & Thea and Will’s family.  It was such a beautiful place and we had such a wonderful tour and tasting there… I thought it would be nice to reminisce about how fortunate we have been this past year.  With Amy’s usual delicious selection of cheese and fruit offerings, it was almost like being back in France.

But just like with the vacation, we eventually returned to the USA.  Scott opened a  bottle of Duckhorn Cabernet and brought us back to California.  It was a very nice wine and so was the whole evening.

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.

Thursday edition of FEWC (11-9-17)

Because of busy weekend schedules, Amy suggested to Janet that a Special “Thursday Night” Edition of FEWC was in order.  After a brief consultation, the Executive Committee unanimously approved and … voila!

Scott started us off with a red from the area of Bordeaux that we visited while on our trip, St Julien, Chateaux Teynac 2006.    Even though it had been decanted for an hour before the first glass was poured, both Scott and Lenny were not impressed with the taste.  However, as we have found time and time again, patience is a virtue when it comes to wine.  By the time we were having our last glass from this bottle, the wine had made a complete transformation from a wine that we would just as soon pass up, to a wine that was quite appealing.


The 2nd bottle was a 2014 Malbec from Washington State’s Milbrandt Vineyards..  Since we are all big fans of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina (especially vineyards that are at least 3000 ft elevation – such wine snobs!) that Lenny thought it would be interesting to see what the USA had to offer in this grape.  Everyone liked it a lot but did not feel it was as fruit forward as typical Mendoza Malbecs.  Kind of a toned down version of what we are used to.  Still, it was very enjoyable and the girls liked it better than the Bordeaux.

The last bottle was an old stand by, Leese – Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a very nice crowd pleasing Cab for a great price.  It used to have a very unique cork made of black plastic (almost rubber-like) that made it easy to recap an unused bottle (a rare thing at FEWC).  Check out the blurb that Scott sent on how handy that cork can be!

Wine gadget tips from Scott.

If you are ever working on an electrical box and need to plug an unused conduit port, a Leese-Fitch plastic wine cork fits perfectly. It’s waterproof, stylish, and displays you have good taste in wine.

I submit the following photo as evidence. Why oh why did they switch to a screwtop?

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!