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.
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!
After a week off from FEWC, we finally got back together for some wine drinking… it would have been bad luck not to meet on Friday the 13th.
Those of you who are familiar with FEWC will know that Merlot is our favorite maligned wine variety. Bad publicity from the movie, Sideways, has given this delicious wine a bad rap. We rarely find a Merlot that we don’t like (imagine that). We started with a 2013 Merlot from Rutherford Ranch in Napa Valley. We all loved it. Rutherford ranch has proven to be one of our favorite Vineyards.
Next up was a Bordeaux that Scott brought over.
This was a special treat from the area of Bordeaux that we visited in September, St Julien. It was a 2003 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose. A stunning wine that we all agreed had very little to offer on the nose but… the flavor was outstanding! It was the kind of wine that you can barely stop yourself from taking a second sip as soon as you have swallowed the first. We don’t often get an opportunity to taste a wine that is 17 years old so this was quite a treat. Thanks Scott.
While Janet brought out some tasty Charcuterie for us to enjoy, I opened the third bottle of the night. I decided to take a chance on a 2013 Pinot Noir from Averaen in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, that I had tried at a Binny’s tasting, and liked. Over the years, us snobby FEWC members have typically turned up our noses at Pinot Noir (except French Burgundy – Oooh la la) because we have found the nose to be rather offensive. The term forest floor translates to musty mildew to us. We recently have tried a few Pinots from Oregon and found them to be much more to our liking. Everyone thought this one was very good and did not have the “Pinot” smell that we don’t like.
With plenty of excellent wine and food, fun conversation and of course great music selections by Scott and Lenny, this week’s FEWC meeting was terrific!
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.
This past Friday (9/22/17) was very hot outside. We started the evening with a cold bottle of 2016 Mas de Gourgonnier, a Rose from Provence. Even though we did not visit the Provence region in France, this was one of the bottles we enjoyed during a past New York Times Wine Dinner featuring Rose’s from Provence. A nice refreshing wine to start the evening off right.
Scott then opened a Bordeaux from St Julien, which is the area we visited in France, followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon (I think from California).
Amy treated everyone to cheese and crackers which could have been right from the streets of Paris!
We had a lovely time reminiscing and sharing stories with Scott’s mother, who was visiting for the weekend.
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!
This Friday 9/1/17, we enjoyed 1 white and 2 reds.
The first was a white, Crios Torrontes, by Susana Balbo (one of Lenny’s favorites) from Argentina. It was a wonderfully aromatic, dry, crisp wine. Amy commented that it was one of the most aromatic wines she has ever had. It was cold and refreshing. At $10 a bottle you can’t go wrong sipping this on the patio on a warm night.
Scott and Amy brought a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne Reserve, 2014. It was absolutely delightful! If you are not a fan of California Pinot’s, you need to try a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. It is like night and day!
Janet then brought out some BLT’s for a snack, made with some of Lenny’s homemade bacon. The perfect pairing for our next bottle.
The third bottle was a recommendation from our Binny’s wine guy, Tom. He raved about this wine. It was a 2015 Pinotage from Groot Constantia, a legendary winery from South Africa. It was quite impressive. Tom’s description of this wine: “This is the reason we drink wine.” He may be right!