2009 vintage: tasting pinot noir grapes

Driving through Burgundy last week, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the beauty of the vines. Everything was so lush, and green, it just radiated health and vibrancy. The color of the vines was almost spring-like. No yellow, brown or red as can be common this time of year, right before harvest. No, this…

Picnic in the train

Sunday. Train ride to Montpellier. The TGV will take us there in a little over 3 hours. As soon as we are out of Paris, and the window is divided horizontally between blue sky and green fields of summer, we pull out the picnic. We start by opening the wine: a 2003 Meursault Les Tillets…

Maria, Oh! Maria @ Regalade in Beaune

There was only one line in the email: “Does anyone know how to spell La REGALADE and frogs legs or what???” With that we knew that we would have to make a trip to see Maria. Not only to keep our client happy, but also to get some food into our bellies after a long…

spoon of the moment: tuna and raw beet

Inspired while doing the Saturday morning marketing. Tuna belly: the kobe beef of the sea. Fatty. Tender. Complex. Meaty. With the bitter tendency of red meat. Looking at fresh produce at the Organic Market Boulevard des Batignoles (Paris XVII), I saw a bunch of raw beets which inspired me.  Surprising aromas of dried earth and…

spoon of the moment: summer foie gras

I don’t usually think of serving foie gras in the summer time. It seems a little rich for summer blood. Rich because of the creamy texture and inherent fattiness. Fattiness tends to have a slight sweetness to it (think fresh butter, or oil). That’s the ‘gras’. All animal livers have some sort of bitterness to…

summer bulot sandwich

  I started thinking about it as I was walking through the organic market Marché Bio of Boulevard des Battignolles in the 17th arrondissment in Paris: I wanted to make a bulots sandwich. The more I thought about it, the hungrier I got. I’d never had one before. I had some bulots in the fridge…

2009 begins…

The vines were flowering in Burgundy and Beaujolais last week…. Photos taken in the old vines of Meursault l’Ormeau behind Boyer Martenot.

Tang : Bordeaux with Chinese food

Taro root with white truffle oil This is one of his signature amuse bouches. The sweetness of the taro is a perfect vehicle for the gamy complex (almost intoxicating) truffle. Noodles with shitake mushrooms Very South-East Asian in style. Some small shrimps in there gave a delicate taste of the sea. And shitakes don’t give…

good ol’ dregs

We bought it almost as a joke. It cost less than 20€ on the wine list at the Castel de Tres Girard. One of the most surprising wines I’ve had recently was a 1997 Saumur Champigny from Langlois Château. It had a lot of precision, and ripe fruit (from a very warm vintage in the…

Mosconi-a ray of Italian sunshine in the Grund of Luxembourg

The Grund has something of a Latin feel to it. The Latin quarter of Luxembourg. Winding little streets-if only a few of them. Small houses. People walking around. Somewhat of a night life. And a true taste of Italy…. Da Mosconi is not just any Italian restaurant. It is a vibrating expression of the place…

Chambertin 1979 Louis Trapet

This old thing was kicking around the cellar for reasons that are long to explain. The Duc thought it might be dead. But it was very much alive.   (the vintage was written by hand because the neck label with the vintage fell off in very damp storage conditions) Well, it had lost all of…

Verget Chassagne Montrachet Pimont 2004

The best white Burgundies of 2004 come from Cote d’Or. Why? Because Cote d’Or had, on average, lower acids and higher alcohols than Chablis or the Maconnais for climactic reasons. Verget harvested very late in Chablis which is why their 2004 Chablis are some of the best Chablis ever produced. Pimont is a village lieu…

What was in the glass to go with these truffles?

    1996 Comptes Lafon Meusault Désirée We needed something that was complex and rich enough to be able to marry well with the truffles. 1996 Comptes Lafon Meusault Désirée More nutty, more evolved than the Clos de la Barre we had several months ago, It went wonderfully with the truffles because the acidity of the 2006…

Le Chamarré de Montmartre: magic from the islands

  I happened to be tasting through the wines of Thierry Despres, of Grande Maison in Monbazillac. Whose wines can rival the most expensive and notorious sauternes at a fraction of the price. I know. I’ve done blind tastings before and Grande Maison was the ringer. The spiciness of his wines actually went quite well…

Brittany Spider Crab and Petit Chablis

  Cooking the crab: Place the crab in a large enough pot (mine was just barely big enough for this bigger than I expected crab!) Fill with cold water amply salted (sea salt is preferred). Do this by taste. It should be like seawater. You don’t want the crabmeat to lose the seawater taste in…

Left-overs call for Margaux

An evening of left-overs. Therefore no photos because I didn’t know it was going to be so good. What it was: Poached salmon with fatty coppa (Italian ham) on top. Salmon and pork go really well together or reasons of texture, inherent fattiness and a certain sweetness. Because of the fattiness, I think a red…

Sardines with coriander seeds: electric combo

Boil the rice in a bouillon scattered with the coriander grains- un-ground. Mix in a large marinated artichoke heart with a little bit of olive oil.  Sautée the fresh sardines with salt and pepper in a very hot frying pan with olive oil. You want to sear the skin to give bitterness to match the…

Quick, and good value: Sushikai Beaune

Yes, I know. Another Japanese restaurant in Beaune, you say. Why ? Well, it is light, digestible, and a bit of variety never hurts. And I think Pinot Noir goes well with a lot of Japanese food. Because of all the bitterness and aromatic spice. After driving by Sushikai for years, I finally stopped there. It…