First: I would like to comment on the restaurant. One of my co-workers recommended that we meet there as it fit our business needs (In terms of location, noise level, etc). Having not been there in over a DECADE I was a bit skeptic as very few restaurants are on top of their game for prolonged periods. The other gentleman who joined me for dinner were in a similar situation… Having loved the restaurant in the past but not been there in at least 5 years.
Long story short… They still got it! Food was excellent, service was great and the restaurant was packed. If you have never been…GO. If you have not been in a while…GO BACK!!
Second: The wine. Knowing the people I was with were used to the “Traditional Varietals” I thought it would be fun to stray a touch on the white selection and turn them all on to something new. Why not Verdicchio??!! I went with a regional standard VERDICCHIO CLASSICO SARTARELLI as I thought it would be perfect for a warm Summer evening and was very affordably priced on the wine list at $35/Bottle.
Right from the first sip I saw everybody’s eyebrows raise and smiles hit their faces. (I had the same reaction) This white wine always has such a great balance between tropical freshness of fruit while at the same time possessing great textural mouthfeel. This should tell you all you need to know: Bottle #1 was gone before we were even half way through our appetizers.
This has prompted me to get the message out so people can enjoy this fabulous Summer white (I already had a case shipped to my house yesterday!)
“The 2009 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico offers up dried flowers, peaches and herbs in a mid-weight, accessible style. This is a very polished and well-balanced Verdicchio for the money, and is a great value…Sartarelli is one of the premier, reference-point producers of fine Verdicchio. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fabulous whites from the Marche…” WA 06/10
It was quite a week of revelations for me!
All my best,
A wine region so steeped in history could only produce a glamorous weekend of food & wine that would be like no other that you could attend anywhere else in the wine world. I was intrigued at the idea of attending, as we had many clients from the store that were planning on going, but had a “Triathlon Conflict” that would not allow me to leave the country. (My eyes are on the prize at being as ready as I can be for my 9/11 event -
Trust me…I would love to have been there!!! Especially with the bits and pieces that I was hearing from attendees of the event on how cool it turned out.
Well, today you can see for yourself as James’s team did a video summary of each day that certainly has me looking forward to next year!!
Love to hear thoughts
All my best,
I am sure everybody reading this post, at one point or another, has thrown a cork (And if you’re fancy a Vacu-Vin) back into a unfinished bottle of wine to be re-visited at a later date. It’s always fun to see how wine evolves once open for a bit…especially young wine. In many instances it can taste BETTER the next day.
But what do you do with Champagne? The wine professional in me says use a Champagne stopper…which I have done numerous times in the store and see it done in restaurants all the time. But believe it or not, in the 18 years I have been at Zachys I have NEVER re-stopped a bottle of Champagne at home. One of two things typically happens…
This past Saturday (After finishing my 2nd Olympic Triathlon of the year) Jen and I were going to meet friends for an easy/early dinner as I was feeling a bit zapped from the morning’s activities. We wanted to have a glass of Champagne to celebrate but did not need a whole bottle…. nor did we have a half bottle to open.
A few weeks ago I asked my director of operations (Brian Mullaney) to send me home an assortment of bubbles and I grabbed one the store’s last bottles of J Dhondt Blanc de Blancs Mes Vieilles Vignes 2004. The glass we had before running out, while delicious, was bit tightly wound and not yielding….and I was not willing to give up. So, as we ran out the door I quickly rummaged through my wine drawer….found a stopper I knew I had…stopped up the bottle…and threw it in the fridge.
On Sunday night (With a grilled rib-eye steak marinetd with Viticcio olive oli and sea salt) we re-visited the bottle…WOW what a difference!! The sharp focus from the acidity had softened out to exhibit a broader palate, nuttier style and greater overall harmony.
Both Jen and I commented on what a difference it makes and, honestly, am looking forward to “experimenting” with some more bottles over the course of the Summer.
If you have not made the $6 investment in a Champagne stopper I highly recommend it as it was money well spent on my part.
All my best,
“Travel Shock” is one of those wine terms that is regularly footballed around by people in the industry. The problem is that we all assume that everyday wine consumers know what we mean when we throw that phrase around.
I ran into a classic example of that in the last month and want to play out the scenario so if you get a recently traveled bottle of wine that falls short of your expectation you know what to expect in the future.
About a month ago this new wine arrived in the store….
I had originally tasted it this past February in Italy and besides being a TRE BICCHIERI winner this white showed great overall pedigree. Great balance and refinement and a fruit profile that was brightly intense…simply bowled me over!!
After building up the quality of the wine I was bouncing around the kitchen as I opened the bottle for my wife a month ago in anticipation of her liking it as much as I did (As she has an EXCELLENT palate and she has been SPOT ON with many great wines in the past).
Her response,…….. “Eh”
What?! C’mon, was I that far off??!!
After tasting the wine I had to agree with her. It was just OK. It tasted a bit “dumb”, flat and non-expressive….a wine that was clearly suffering from travel shock. Had I just paid $20 for this bottle of wine I would have been less-than-impressed.
Fast forward to last night…a month later. I opened a bottle after coming home from a LONG little league game and the wine jumped out of the glass aromatically and was simply singing in the glass. It was EVERYTHING I remembered it to be and I am happy it has returned to form.
Moral of the story: Don’t give up on wines that have just arrived. Be sure to ask and have the patience to let the wines settle in the bottle.
All my best,