It's nearly impossible to forget some of your "firsts". Your first job, your first concert, and of course your first love. Those moments are impactful. Through the years they have stayed with you; they have even possibly shaped you. The beautiful thing about life is, there are still so many "firsts" left to experience.
On January 19, 2017 I was privileged to experience a new first. At 6:30pm, I sat down for my first masterclass on Burgundy with the brilliant Wine Connoisseur
Jordan Carrier. Now don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of good Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in my lifetime....but this was different. Why you ask? Not only was this a scholastic experience, it was a gastronomical one as well. For each wine, there was a perfectly paired morsel as delicious and unique as its counterpart. You may have came just for the wine but you leave trying to plan your next dinner party. Seven fantastic wines and seven beautiful hors d'oeuvres later, how could you not! Now let's talk about these Burgundian beauties.
We started tasting in an untraditional manor, red to white. Between you and I, I was just so excited to try the wines, I didn't even bother to ask why. Yet, if I were to guess, I'd say it has to do with Chardonnay's full bodied nature vs. Pinot Noir's delicate profile. Anyway I digress.
We started off with Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers, 2007. With a price point of $117.99 I had very high expectations, and all I can say is "I get it." This was one of my highlights of the evening. It was as if I had just been hugged. It had this subtle, understated yet undeniable beauty. It had the classic sour cherry and forest floor, with a finish that was gentle and smooth. The pure definition of terroir was in my glass, and memorable it will always be. It was paired with beef tar tar, mandarin oranges, and fennel on a rice cracker. Simply wonderful.
Onto wine #2. Camus Pere et Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2005 The price tag of $124.49 may seem hefty but believe it or not, that's a steal for a Grand Cru from Burgundy. The price may be "cheap" but the quality sure isn't. When they normally start at $300, I understand why one may feel apprehensive, but worry not! There are notes of riper fruit coupled with aromas of intense candied cherries that have been coated in dirt. It was slightly more tannic than the 1st wine but could easily lay down for a few more years. This was paired with organic beet carpaccio.
Wine #3 was A.F. Gros Vosne-Romanee Mazieres, 2011. The beauty of having a flight of wines of the same varietal in front of you is the ability to compare. This vintage seemed to have more tannins and higher alcohol levels, with aromas of cherry cola. It's still a young guy, so I'd be interested to see him man up in a few years.
Wine #4 was Daniel Rion Nuits-St-Georges Grandes Vignes, 2013. Now this would be the more affordable of the bunch (red wines) at $68.99. It was paired with a dark chocolate truffle that contained a core of lavender infused white chocolate. It stood up to the earthy mint finish of the wine. Now I have a confession to make...I used to be a Chardonnay hater (Don't judge me, I didn't know better!). I have now seen the light, have embraced it entirely, and urge you other Chardonnay haters to give it a chance! However, my only stipulation is to start in Burgundy.
Which brings me to wine #5 Olivier Leflaive Meursault Narvaux, 2013. If this was high school and there was a vote for prom king, this would win. It was bright, had a stunning nose of lemon and golden apple with pleasant minerality. It was paired with a delicious almond sweet pea mascarpone soup.
Wine #6 was Louis Jadot Savigny-les-Beaunes Clos les Guettes ,2012. Louis Jadot has yet to steer me wrong and this was no exception. At $50.99, picking up this bottle of wine for a special occasion would be highly advised. Very fruit driven, with notes of apricot and white peach. This was paired with a French classic, coq-au-vin.
Last of all, wine #7 was Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Embazees, 2013. I'd say this wine has potential at $121.99 but still 5 years too early. Still has fruit but I found the acid rather high. It was great that it was it was paired with crispy pork belly, bocconcini and honeydew. The acid in the wine cut right through the fat resulting in perfection.
I don't know about you but I'm getting pretty thirsty and hungry talking about all of this food and wine. I implore you to find a class at Everything Wine, sign up and enjoy your next "First Experience". You will come away equipped with more knowledge and confidence, all while having had a memorable night.