Mrs. Beeton’s book: a great source of information for the dinner.
On November 24, 1899, 2 years before she passed, Queen Victoria invited her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm to dinner at Windsor Palace. Not much is known about that dinner, but a menu from that evening has survived. On November 24, 2019, we were invited to a dinner intent on replicating the original menu as close as possible and had been tasked to pair the wines…without knowing what wines were served at the first!
On a recent trip to the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s prime wine-growing region, we had the opportunity to really delve into the connection between Oregon and Burgundy. We met with two winemakers from France, a sommelier from Oregon, several Oregon winemakers and did a comparative tasting of the two regions. The experience taught us a lot and of course was great fun as well.
Chile’s climate provides ideal conditions for Carménère.
There are certain wine regions in the world that are known for a particular grape variety. For example, the Napa Valley is synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy for Pinot Noir and Argentina for Malbec. Then there are the regions that have so many different unique micro-climates they can produce a much greater variety of high-quality wines. Sonoma is one that comes to mind with its 17 different AVAs and 259 different soil types. On a recent trip to Chile, we discovered that although it’s a place often associated with Carménère, it’s finally gaining notoriety for its quality with respect to a diverse range of varieties. For the last 3 decades, Viña Montes has been at the forefront of this transformation helping to reposition the country’s reputation worldwide both with quality and diversity.
In February, had I encountered you at a meeting, in a restaurant or a coffee shop, passing on the street or any other situation, I probably would have greeted you with a smile and a handshake. Or perhaps a hug or even a kiss, if we had that kind of relationship. Today, that is unthinkable.