Tag Archives: pinot noir

A Night to Remember at Deuxave Restaurant

The library ladder that leads to a wall of wine at Deuxave

To continue on in our recent journey of Oregon wine, the Bauer team headed over to Deuxave Restaurant and Bar on Monday, October 1st to attend a winemaker dinner with Dave Adelsheim of Adelsheim Winery.

Glass cubes full of wine flank the front door

Before we get into the wine, the dinner and, of course, Dave.  I want to talk about Deuxave.  Those of you in the Boston area need to do yourself a favor and go have dinner in this restaurant.  Starting from the moment you walk in the door, you will be awed.  The décor is fresh, beautiful and modern.   It was in this dining room that I saw two features to covet and dream about putting into my own home.  It can only be described as a wine lovers paradise.  Starting with the glass block cubes holding wine to the library style ladder to climb to beautiful shelves of wine (both pictured above), I can picture my home office with them and I want them now.

Deuxave is a food and wine lover’s paradise.  Executive Chef and Owner Chris Coombs may be young but he commands the kitchen with panache.  Plenty of high-end restaurants can crow about their food and wine pairing abilities but few can match the talent of Coombs.  His courses were impeccably prepared but what really stood out was his ability to match Dave Adelsheim’s wines perfectly.  This was no ordinary wine dinner.  Each course was so well thought out and perfectly paired that you could almost imagine that this meal was planned from the moment the grapes were planted and each cow, duck and clam was groomed from birth for this night.

The Dinner Menu (try not to drool):

Adelsheim Winery was established in 1971.  Dave was among the first pioneering men to decide to plant vinifera in the cool climate of Oregon.  Dave, admittedly, “never grown grapes, never made wine, never sold wine, and never ran a business; the four skills you really need” to open a winery.  But what he did have was passion.  Thankfully, his passion turned to skill after he traveled to Burgundy, France.  In 1978, they turned out the first vintage, roughly 800 cases and never looked back.  Yes, it was hard to sell in the beginning.  No one had ever heard of growing grapes in Oregon and the Adelsheims put their wines in the back of their station wagon and hoped they could at least sell their product to the local restaurants.

After making headway in their own state Adelsheim knew it was time to step out and show his wines to the rest of the country.  Howie Rubin and the rest of the Bauer team are proud to say that Boston is the first city to embrace Oregon wines.  Being a pioneering city, it makes sense that these wines made their way to the national stage through Boston.  Bauer stocked Oregon wines and began to hand sell them until they took off.  Now our clientele come in and ask where they can find these wines on the shelf.

The wines we relished in were all distinctly Oregon.  The cocktail wine, 2011

John enjoying the Auxerrois at the bar

Auxerrois, was a very fresh white that is traditionally an Alsatian grape but has all but disappeared from the landscape.  We are so glad that a couple of producers in Oregon are growing it now, including Adelsheim.  It had an herbaceous nose of tarragon and fennel that led to flavors of green pear, citrus blossom and fresh herbs.  The perfect wine to start the night.

With our first course, the 2011 Pinot Gris was perfect with the littleneck clams.  Coombs is a genius with sauces and this was no exception.  The Chorizo oil pick up the papaya notes and the apple salad highlighted the apple flavor in the wine.  The touch of creaminess in the Pinot Gris was brought out by the cream in the sauce.  Not overdone but just right.  John and I slurped every bit of the sauce on the plate with our clam shells happily!

Mid course was an amazing duck confit that had the 2010 Estate Pinot Noir paired with it.  As silence fell over the table, I knew we had something great on our hands.  The candied fruit aromas and flavors were highlight by the Black Mission figs on the plate.  The acid of the Pinot Noir cut into the fattiness of the duck.  It was elegant, refined and the tannins were seamlessly integrated and silky.

Not to be outdone by the duck, the following main course was  the herb roasted beef tenderloin that was served with 2009 Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir.  As we all buried our noses into the glass, there was a collective, “whoa” as we took it all in.  More powerful than the estate Pinot, the intense and multi-layered Elizabeth’s Reserve offered us raspberry, brown spices and a little woodiness that was picked up by the herbs on the beef.  Each of us ate slowly, savoring each bite and taking a sip of wine.  This was an expression of Pinot Noir at its greatest.

Part of what made this dinner so great was the fact that Coombs and Adelsheim did not follow that path of traditional American restaurants and end our dinner with dessert.  Rather, we switched back to a white wine and delved into the cheese course.  A Vermont goat cheese with the various accoutrements was served with the 2009 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.  The wine was beautifully balanced with acidity to slice through the rich goat cheese.  Layers of lemon blossom, apple, honey and a touch of nuttiness polished us off completely.

After being spoiled for hours on end, all of us here at Bauer can only beg the question… When is the next one?  Please Chris and Deuxave…we need another fix!

Crisp, Bubbly American Summer

Boston may be a port city but in the everyday hustle and bustle…when do we get to enjoy the water?  Do we Bostonians ever get out on the water?  Most of us can answer that with a disappointed no.

When the days get longer and the temperature starts to to rose I begin to daydream of blue waters and crisp white sails.  I may not be able to hop on a sailboat and dead out to sea, but I certainly can continue the fantasy when I open up a bottle of Domaine Chandon Brut Classic’s Limited Edition of American Summer.

The look of the bottle IS the picture of summer: A trio of red, white and blue give the feel of looking at the mainsail of a sloop in Boston Harbor.  This refreshing sparkler that is crisp, lively and made in the Methode Traditionelle (Classic Champagne Method) that allows a second fermentation in the bottle.  In doing so, the wine gives aromas of green apple, cinnamon, lime and vanilla that lead to flavors of tropical fruit, pears and a hint on toast.

Chandon is comprised of the three classic Champagne grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  Grown in some of California’s finest appellations: Yountville, Carneros and Mount Veeder, Chandon’s sparkling wines are Pinot Noir heavy due to the structure and body the grape gives to the wine.  Chardonnay adds delicacy with the tropical fruit and pear notes and the Pinot Meunier offers nutty and earthy flavors.

Pinot Noir

Chardonnay

Pinot Meunier

Most people save their bubbly for special occasions, but with Domaine Chandon’s competitive price…there is no need.  Drink this one whenever the mood strikes!  Ceasar Salad, Fried Calamari, oyster, or sushi are the perfect compliments to Chandon’s Brut Classic.  But really any salty, creamy or nutty foods will go great with this summer quaffer.

Nick’s adventures in stunning Oregon

There aren’t many places I’ve been to that are as beautiful as Oregon is, especially in late May when almost everything was in full bloom.  The weather was, as I was told by the locals, unusually nice for this part of the country with sunshine pretty much everyday.  The city of Portland is a nice mix of city and rural wilderness with great hikes just a few subway stops away from downtown.   After one of those hikes one day on a hot, sunny afternoon we decided to take advantage of one of Portland’s best brew pubs, Deschutes, where we enjoyed a sampling of what they had on draft that day.  The highlight was definitely their 21st anniversary Barrel Aged Black Butte Porter, with a couple years age on it, was drinking real nice with those delicious, sweet bourbon notes.

Going out to dinner in City of Roses was awesome too, we never had a bad meal at any of the restaurants that we ate at.  It seemed that all the places that we went to really focused on the farm to table concept and it really comes through in the flavors of the food.  Everything from the cheese plates to the cuts of meat to simple sandwiches were all really fresh and flavorful whether it was served from one of the many food trucks or on top of a linen covered table.

After a short day trip out to the coast to Cannon Beach and another hike along the coastline with views that can’t be described in words we made our way about an hour south to the Willamette Valley for a weekend in wine country.  The hospitable folks over at Argyle Winery were gracious enough to host us in their guest house, The Nuthouse, a cozy house within walking distance to many great restaurants in Dundee.  However if you go to Oregon Wine Country, go to the small town of Lafayette and go to Martha’s Tacos.  A life changing experience and where a lot of the vineyard and winery workers go after a long day in the fields.  We ordered a few menu items a shared every last bite, hands down one of the best meals I’ve had with the stand out being their wet burrito.

On our first full day in Dundee we started out with a full tour of Argyle.  They are renown for their sparkling wines but as they told me and from what I tasted, you can’t make good sparkling wine without making good still wines first.  And they sure make good wine.  Sourcing their fruit from four vineyard sites in Willamette they make top notch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and small amount of Riesling as well as some dessert wine.  We happened to be there on the day that they were disgorging their 2001 Extended Triage Sparkling which was an absolute treat to taste something that is almost 10 years old and is just ready to be released.  After going to the barrel room and tasting some samples of the 2010 vintage right out of the barrel,  our tour had come to an end but the day of tasting had just started.  The rest of the afternoon we drove to Carlton and around Dundee visiting wineries such as Lemelson, Carton Wine Makers Studio, Lange, Tori Mor and finished up the day with a glass of wine on Anne Amie’s patio overlooking the entire Valley.  The only regret I have about this whole trip is that it was only a week long, I could’ve stayed for another couple weeks.

Bonding and the Wine Spectator Grand Tour

Sue, Howie and John

Sometimes it is just necessary to hang out with the co-workers outside of the office and last Thursday night that meant that a trip to the Marriot Copley Hotel for the Wine Spectator Grand Tour.  For someone like me, who is new to the Bauer team, I was able to get to know Sue, Howie and John on a different level than I had in the store.  I learned more about who they were as individuals (and no-I am not going to divulge any of their secrets to you!) and how they came to be the great people they are.   It was nice talking to them on a more personal level, rather than discussing store events, inventory and sales.  I definitely feel more bonded to them and, consequently, to Bauer as well.  Although we did discuss the store to some degree, we mainly sipped and slurped our way through the 216 wines that were offered, laughing and joking along the way.

Sue and I bee-lined for Chateau Margeaux and Mouton Rothschild first.  Legendary wines such as those needed my attention first as I have never had the chance to taste them before.  Once we linked up with Howie and John, the four of us tasted Barolos, big California reds, Super Tuscans, Bordeauxs and more.  Once our lips were stained red, we slid over to the white wines.  Sauvignon Blancs and Viogniers delighted me.  St. Urbans-Hof Weingut’s Spatlese earned a huge star…especially considering Nik Weiss was coming to Bauer the following day to have a tasting with us.  BUT the big star of the night as far as I was concerned was the 1995 Femme Champagne from the Deval-Leroy winery.  This was what Champagne was meant to taste like.  Great acidity, complex, citrus-y with hints of marzipan and a yeasty biscuit flavor.  This one stole the show from the big Bordeauxs.

At the end of this wonderful evening with my crew, I realized that most of you probably don’t know who I am because  I am usually found in the office chained to the computer.  If you visit our website site, I am the one who makes sure our products are current (and in process of a redesign that is more user friendly).  You may have seen me in the store though, usually walking back and forth between the office and the counter with papers in my hand.   I may have even rung up your purchases with smile.  So perhaps it is time for me to formally introduce myself to you all.  My name is Corinne and I

John and me-one of the few times you will see me on the other side of the camera.

am the Marketing Director.  Hi.  I came to Bauer about six weeks ago to take over their social media writing.  So anytime you read our blog, get an email, visit Facebook or receive a Tweet, it is coming from me.  It has certainly kept me busy and I love it.  Most of my friends tell me I have the greatest job in the world;  I can’t disagree.  I taste and write about wine, beer and spirits for an amazing company.

A taste of Willamette Valley

Perhaps I’m backwards.  When it comes to planning a dinner at home or a meal at a restaurant I always choose my wine first and my meal to match second.  In my wine soaked world, that makes sense.  I stand in front of my 48 bottle wine rack or stare at the wine menu and ask myself “What do I want to drink tonight?”  Yes, dinner is still important but my wine choice takes precedence.   Don’t get me wrong, a meal where the wine takes center-stage does not mean that the food is an afterthought.  It is just as important but when I am in a restaurant I often hear other tables ask to hang onto the wine menu until they make their dinner choices.  I wonder silently if I am doing it all wrong.  I am the girl who takes her first sip of a wine and based on that flavor profile, I make my dinner selection.

Where does this idea of wine and food pairing come from and is it really all that important?

Countless sites on the Web pay homage to food and wine pairing and they always start with specific food and then talk about general wine varietals to go with them.  Not a single one I looked at started with specific wines and matched them with food.  Even within a specific grape varietal there is a vast difference in taste and aroma.  I’m not just talking about country and region, but two vineyards next to one another can be so different.  Is it snobbery to chose my wine first and plan my meal accordingly?  Do waiters and guests consider it “showing off?”  Probably but I am not playing at pretension, I just take my wine choice seriously.

 The whole idea between wine and food pairing comes from the French.  For centuries, the French drank their local wines with their local foods so they are choosy about which wines goes well with their specific recipe.  But in today’s wine market, there is little reason to be that selective about your choices.  There are literally thousands of great wines out there that will go well with your dinner.

But let’s get real.  Opening a bottle of wine for each course when it is only the two of you just doesn’t make sense.  Either there will be a lot of left over wine or two happily passed out people on the couch after dinner.  Problem solved: half bottles.  There is just two glasses in a half bottle, so having a multiple course meal with different wines is possible.

Last night, once again, I pondered: what am I in the mood for?  I chose a 2007 Argyle Wines Brut sparkling wine and paired it with a smoked salmon on brioche as my appetizer.  I was really in the mood for a sparkling wine and I can’t think of any better that is on the market right now than the Argyle Winery Brut.  The creamy texture and ripe citrus flavor melded beautifully with the smoked salmon and the acidity cut through the buttery brioche.

For the main course I opened up a half bottle of Argyle’s 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir.   Even though it is technically spring, the nights are still chilly and a silky Pinot Noir was just what I needed for dinner.  I let the wine breathe for a little bit while I put the finishing touches on my mushroom risotto.  As I chopped up the fresh herbs to mix in, I couldn’t wait for that first taste of my selected wine.  I made myself and my finacee a mushroom risotto from a recipe courtesy of my co-worker and wine guru, John.

John’s Mushroom Risotto:

6 oz of shitake mushrooms

6oz of cremini Mushrooms

6 cups of chicken stock

½ cup of dry white wine

½ of a white onion or shallots

1 package of aborio rice

Chopped parsley, Thyme and chives

Butter

½ cup of Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Begin by mincing a small volume of onion, mushrooms and the other herbs.

Sauté the mixture in abundant olive oil or unsalted butter, and when it has browned remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.

Stir in the rice and sauté it too until it becomes translucent (~7-10 minutes), stirring constantly to keep it from sticking.

Return the sautéed seasonings to the pot and stir in a half of a cup of room temperature dry white wine.

Once the wine has evaporated completely, add a ladle of simmering broth; stir in the next before all the liquid is absorbed, because if the grains get too dry they will flake.

Continue cooking, stirring and adding broth as the rice absorbs it, until the rice barely reaches the al dente stage.

At this point stir in a tablespoon of butter and the grated cheese (if the recipe calls for it), cover the risotto, and turn off the flame. Let it sit, covered, for two to three minutes, and serve.

Enjoy!