A moderate 50-wine weekend
But we all know wine contains alcohol, and particularly when you're enjoying fine and perhaps expensive bottles, it's just plain silly to over-indulge. Let's be blunt: Good wine is too interesting to waste on anyone who's too impaired to appreciate it.
Can these seemingly conflicting issues be resolved? Certainly, with a little planning and care. The best way I know of to enjoy a variety of wines is to assemble a group of friendly wine lovers for a leisurely evening of dining and wine tasting, each participant bringing one or two interesting bottles so everyone can share.
During a quick business trip to the Northeastern U.S. last weekend, I enjoyed such dinners with fellow participants from our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group (WLDG) forums. Nearly 20 people gathered Friday at Cafe Loup in Manhattan; Saturday night, another group of a dozen assembled at Siri's Thai French restaurant in Cherry Hill, N.J., near Philadelphia. The two groups sampled more than 50 wines with excellent dinners in a friendly, sociable setting, without over-indulgence or immoderation.
If you'd like to gather a group of wine-loving friends for a similar event, here are some tips;
If you would like to read more detailed reports of these dinners, including my notes on a total of more than 50 wines, see "A Wine Dinner in NYC," http://www.wineloverspage.com/wines/nyc060200.shtml, and "A Wine Dinner in Philadelphia,", http://www.wineloverspage.com/wines/phil060300.shtml.
Have you organized similar gatherings, or have you tried other approaches? Tell me about it by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I regret that the growing circulation of the "Wine Advisor" makes it difficult for me to reply individually to every note, but I'll answer as many as I can; and please be assured that all your input helps me do a better job of writing about wine.
We hope you'll invite your wine-loving friends to register for their own free weekly copy at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor.
A hearty Italian red
During my visit to the New York City area, I dropped in on an excellent wine shop in the suburbs: Wine Ventures in Tenafly, N.J., which also houses a first-rate chocolatier. It was a pleasure meeting proprietor Craig McManus, who suggested this wine for me to take to the Philadelphia dinner. Dark purple in color, it is a red wine in the geographical style of Langhe, the Northwestern Italian region that is home of Barolo, Barbaresco and Dolcetto. Rich with aromas of leather, wildflowers and black fruit, it is a hearty wine, full-bodied, extracted and tannic. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC; Leonardo Locascio Selections.
FOOD MATCH: Excellent with an entree of crispy boneless duck breast in a berry sauce.
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Vol. 2, No. 20, June 5, 2000