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Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’

Claude Thibaut

June 9th, from 6pm to 8pm at The Frenchman’s Corner, 129 E. Davis Street, Culpeper.  An opportunity to meet Virginia wine-maker (by way of Champagne…yes, I mean France) Claude Thibaut of Thibaut-Janisson Winery.  As you may already know, Claude is a renowned Master of Champagne, and as good fate has it, he has made his home in Central Virginia.  So tell your friends and get your wine-loving selves there!

The Winemaker Wednesday series of complimentary tastings, which I cooked up with Jeffery Mitchell, owner of the wine & cheese shop portion of The Frenchman’s Corner, is a great casual way to meet the winemaker.  Let’s face it, they aren’t hanging out in their tasting rooms…well very much anyway.  And in the case of Claude, who doesn’t have a tasting room, this is a perfect opportunity to meet him and find out what goes into the making of his Sparkling wines.

The wine menu for the evening, paired with fine French cheeses, will be the Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay,

Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay

and Claude’s newest releases, Brut Rosé and Virginia Fizz.  I wrote about Virginia Fizz in my article about Claude in the Spring issue of the Virginia Wine Gazette.  But, don’t rely entirely on what I have to say, show up on June 9th and taste for yourself.   Did I tell you that the TJ Blanc de Chardonnay was served at the Obama’s first State Dinner last November?!   (oh, we just don’t tire of this story!)  Well, it was, and Claude did not have to crash it. (Don’t get me started on the two Bozos who did crash.)   The wine-powers-that-be in the State Department have chosen Claude’s Sparklings on a few occasions, when he was working for California wineries.  But since they were not his own label….the Obama State Dinner makes it that much more special!

Here is the upcoming star-studded schedule of Winemaker Wednesdays! 

WED, JUNE 9TH THIBAUT-JANISSON WINERY CLAUDE THIBAUT
WED, JUNE 23RD OLD HOUSE VINEYARDS DAMIEN BLANCHON
WED, JULY 14TH KESWICK VINEYARDS STEPHEN BARNARD
WED, JULY 28TH GADINO CELLARS BILL GADINO
WED, AUG 11TH CHESTER GAP CELLARS BERND JUNG
WED, AUG 25TH KING FAMILY VINEYARDS MATTHIEU FINOT
WED, SEPT 15TH BARBOURSVILLE  VINEYARD LUCA PASCHINA
WED, SEPT 29TH TBA  

A nod of thanks to the winemakers who have participated thus far:  Bree Ann Moore for Unicorn Winery, Gabriele Rausse for Gabriele Rausse Wines, Al Kellert for Gray Ghost Winery.  And a big kudos to Jeffery Mitchell for making this commitment to promote Virginia wines and their winemakers!

See you there!

Cheers,

Anita

“No government could survive without champagne. In the throat of our diplomatic people [it] is like oil in the wheels of an engine.”

Joseph Dargent quote

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For a long time I’ve been a summertime white Lillet fanatic.  Over ice and sitting on my deck.  It’s quite an old fashioned apéritif.  This was confirmed by my friend Frantz who informed me that it was also a favorite of his Grandmother’s…pffft…so, I guess that just makes me timeless.  In an effort to modernize my apéritif  habits, I’ve lately been sipping Virginia Vidal Blanc, but not just as an apéritif.

At one of my dinner parties, I served Old House Vineyards 2009 Vidal Blanc with a grilled curry shrimp, as an appetizer.  I even had Damien Blanchon, Old Field’s winemaker, grilling the shrimp for me.  The slight sweetness of the Vidal Blanc and spicy curry was a good combination, but of course, I have my critique.  And that is that I should have simmered the shrimp in the curry sauce, vs. marinating it and then grilling.  For the simple reason that it didn’t have enough spice.  I use Patak’s Curry Paste, which I buy at Cost Plus World Market.  It is really a simmering sauce and now I understand that is how the spice and heat develop, when I’ve previously used it.  So, next time I will let the curry paste simmer (add a bit of water) for 20 minutes and then put in the shrimp for 5 minutes to cook.  I bet it will then have the spice that I’m looking for.

The apéritif that evening was the Janisson et Fils ‘Bleu’ Champagne.  It was a gift from my friend, Pamela Margaux of Margaux & Company.  This champagne is divine.  Brilliantly fresh with subtle fruit and flower characteristics.  50% Pinot Noir, and 50% Chardonnay.

The main course was a Grilled Marinated Flank Steak and a Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs.  The marinade I used has become my favorite,  and makes an inexpensive cut like london broil or flank steak sing.  This was paired with King Family Vineyard’s 2007 Petit Verdot (sold out, you’ll have to wait for the 2008).  The rich, dark fruit of the PV paired beautifully with the steak.  The marinade makes a difference, and you will understand when you click through below, to the recipe.  Of course, one bottle wasn’t enough, so we also opened a bottle of Old House’s Bacchanalia, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Tannat, for the cheese course.

Dessert

Dessert….one of my famous cakes!  A Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries, paired with a Prosecco. 

Frantz Ventre opening the Prosecco!

And then we finished off with Old House’s Chambourcin Port…..ahhh, a perfect evening!

Recipes are compliments of Epicurious.com:

Marinated Grilled London Broil/Flank Steak

Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries

I am forever apologizing for the quality of my photos….so, why should now be any different!!  My other dinner guests:  Katy Bradley & Damien Blanchon, Jenn & Benoit Pineau were not done  justice by my very  blurry pics.  Never mind….I’ll get the hang of it someday!

Let me know how you like the recipes…and enjoy!

Cheers,

Anita

“I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens.”
Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of U.S.)

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