There is nothing quite like a really great wine tasting dinner. The perfect combination of great vino, interesting people and good food can make for a truly sublime evening. Relaxed and properly lubricated people in no hurry to be anywhere, or do anything, but enjoy the moment can lead to some rather entertaining and interesting conversations.
The title of this entry truly captures the essence of an unforgettable, off the chart wine dinner I attended last weekend. Arnie Millan of Esquin Wine Merchants (http://www.esquin.com/ and http://www.arniemillan.com/winetalk/static.php?page=aboutarniemillan) and Award winning Chef Jason Wilson of Crush (http://www.chefjasonwilson.com/) hosted this event in Seattle.
The theme of the dinner was “Flirting with Perfection” and it featured a sample of rare and stunningly mind bending wines rated at 98-100 points by either the Wine Spectator or Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Arnie does one of these “Flirting with Perfection” dinners at least once a year, and if you want an over the top food and wine experience, I highly recommend that you attend one. This dinner was a seven course affair that featured a solid line up of rock star wines covering white, red and desert varietals.
The exceptionally notable dishes in the from the evening included a Rosemary and Cinnamon Roasted Elk course and the Douglass Fir Sorbet that was served midway through the evening as a palate cleanser for the wines.
Yes it was a Sorbet made from Douglas Fir needles, and was served with a slight cranberry addition. For any specialty food people out there, this might be an interesting item to manufacture and sell.
The following three wines from the evening stood out above and beyond the headline full of rock stars.
Numanthia Numanthia 2004 (98 Parker Points.) The Numanthia is a nice full bodied Temparnillo from Spain. Parker described it best saying, “The wine is a glass-coating opaque purple with a killer nose of mineral, pencil lead, wild blueberry, and blackberry liqueur that roars from the glass.” What everyone at the dinner found interesting is that after the wine had been decanted it had a solid warm creamy butter aroma on the nose that was quite intriguing.
Greenock Creek 1998 Shiraz Roennfeldt Road (100 Parker Points.) This Shiraz from Australia was the hands down headlining rock star on the a night featuring nothing but top shelf talent. Robert Parker gave the wine truly high praise, when he said, “The wine possesses the concentration of the greatest classics ever produced in such Bordeaux vintages as 1945, 1947, 1959, 1961, and 1982.” That is rare wine company to be favorably compared to.
2002 Kracher #12 TBA “Nouvelle Vague” This is a desert wine from Austria that a description of “Mind Bender” does not do justice. This is the most extracted pure sweet botrytis affected wine you may ever come across. The wine is so extracted that after a year of slow fermenting it was only able to reach 3.9% alcohol, which in Europe means it cannot legally be called wine, and is therefore labeled as “partially fermented grape juice”. Fascinating! Because of its extraordinary qualities and composition, I put this wine on my bucket list wines, in the desert category, right next to Chateau d’Yquem.
If you get the chance, try one of Arnie’s wine events, they are more than worth the freight.