Events
Hedonist's Gazette
La Toque - Cheval Blanc Dinner

This was a spectacular night of fabulous food at La Toque in Napa, California. Every course was right on target, and we had the joy of hosting Château Cheval Blanc’s administrator Pierre Lurton for this night with Wine Advocate subscribers....

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Wing & Barrel Ranch - Benefitting the Navy SEAL Foundation & Sonoma County Charities Cuisine prepared by Owner Chef Charlie Palmer Executive Chef Levi Mezick of Harvest Table

With Chef Charlie Palmer's superb yellow fin tuna tartare, I set out a selection of California's better Chardonnays along with some white Burgundies. As the scores attest, this was a consistent horizontal, and I was especially struck by just how beautiful and young the Raveneau Chablis Montée de Tonnerre was, even though it was 14 years of age. The Leflaive 2009 Bâtard-Montrachet is still an infant in terms of its evolution and, thankfully, not showing any early signs of oxidation, which has plagued so...

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Restaurant Daniel Château Latour Retrospective & Dinner

With special guest Frédéric Engerer, administrator of Château Latour, and Florence Rogers-Pinault, the owner's daughter, this special meal set up by The Wine Advocate turned out to be a spectacular evening of friendship, great wine, and amazing cooking from Daniel Boulud at his flagship restaurant in New York on 65th Street. The hors d'oeuvres alone could have made a meal, with fabulous items such as the Shigoku oyster with Ossetra caviar, a quail and black truffle ballotine, a smoked eel and hamachi...

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Wing & Barrel Ranch - Benefitting the Navy SEAL Foundation

With Chef Charlie Palmer's superb yellow fin tuna tartare, I set out a selection of California's better Chardonnays along with some white Burgundies. As the scores attest, this was a consistent horizontal, and I was especially struck by just how beautiful and young the Raveneau Chablis Montée de Tonnerre was, even though it was 14 years of age....

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Charity Event to Benefit the Telfair Museum

This may have been the finest meal I had during the calendar year of 2014, coming at the very end of the year. More unlikely, it was at an upscale private club, The Chatham Club in Savannah, Georgia. I provided the wines for the event, which was a benefit for the beautiful Telfair Museum in Savannah. The food was exquisite, from an array of sumptuous appetizers to a gorgeous number of courses, and just about everything was exceptional. What stood...

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Meadowood Restaurant - U.S. Navy Seal Foundation Charity Dinner

This two-part event held at Napa Valley's Meadowood Resort featured a Masterclass with wines from my cellar followed by a dinner prepared by Meadowood's Michelin three-star chef, Christopher Kostow, to accompany the Châteauneuf du Papes also donated from my cellar. We exceeded our goal, raising nearly $350,000 for the U.S. Seal Foundation, which provides education, housing and other services to the families of U.S. Navy Seals who have been injured or killed. I sent out six bottles of each of...

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Masterclass - Shanghai, China

This Masterclass was designed to showcase two great vintages of Bordeaux. The more tannic, classic 2000s were austere, young and vibrant, and in need of more time. In contrast, 2009 is a more modern day vintage with a lusciousness, opulence and voluptuous, showy, flamboyant personality. It is similar to, but even better than 1982 given the selection process that existed in 2009, and the health of the grapes. In every case, I personally preferred the 2009, even though, sadly, I...

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Masterclass - Piedmont Barolo and Barbaresco

Following are my notes from ten wines that were tasted with over 350 Singapore wine enthusiasts at our Wine Advocate Masterclass, which we conducted in five Asian cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. I listed the wines in the order in which they were tasted, an order provided by Monica Larner, who led the tasting (I just provided side-line comments). However, keeping in mind that I spent a lot of time in Piedmont early in my...

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Masterclass - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This Masterclass' goal was to look at the diversity of Cabernet Sauvignon- and Merlot-based wines from around the world. The only ringer was the 2009 Marchesi Antinori Guado al Tasso Bolgheri, which is normally about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the balance Syrah. I'll keep my notes brief as these are generally recollections from the tasting, as I was speaking rather than taking notes. However, I thought all the wines performed very well, and in keeping with previous impressions. I...

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Hilton Hotel Gala Hedonist's Dinner

This dinner was held the day Malaysian Air Flight 370 went missing (we arrived on a Malaysian Air Flight from Hong Kong during that time period, one of those coincidences in life that will never be forgotten). The food, prepared by the Kuala Lumpur Hotel Hilton's staff, was generally quite good, although I was inundated with the 300+ guests asking for autographs and/or wanting answers to their wine questions. Despite the interruptions, I did find the two vintages of Dominus...

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