A Champagne and Bordeaux Pop Up Dinner

A Champagne and Bordeaux Pop Up Dinner

Anyone who knows me knows that I love food as much as I love wine. While I’ve never even dreamed of being a winemaker, I often think about cooking in my own restaurant. That’s not going to happen – but I have gotten to live the chef/restaurateur dream occasionally with wine dinners I’ve donated and cooked for with the money generated going to various organizations such as WOW and the Houston Area Women’s Center, ECHOS, and the Rancher’s Ride. The last of these dinners was how I celebrated my 60thbirthday back on March 9th. All well and good but I am craving another chef fix.
So, on Saturday June 22 at 7pm, I will host (and cook along with Joan Sokol, Denise Ehrlich, and several others) a wine dinner benefitting the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. This dinner-for-32 will be held in the Parish Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (which conveniently has a full commercial kitchen). We’ll start with a Champagne reception with appropriate nibbles and then sit down to a five-course dinner of some of my personal favorite dishes, each prepared to complement the wines served with them, served with extraordinary wines. Extraordinairy wines? Take a look at the menu below. You just may have to loosen your belt.

The CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION
Assorted Nibbles
Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, NV
Andre Clouet Cuvee 1911 Blanc de Noirs, Champagne, NV
Billecart Salmon Rosé, Champagne, NV

The DINNER
Leek-and-Cauliflower Soup
Lustau East India Sherry

Duck Debris
served over dressed mesclun with toasted pine nuts
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2014
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan,2014
Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2014

Grilled Whole Beef Tenderloin
sliced over truffled tagliatelli and topped with caramelized leeks and shitakes
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2015
Ch. Clinet, Pomerol, 2015
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2015
Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2015

Cheeses
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2016
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2016
Ch. Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2016

Home-Made Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
with peach topping and shortbread crumble

Ch. Coutet Barsac, 2015

So come eat and drink knowing that every dime will go to a great cause; have fun and feel good about it. This Champagne and Bordeaux Pop-Up Wine Dinner will cost $300.00 per person (check payable to Church of the Epiphany or a credit card charge which will be processed by Epiphany). The reception will start at 7pm on Saturday June 22. To reserve your spot for this unique wine and food experience, please reply by email to me at BearDalton@mac.com.
I suggest coming by Uber, Lyft, or other car service as there will be a lot of wine served. The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is located at 9600 South Gessner Road (the southwest corner of Gessner and Bissonnet).

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is my church and I love it. It’s where I go to church and where I raised my kids. While I no longer live in the area, I went to Sharpstown High School and used to pass Epiphany on the way to and from school. Since joining Epiphany 23 years ago, I have served as a lay reader, occasional cook,  on the vestry (currently in my third term), and as senior warden. The area has changed since I lived nearby and Epiphany has changed along with it. Epiphany now boasts one of the most diverse and welcoming (to all people) congregations in Houston along with great preaching, adherence to the liturgical structures found in the Book of Common Prayer, and exceptional music. Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS) is The Church of the Epiphany’s outreach to the surrounding community.

Albert Bichot Wine Class and Tasting

Featuring assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot

On Monday, June 17 at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) in welcoming Albert Bichot assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot (bio below) to The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of the wines of Albert Bichot. Albert Bichot is a Burgundy negoçiant that operates more like a group of related domaines and is, in fact, a big vineyard owner with four estates in Chablis and the Cote d’Or (plus one each in the Cote Chalonnaise and Beaujolais) making world class wines.

The line-up includes:
Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne NV
Bichot Chablis 2015
Bichot Domaine Long Depaquit Chablis 2015
Bichot Chablis Vaucopins 1er cru 2016
Bichot Ch. Gris Nuits St. Georges Les Terrasses Blanc 2016
Bichot Meursault Charmes 1er cru 2016
Bichot Puligny Montrachet Perrieres 1er cru 2016
Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vigne Vielles 2016
Bichot Gevrey Chambertin Les Murots 2016
Bichot Morey Saint Denis Les Sorbets 1er Cru 2016
Bichot Ch. Gris Nuits St. Georges Monopole 1er Cru  2016
Bichot Chambolle Musigny Chaibots 1er Cru 2016
Bichot Corton Clos Marechaudes Grand Cru 2016

This Albert Bichot Tasting will cost $70.00 per person (cash or check) or $73.68 regular. The class meets on Monday June 17 at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (77006), l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

About Matthieu Mangenot:
Immediately after completing his studies, Matthieu Mangenot has worked with other companies, notably in South Africa, Lebanon and Bordeaux. After his first experience in the Mâconnais – Beaujolais region, he joined Albert Bichot in 2007, as manager of the Domaine Long-Depaquit estate in Chablis. His dual training as an agronomist and an oenologist allows him to have a comprehensive approach to winemaking, from vineyard management to bottling. Through in-depth work in the vineyards, he puts the grape at the heart of his strategy of showcasing the terroirs and supports a non-interventionist approach at the winery. In 2019, he continues to pursue his career at Albert Bichot, having taken over the position of Assistant Technical Director at the head office in Beaune. His knowledge of soil formation and his pragmatic, transversal approach to the development of the House of productions, while respecting its concern for authenticity and sustainability.

SAVE THE DATES:
06/22/19 – Bear Dalton’s Pop-Up Champagne and Bordeaux Wine Dinner in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Epiphany (Corner of Gessner and Bissonnet). Bear Will be most ably assisted by Chef Joan and Chef Denise and a host of others.
06/24/19 – Annual Rosé Class and Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
07/08/19 – Adelsheim Tasting with David Adelsheim
07/29/19 – Bordeaux Refresh benefitting ECHOS

Jorge Ordonez Spanish Wine Tasting

On Monday, January 14 at 7pm, please join me in welcoming Victor Ordonez, son of famed Spanish wine importer Jorge Ordonez to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of a dozen wines from the Jorge Ordonez portfolio covering Spain from the Cava zone in Penedes across to Calatayud, Rioja, Toro, and Rias Baixas. There are a number of outstanding wines in this range of some of my favorite Spanish producers as well as some excellent values. (Please see below for more on Victor Ordonez.)

The line-up includes:
Marques de Gelida Brut Gran Reserva, Cava,  2014
La Caña Albarino, Rias Baixas, 2016
Breca Garnacha de Fuego, Calatayud, 2016
Breca Garnacha de Aragon, Calatayud, 2015
Triton Tinto de Toro, 2016
Rio Madre Graciano, Rioja, 2016
Sierra Cantabria Crianza, Rioja, 2015
Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica, Rioja, 2014
Muga Reserva, Rioja, 2014
Vatan Tinta de Toro, 2015
Breca Brega, Calatayud, 2015
San Vicente Cosecha, Rijoa, 2014

This Jorge Ordonez Spanish Tasting will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, January 14 at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Françaiseis the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

About Victor Ordonez:
Son of legendary Spanish wine importer Jorge Ordóñez, Victor Ordóñez is one of the third generation in his family’s wine business, which started when his grandfather Jose María started selling bottles of gran reserva Rioja out of a milk crate strapped to a bicycle to the hotels of Málaga, Spain. Victor grew up immersed in the wine business and Spanish culture. A bottle of wine was on the family dinner table every night, and Victor was frequently ready to shake the hand of an important customer who was at his father’s home office tasting wine when he came home from school. After studying Viticulture & Enology and Business and competing on the lightweight rowing team at Cornell University, Victor jumped head first into the family business, and is now managing national sales and distribution for Jorge Ordóñez Selections. Although his current focus is on the sales and marketing end of the wine business, his true passion lies in winemaking, and since he was sixteen has worked five harvests in Málaga, Rueda, Toro, and Valdeorras. In the little time when he is not working he enjoys cooking, training, and spending time with his friends & family.

 

 

2016 (Mostly) Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting

4:30 – 8:30pm   Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice

SPEC’s will host over 30 Bordeaux chateau owners, directors, and/or winemakers presenting 67 mostly Cru Classé Bordeaux wines, all from the superb 2016 vintage in a standup- and-walk-around tasting format. This is our eighth time to host such a delegation from Bordeaux and each of the previous events have been smashing successes. The list of well-known and highly regarded Bordeaux wines includes …

Dry White Wines: Blanc de  LYNCH BAGES (2017), Ch. CARBONNIEUX, Ch. SMITH HAUT LAFITTE, Domaine de CHEVALIER
Bordeaux, Cotes de Bordeaux, Satellites: Ch. CROIX MOUTON and Ch. le CONSEILLER, Ch. AMPÉLIA, Ch. d’AIGUILHE, Ch. PUYGUERAUD, Ch. CAP St. GEORGES
Haut-Medoc and Moulis: Ch. CAMENSAC, Ch. CANTEMERLE, Ch. SENEJAC, Ch. CHASSE SPLEEN, Ch. MAUVESIN BARTON, Ch. POUJEAUX
Margaux:Ch. BRANE CANTENAC and BARON de BRANE, Ch. CANTENAC BROWN, Ch. GISCOURS and Ch. Du TERTRE, Ch. FERRIERE, Ch. RAUZAN SEGLA
St. Julien: Ch. BRANAIRE DUCRU, Ch. GLORIA and Ch. SAINT PIERRE, Ch. LANGOA BARTON and Ch. LEOVILLE BARTON, Ch. LEOVILLE POYFERRE, Ch. TALBOT
Pauillac: Ch. d’ARMAILHAC, Ch. CLERC MILON, Ch. HAUT BAGES LIBERAL, Ch. GRAND PUY LACOSTE and LACOSTE BORIE,Ch. LYNCH BAGES and ECHO de LYNCH BAGES,Ch. PICHON – COMTESSE de LALANDE and Reserve de la COMTESSE, Ch. PICHON – BARONde LONGUEVILLE and GRIFFONS de PICHON BARON, Ch. PIBRAN
St. Estephe: Ch. Les ORMES de PEZ, Ch. PHELAN SEGUR
Pessac Leognan Rouge: Ch. CARBONNIEUX,Ch. CARMES HAUT BRION
Ch. HAUT BAILLY, Ch. SMITH HAUT LAFITTE, CLOS MARSALETTE, Domaine de CHEVALIER
Pomerol: Ch. CLINET, Ch. Le CROIX St. GEORGES, Ch. GAZIN, Ch. La POINTE and BALLADE de la POINTE
St. Emilion: Ch. CANON, Ch. CANON La GAFFELIERE and CLOS de l’ORATOIRE, Ch. DAUGAY, Ch. GRAND CORBIN-DESPAGNE, Ch. LA CONFESSION, Ch. LARCIS DUCASSE, Ch. PAVIE MACQUIN, CLOS FOURTET
Sweet Whites: Ch. SUDUIRAUT and LIONS de SUDUIRAUT, Ch. COUTET

We’ll be tasting great wines from every major appellation in Bordeaux. The tasting will open at 4:30pm and run thru to 8:30pm, giving you ample time to taste the wines and visit with our guests from Bordeaux. The tasting will include a spread of artisanal cheeses and breads chosen to help absorb the wines and refresh the palate. We will taste from Riedel Degustazione (tasting) glasses.  The 2016 Mostly Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting will cost $100.00 per person (including a 5% discount for cash or check, regular price is $105.26). To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice is located in downtown Houston at 909 Texas Avenue between Travis and Main. Valet Parking will be available.

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the event. No shows and later cancellations will be charged.

A Port Primer with Rui Ribeiro of Symington

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at 7pm on Monday, December 10that the Wine School at l’Alliance Française to welcome Rui Ribeiro of Symington and taste through a range of 15 of Symington’s fine Port wines.

Port wines are numbered among the classic wines of the world and are quite collectable. The most desired are Vintage Ports of which we will taste four. As there are many styles of Port wine, a little information goes a long way toward understanding what you’re drinking. Topics of discussion will include types of Port (and why and how they are different), the origins of Port wine and how it evolved, Serving and Drinking Port, “Pass the Port” (Port Customs), and Decanting Port (including a decanting demonstration). Fifteen Port wines will be tasted and bread and cheese will be served.

We will taste:
Graham’s Six Grapes Porto
Graham’s River Quinta Porto
Dow’s 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Porto
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto
Smith Woodhouse 2004 Late Bottled Vintage Porto
Graham’s 10yr Tawny Porto
Dow’s 10yr Tawny Porto
Cockburn’s 10yr Tawny Porto
Graham’s 20yr Tawny Porto
Dow’s 20yr Tawny Porto
Smith Woodhouse 2000 Colheita Porto
Smith Woodhouse 2016 Vintage Porto
Cockburn’s 2016 Vintage Porto
Graham’s 2016 Vintage Porto
Dow’s 2016 Vintage Porto

The Port Primer will cost $70.00 per person cash ($73.68 regular). To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan Coburn at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com. If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

Symington family member Rui Ribeiro has always had a love for wine but his interests become more serious when he received his degree in Agronomics at Vila Real University in the Douro. Once filled with knowledge Rui was ready to put his skills to work and started as a winemaker and harvest trainee in 2000.  With a passion for nature and viticulture Rui quickly fell in love with the Douro Valley.  He was captivated by the impressive beauty of the terraces and the surrounding atmosphere of the Douro.  This solidified his career goals to educate the world about the wines of the Douro Valley. Working under Rupert Symington’s leadership, Rui is the US Market Manager at Symington Family Estates.

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

SOLD OUT – A November Bordeaux Dinner to Remember

At 7pm on Thursday, November 29th, please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton, at Lucio’s for a fun and delicious look at 2012 Bordeaux and more paired with a wine friendly menu.  We’ll start with a lovely Champagne and a bit of tartare after which we will go directly to three left-bank, Cabernet Sauvignon dominant reds paired with the roast quail. After that, we’ll have three right-bank, Merlot-dominant wines with the braised beef followed by a mini vertical (2012, 2011, and 2008) of Ch. Pontet Canet with the cheese. We’ll finish up with a fresh 2015 Ch. Coutet Barsac. There are some real WOW wines on the list.

THE MENU
Salmon Tartare with
Camille Saves Carte Blanche Brut Champagne NV

Roast Quail with
Ch. Branaire Ducru, St. Julien, 2012
Ch. Haut Bages Liberal, Pauillac, 2012
Ch. Brane Cantenac, Margaux, 2012

Red Wine Press Short Ribs with
Ch. la Croix St. Georges, Pomerol, 2012
Ch. L’Evangile, Pomerol, 2012
Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol, 2012

A selection of Cheeses with
Ch. Pontet Canet, Pauillac, 2012
Ch. Pontet Canet, Pauillac, 2011
Ch. Pontet Canet,Pauillac, 2008

Brioche Bread Pudding
Ch Coutet, Barsac, 2015

This November Bordeaux Dinner to Remember will cost $180 per person including a 5% discount for cash or check (or $189.47 regular). All taxes and tips are included.

For reservations, please reply by email to BearDalton@mac.com.
Please include a call back number in your email reply.
This dinner is limited to 20 guests and should sell out quickly. 

Lucio’s is located at 905 Taft Street between West Dallas and Allen Parkway.

Hope to see you there.

SOLD OUT – CHAMPAGNE!

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at 7pm on Monday, November 19that The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Champagne! In Champagne, we will taste and discuss the range of sparkling wines from Champagne as we look at how they are made, their styles and stylistic differences, where and from what grapes they are made, the different types of Champagne producers, serving, glassware, and Champagne and food. The tasting will start with a grand marque brut NV to use as a baseline and will build from there. All wines tasted will be served in Riedel Degustazione stemware. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered.

The lineup includes:
Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne 6/cs NV
Abel Charlot
JP Marniquet Brut Tradition NV
Castelnau Brut Reserve (6/cs) Champagne NV
Jacques Picard Berru Brut NV
Camille Saves Carte Blanche Brut Premier Cru NV
Roederer Brut Vintage Champagne 2009
Marcel Moineaux Chouilly Brut Blanc De Blanc Grand Cru NV
Lancelot Royer Cuvee Chevaliers Champagne NV
Barons Rothschild Blanc de Blancs NV
Andre Clouet “Cuvee 1911” Brut NV
Egly Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru Champagne NV
Castelnau Collection Oenotheque (6/cs) Champagne 2000
JP Marniquet Brut Prestige Champagne 2002

Champagne! will cost $75 per person (cash or check) or $78.95 (regular). To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan Coburn at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Françaiseis French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

With 40 years in the wine business and 30-plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Daltonis one of the top wine authorities as well as the most experienced wine educator in Texas.

More Classes and Events Coming Soon:
11.26.18          Monday           Sparkling Rosé (mostly Champagne)
11.29.18          Thursday         “Drinking Bordeaux” Dinner at Lucio’s
12.10.18          Monday           Port (with Symington)
12.13.18          Thursday         Holiday Dinner
12.17.18          Monday            Wine School Christmas Party and Toy Gather
01.16.19          Wednesday     Big 2016 Bordeaux Tasting at Crystal Ballroom