Over the years our Mondiale has taken occasional opportunity to ask members to open that “special” bottle that has been waiting for the right time, so we decided that Tuesday, October 9, 2012 was an appropriate evening to reveal some more Cellar Treasures. We gathered at Eat Well Celebrations, the well-known catering business of Chef Renee Schuler, daughter of our own Dame Susan Schuler. Renee has a second floor banquet room in her historic Newport, Kentucky facility that was a spacious location for us to meet and enjoy a nice meal with many exceptional wines.
Starting with some 1996 Bollinger Grande Année or 1985 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie, we then looked around to find a bevy of choices. One of these bottles would be a treat, but to see all of them together was quite a spectacle. To go for the Napa wines or the Bordeaux Grand Crus was a dilemma we can all appreciate. 1997 Beringer Sbragia 25th Anniversary, 1998 Vérité, 2002 Caymus, 2000 Far Niente, 2002 Bryant Bettina, and 2004 Araujo Eisele Vineyard were some of the notable stops on our cellar trek. But there were many more! One could sample a bit of Molly Dooker Velvet Glove or Leonetti Cellars from Washington before taking in all the famous French labels. 1994 Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle Hermitage brought us to the Bordeaux lineup, with 1998 Leoville Las Cases, 1990 Pichon Baron, 1989 Haut Brion, and 1982 Cheval Blanc among the esteemed group.
After passed appetizers of house made ricotta and tomato thyme jam on focaccia and truffle arancini risotto bites with fontina, our dinner was served buffet style in keeping with our informal format where everyone could select their own foods and wines at leisure. Our hearty repast included herb roasted chicken and a fall vegetable salad with red potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, butternut squash, pearl onions, and parsnips. Wild and basmati rice pilaf with pecans and chives and roasted broccolini were featured, and Chef Schuler made playful green onion cornbread in assorted shapes. Cinnamon apple crisp with vanilla ice cream finished our evening.
Surely many keys were turned to unlock the doors to reveal these treasures, but it was well worth clearing the dust away to provide the essence of rewards from wine collecting and toast to the finest things in life!
J.T. Mayer, Chargé de Presse Provincial Midwest