For the waning days of summer our group decided to try something different. Instead of featuring a particular wine or varietal we called upon our members to reach into their cellars, dust off an exceptional bottle they had been saving for a special occasion and share it with some friends who would really appreciate it. With coordination by Vice Echanson Gordon Hullar we achieved a broad spectrum of wines and met downtown at Nicola’s Ristorante for this very special venture. Owner Nicola Pietoso and his son Chef Cristian Pietoso came to the challenge and provided a series of culinary treasures to complement our cellar treasures. For over four years Nicola’s Ristorante in the Over-the-Rhine district has been exploring the higher reaches of Italian fine dining, and they brought seven artistic courses through the evening to complement the vast array before us.
We took over the second floor and had a celebratory start with Mumm DVX before considering great wines from around the world. From established favorites such as Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape to more esoteric examples from Missouri and Long Island, there was a well rounded representation. Notable were six bottlings from Bordeaux including our oldest wine for the night, a 1971 Chateau Haut Brion. Other wonderful selections came from Dunn, Silver Oak, and Turley in three different choices. Italy was well represented with Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone, and a pair of Brunello di Montalcinos featured. Adding to the festivities was Vice Chancelier-Argentier Honoraire Phil Hawkins. He brought a large format bottle of 1997 Melini Borchi d’Elsa Chianti and everyone attending signed the bottle to commemorate the occasion.
The merriment lasted long into the night with so many exceptional wines from which to choose. All agreed that the event was a grand success and properly unlocked some long hidden treasures. This was a popular theme sure to come again in the future as there are likely a few more gems of the vine to be discovered. Vive l’Ordre!
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse