Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, June 22, 2015


It’s once again time for the Sommelier Guild’s annual banquet, and once again we will be celebrating the event at the Chops Lobster Bar.

Guild events, like pretty much everything else in life, vary in quality. Some are uniformly excellent; others are marred by substandard wines or food. The annual banquet tends to have a higher batting average, perhaps because the Guild administration likes to be sure everyone enjoys the event that immediately precedes Board elections. I’ve never been disappointed by the June dinner, and the Lobster Bar has proven itself to be a fine venue in the past. Call me an optimist if you will, despite the fact that my glass is usually less than half full in accordance with standard tasting practice.

Here’s the menu. Feast your eyes:

Charles de Casanove Brut Tradition Tête de Cuvée Avize – Champagne, France***

First Flight
2004 Kistler Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyard - Sonoma North Coast, California***
2010 Mount Eden Chardonnay Estate - Santa Cruz Mountains Central Coast, California**
Signature flash-fried lobster tail, honey mustard aioli, drawn butter

Second Flight
2008 Tenuta Monteti Monteti -Tuscany, Italy**
2007 Tenuta Monteti Monteti - Tuscany, Italy*
1999 Château Monbousquet Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux, France*
Lamb rib chop, Brussels sprout leaves with wild mushrooms

Third Flight
2011 Anderson’s Conn Valley Eloge Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa North Coast, California***
2010 Liparita Yountville V Block Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa North Coast, California****
2010 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard - Sonoma North Coast, California***
Filet mignon, sauce Béarnaise, Parmesan crusted jumbo asparagus

2003 Château La Gravière Tirecul Monbazillac – Bergerac, France***
Roquefort and figs

1990 Anderson’s Conn Valley Eloge Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa North Coast, California*
2012 Arkenstone Estate Syrah - Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California***
2008 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley, California****
2012 Myriad Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain Vineyard - St. Helena, California***
1999 Château d’Yquem****

[Editor’s Note: Tirecul is French for “pulls asshole,” which makes me wonder what effects this sweet Sauternes-like wine may have on the digestive system.]  

Per my usual practice, I will post a post-event update in order to share my worthless opinions on the potations and provender.

Not much winely excitement in the first two flights, but things started to get interesting in the third round. And the extra bottles people brought to pass around (see “Lagniappe” above) were mostly very nice, including a real Sweet Sixteen: a 16-year-old Château d’Yquem. Hoo-HAH.

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