|I often wonder whether those who so vehemently proscribe certain wine and food combinations do so from unhappy experience or from an untested acceptance of “rules…” [J]ust a few years ago …. we raised our glasses [unknowingly filled with 1923 Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes] and there was a delighted murmur from each of us at the quite unexpected taste sensation produced by this dry-sweet old wine—rich in flavors rather than sugars—in combination with the delicate richness of the fish. What rule would have told me to drink fine old Sauternes with smoked salmon?” — Gerald Asher
Sauternes is often relegated to the category of sweet dessert wine. This relegation has not adversely affected the reputation of Sauternes, as some bottles from some Chateaus remain among the most collectible of wines. But the designation of Sauternes as a dessert wine is perhaps unfair. Classic pairings for Sauternes include cheeses and foie gras. Some argue that it pairs excellently with lobster and even roast turkey. And French Chateau owners have frequently advocated for Sauternes to be thought of more broadly, as a wine that can be paired with many different courses, and not just the few accepted pairings a gastronome commonly encounters.
In the Mondiale du Vin, we seek to explore the world of wine, constantly seeking new knowledge, and challenging what we think we know. A few years back, some members of the Chaine attended a dinner prepared by Chef Toler at Bloomsbury Bistro, and hosted by a Sauternes winemaker that featured Sauternes served with every course. Hearing about this dinner, it immediately jumped out as something that we in the Mondiale should be trying. Officiers Michael Albrecht and Raj Parikh have put together an amazing evening on this theme for us!
This year, Chef Toler has agreed to revisit that dinner for us. We will be providing the wines, and Chef Toler will prepare a dinner focused solely on Sauternes wines. Over the last year, the Mondiale has been trying to gain access to older wines through friends of the Chaine, and through auctions. And we now have a set of Sauternes wines with vintages stretching back to 1983.
And so on Friday, January 18, 2019, we will welcome in the New Year with a Sauternes wine dinner at Bloomsbury Bistro. Although it is unusual for us to host an event on a Friday, this was Chef Toler’s preference. The evening will begin at 7:00 PM.
While we have tried to keep the cost for this dinner as low as possible, Sauternes command a certain price on the market, and this is reflected in the price point. Given the uniqueness of this culinary experiment, we felt that it was better to offer it at what we could, than to not do it at all. Accordingly, the cost of the dinner is $170 per person.
Because the wine that we have been able to procure is limited, the number of spaces that we can offer will also be limited. Dress is jacket and tie for men, and cocktail attire for women. Don’t forget your ribbons, of course!
Please click the link below to register online. Members with dietary restrictions should contact the restaurant directly at 919-834-9011 no later than January 10th.