Eleven Madison Park wine

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Glenn Poskocil
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Eleven Madison Park wine

#1 Post by Glenn Poskocil » October 6th, 2019, 11:22 am

I am dining next week at Eleven Madison Park. They have a reserve wine pairing offering and I'm hoping for any comments regarding the quality of the wines or how interesting they may be. I need to decide whether to order a bottle from their very extensive and impressive wine list or to go with the pairing. I find in these situations that often you don't know which wines you are getting until they arrive at the table, or if you are told in advance there really isn't sufficient time to do any research. I'm also dining at Marea and Ai Fiori if anyone has any comments on the same situation there.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#2 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 6th, 2019, 11:34 am

I found the pairing underwhelming but it changes. I would either bring or buy a bottle of champagne and a glass or red, but that’s just me. That’s my usual strategy with tasting menus. 12 Chetillons or Crayers seems to be a good choice or bring vintage or nv krug.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#3 Post by Geoff F. » October 6th, 2019, 3:38 pm

It's a 3-star restaurant. You should be able to get the list (or an example one) from them, no questions asked.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#4 Post by Mark Golodetz » October 7th, 2019, 7:40 am

They used to allow BYO at a decent corkage. Well worth it.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#5 Post by Barry P » October 7th, 2019, 7:52 am

The wine list is available on line here: https://hub.binwise.com/print/WineList_ ... tionID=120

A lot of gems...some pricey. But it is, as has been noted, a 3 Star and it is in NYC, where the cost of doing business is fairly high. Burgs are the star, but really nice Loire and Alsace selections, too.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#6 Post by ybarselah » October 7th, 2019, 8:39 am

those list prices include tip, i believe.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#7 Post by John Kight » October 7th, 2019, 9:17 am

Barry P wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:52 am
Burgs are the star, but really nice Loire and Alsace selections, too.
I thought they were also especially known for their Austrian and German wine selection....

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#8 Post by JackW e i s s b e r g » October 7th, 2019, 10:56 am

For what it's worth, I really enjoyed the reserve pairing when we were there about a year ago. Not every single wine, but most. Since I was basically the only one drinking, it let me go beyond what I would have experienced with just a single bottle. Most memorable for me was a mid '80s Joseph Phelps Backus Cabernet (1985 I think). Pours were fine in terms of size.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#9 Post by Barry P » October 7th, 2019, 10:59 am

John Kight wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:17 am
Barry P wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:52 am
Burgs are the star, but really nice Loire and Alsace selections, too.
I thought they were also especially known for their Austrian and German wine selection....
Yeah, I noticed that that part of the list is impressive.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#10 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » October 7th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Lots of good stuff on the list, so why throw yourself at their mercy? Some of it is even "reasonably priced".
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#11 Post by K John Joseph » October 7th, 2019, 2:54 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 11:34 am
I found the pairing underwhelming but it changes. I would either bring or buy a bottle of champagne and a glass or red, but that’s just me. That’s my usual strategy with tasting menus. 12 Chetillons or Crayers seems to be a good choice or bring vintage or nv krug.
I've found this to be the case for almost every high end wine pairing I've ever purchased with dinner. While there are always one or two great pairings, or something that is new and fresh, most of the time I find that I am greatly disappointed that I did not buy (or bring) a bottle of champagne and a glass or so of red, or something like a couple of half bottles depending on the restaurant.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#12 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 7th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Yeah that’s my MO at most high end places; 96 krug and some Beze was perfect at oriole couple weeks ago.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#13 Post by Warren Taranow » October 7th, 2019, 5:23 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 2:54 pm
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 11:34 am
I found the pairing underwhelming but it changes. I would either bring or buy a bottle of champagne and a glass or red, but that’s just me. That’s my usual strategy with tasting menus. 12 Chetillons or Crayers seems to be a good choice or bring vintage or nv krug.
I've found this to be the case for almost every high end wine pairing I've ever purchased with dinner. While there are always one or two great pairings, or something that is new and fresh, most of the time I find that I am greatly disappointed that I did not buy (or bring) a bottle of champagne and a glass or so of red, or something like a couple of half bottles depending on the restaurant.
I've found that in most cases as well, with one exception: Single Thread in Healdsburg serve nearly a dozen of some of the best wines I've ever had.
Sorry for the slight thread drift...
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#14 Post by adam caldwell » October 7th, 2019, 5:28 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 3:51 pm
Yeah that’s my MO at most high end places; 96 krug and some Beze was perfect at oriole couple weeks ago.
Michael was that Oriole in Chicago? If so did they still have that pasta with shaved white truffles? I thought that dish was stunning.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#15 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 7th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Yeah that’s one of his signature dishes. They said the soufflé and that pasta are always on the menu.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#16 Post by David_K » October 7th, 2019, 6:09 pm

John Kight wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:17 am
Barry P wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:52 am
Burgs are the star, but really nice Loire and Alsace selections, too.
I thought they were also especially known for their Austrian and German wine selection....
Nothing on that list to me suggests German wine is a specialty of theirs. It's exactly what I'd expect to see for a restaurant of this caliber, but not more than that...
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#17 Post by Kirk.Grant » October 7th, 2019, 6:13 pm

I’ve trusted the wine pairings at Piazza Duomo in Alba (3star) and at Taniere3 in Quebec City. I think if you’re “geeky” trusting the pairings can be fun & rewarding. If you’re particular maybe go for something else.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#18 Post by Mark Golodetz » October 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm

David_K wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:09 pm
John Kight wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 9:17 am
Barry P wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:52 am
Burgs are the star, but really nice Loire and Alsace selections, too.
I thought they were also especially known for their Austrian and German wine selection....
Nothing on that list to me suggests German wine is a specialty of theirs. It's exactly what I'd expect to see for a restaurant of this caliber, but not more than that...
I have seen plenty of Grand award lists, and can think of few if any list outside of Germany with that extensive a list of German wines.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#19 Post by K John Joseph » October 8th, 2019, 8:51 am

Kirk.Grant wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:13 pm
I’ve trusted the wine pairings at Piazza Duomo in Alba (3star) and at Taniere3 in Quebec City. I think if you’re “geeky” trusting the pairings can be fun & rewarding. If you’re particular maybe go for something else.
I like geeky, but I also like good wine and think that the "pairing" focus gets vastly overblown. Most of the time I would rather just have a great glass of champagne separate from my small plate than try a refined vermouth with X dish. Or oh my, it has a tiny bit of spice...better roll out a wine with significant residual sugar. I just don't really favor some of those wines, and while it may be the "right" pairing, I often find that they're just not wines I really want to drink. If I want pure exploration, I'll go to a wine bar.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#20 Post by R M Kriete » October 8th, 2019, 1:31 pm

Have had the Reserve Wine pairings there on 2 occasions and was quite happy both times. Remember that if your dining partner makes different course selections from you, then the wine paired with that course selection will also be different than yours. End result, you get to taste a lot of stellar wines!

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#21 Post by Dave McCloskey » October 11th, 2019, 6:23 am

Kirk.Grant wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:13 pm
I’ve trusted the wine pairings at Piazza Duomo in Alba (3star) and at Taniere3 in Quebec City. I think if you’re “geeky” trusting the pairings can be fun & rewarding. If you’re particular maybe go for something else.
That's my take as well, be adventurous!

I was at Grace in Chicago a few years ago and ordered the wine tasting. With one course they served a white from Greece that I wasn't enamored with and before I could adjust my napkin a replacement wine was sitting before me that was much more to my liking.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#22 Post by Glenn Poskocil » October 26th, 2019, 5:59 am

Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, my wife and I were underwhelmed by the wine pairing at Eleven Madison Park. She had the regular pairing for $180 and I had the reserve pairing for $335. None of the wines were great with most being just "eh". I wish I had just ordered a bottle from the menu or even ordered by the glass as they had a nice selection available. I also felt that it wasn't a particularly good value based on the caliber of the wines. I was expecting more.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#23 Post by Mark Golodetz » October 26th, 2019, 6:25 am

Glenn Poskocil wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 5:59 am
Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, my wife and I were underwhelmed by the wine pairing at Eleven Madison Park. She had the regular pairing for $180 and I had the reserve pairing for $335. None of the wines were great with most being just "eh". I wish I had just ordered a bottle from the menu or even ordered by the glass as they had a nice selection available. I also felt that it wasn't a particularly good value based on the caliber of the wines. I was expecting more.
Did you say something? Spending that much on wine, it should be excellent borderline great.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#24 Post by Mike Reff » October 26th, 2019, 7:02 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 6:25 am
Glenn Poskocil wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 5:59 am
Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, my wife and I were underwhelmed by the wine pairing at Eleven Madison Park. She had the regular pairing for $180 and I had the reserve pairing for $335. None of the wines were great with most being just "eh". I wish I had just ordered a bottle from the menu or even ordered by the glass as they had a nice selection available. I also felt that it wasn't a particularly good value based on the caliber of the wines. I was expecting more.
Did you say something? Spending that much on wine, it should be excellent borderline great.
Curious, what did they pair with the food?

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#25 Post by John Kight » October 31st, 2019, 1:28 pm

Glenn Poskocil wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 5:59 am
Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, my wife and I were underwhelmed by the wine pairing at Eleven Madison Park. She had the regular pairing for $180 and I had the reserve pairing for $335. None of the wines were great with most being just "eh". I wish I had just ordered a bottle from the menu or even ordered by the glass as they had a nice selection available. I also felt that it wasn't a particularly good value based on the caliber of the wines. I was expecting more.
How many wines were involved in the pairing? Assuming it was no more than 5-7 wines, that sounds insanely expensive...$50-ish per glass of wine? I agree with you that for $335+$180 you could have had two nice bottles or one amazing bottle from their list.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#26 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » October 31st, 2019, 1:36 pm

Wow - that sounds pretty bad Glenn. I think "somm's matches" tend to be very luck-dependent, mood etc. I've been massively lucky once (last year) at another NYC establishment (pours included chassagne 1er, chambolle lieu dit, Cos and d'Yquem) but I'm pretty sure that was purely the guy's discretion after we chatted, based on stuff he had kicking around rather than the "official" matches. But for $335 they should really be pouring some really great wine as standard!
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#27 Post by Mark Golodetz » October 31st, 2019, 2:16 pm

If we assume you have one of the four glasses to the bottle and three times mark up, you should have the equivalent of wines that wholesale for around $400.

Cannot believe a restaurant cannot find wines worth drinking at that price.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#28 Post by Kris Patten » October 31st, 2019, 2:30 pm

Think I would have had a 375ml of Krug, bottle of Roulot Aligote 2014 and a 2016 Foillard Cote du Py and saved myself $225 vs. the pairings after your experience.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#29 Post by ybarselah » October 31st, 2019, 2:44 pm

Glenn Poskocil wrote:
October 26th, 2019, 5:59 am
Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, my wife and I were underwhelmed by the wine pairing at Eleven Madison Park. She had the regular pairing for $180 and I had the reserve pairing for $335. None of the wines were great with most being just "eh". I wish I had just ordered a bottle from the menu or even ordered by the glass as they had a nice selection available. I also felt that it wasn't a particularly good value based on the caliber of the wines. I was expecting more.
that sounds tragic actually. if you have time, i'd love to read some of the wines you were served. i'm a little shocked they didn't notice you weren't enjoying them as they seem to be very into that.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#30 Post by P L owet » October 31st, 2019, 3:01 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 2:16 pm
If we assume you have one of the four glasses to the bottle and three times mark up, you should have the equivalent of wines that wholesale for around $400.

Cannot believe a restaurant cannot find wines worth drinking at that price.
Not to detract from your extremely valid point, but I think your math is a bit off. Just focusing on the reserve pairing at $335, I would assume that Glenn was poured at least half a bottle in total, wouldn't you? That would suggest a $670 bottle off the list, which would cost $223 wholesale at 3x markup. With heavier pours and/or higher markup, one could imagine that the equivalent is under $150 bottle wholesale (~$200 retail). Yes, I would expect a composite $200 bottle to be more than "eh" but as this board frequently points out, that $200 gets less and less from the most favored wine regions (cough, cough Burgundy). Again, I'm not excusing it -- the restaurant should indeed be able to find wines worth drinking even at the reduced price.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#31 Post by Glenn P » October 31st, 2019, 3:46 pm

I’ve had two wine parings. First, at the late Charlie Trotters and second, at French Laundry. Both were celestial. Expensive but celestial!

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#32 Post by David Glasser » October 31st, 2019, 8:08 pm

Never been to EMP. Do they tell you which wines will be poured before you decide whether to go with the pairings?

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#33 Post by Jay $$ Winton » November 1st, 2019, 7:26 am

My knowledgeable NYC foodie friend went recently and said it was "all show and no go" He was unimpressed to say the least by the food quality.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#34 Post by m. ristev » November 1st, 2019, 7:43 am

the best way to enjoy emp is to sit at the bar and order the duck a la carte. it is the most notable dish they serve besides the bread, which is also complementary at the bar. this obviously makes selecting the wine quite simple.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#35 Post by Greg K » November 1st, 2019, 8:14 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 2:16 pm
If we assume you have one of the four glasses to the bottle and three times mark up, you should have the equivalent of wines that wholesale for around $400.

Cannot believe a restaurant cannot find wines worth drinking at that price.
From my experience, wine pairings are often how restaurants make some of their best margins on wine.

Last time I did a pairing was about 5 years ago at a friend's request at Daniel, where the restaurant with supposedly the deepest Burgundy cellar in NYC served us...... an Oregon pinot (and some Alsatian riesling for white) and no Burgundy. I'm happy to drink Oregon pinot, but that is very much not what I'd want to drink Daniel. I haven't been back.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#36 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » November 1st, 2019, 10:09 am

When you see the prices on these wine lists, you are glad you live in Europe.

Even discounting for how hard it was to put it together (it is a maginificent selection), the ***, NYC rent, they are really taking the proverbial p$$$ on most things.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#37 Post by R M Kriete » November 1st, 2019, 12:34 pm

Pairings on our last visit....

Caviar Souffle with Clam, Leek and Potato
Pascal Doquet, Coeur de Terroir, Verus, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2005

Foie Gras seared with Maple & Apple
Ch. Guiraud, Sauternes 2002

Lobster charred with Pumpkin & Citrus
Sandhi, Rita's Crown, Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA, 2011

Mushroom Tart with Black Truffle & Thyme
Balgera, Valgella, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy, Italy, 2002

Duck: Honey & Lavender Glazed with Beets & Blood Pudding
Ch. de Beaucastel, CDP, 2001

Honeynut Squash with Cheddar & Pretzel
Krug, Grand Cuvee, Champagne

Chocolate: Shortbread with Malt & Barley Ice Cream
Muse Vintage Wines, L'Archiviste, Maury, Roussillon 1978

To me, the ability to drink wines with some age on them was the main attraction. So many times, wines in restaurants with age are simply priced beyond the pale.

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#38 Post by m. ristev » November 1st, 2019, 12:45 pm

was that a standard or premium pairing?
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#39 Post by R M Kriete » November 1st, 2019, 1:13 pm

m. ristev wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:45 pm
was that a standard or premium pairing?
Premium 2 years ago. 🤔 Think it was $295 at the time

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#40 Post by Greg K » November 1st, 2019, 1:17 pm

R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:13 pm
m. ristev wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:45 pm
was that a standard or premium pairing?
Premium 2 years ago. 🤔 Think it was $295 at the time
Yikes.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#41 Post by R M Kriete » November 1st, 2019, 1:27 pm

Greg K wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:17 pm
R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:13 pm
m. ristev wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:45 pm
was that a standard or premium pairing?
Premium 2 years ago. 🤔 Think it was $295 at the time
Yikes.
Go to their website and check out the prices of the wines with any decent age....double yikes! Which is why I love BYOB with corkage. Sadly, just not an option at some places

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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#42 Post by Greg K » November 1st, 2019, 1:35 pm

R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:27 pm
Greg K wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:17 pm
R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:13 pm


Premium 2 years ago. 🤔 Think it was $295 at the time
Yikes.
Go to their website and check out the prices of the wines with any decent age....double yikes! Which is why I love BYOB with corkage. Sadly, just not an option at some places
I've been to EMP and know the pricing on the wine. My issue is that the above "reserve" wine pairing list wouldn't be exciting to me - I don't really want to drink most of those wines all that much and I'm sure I can find something I do want to drink for around that price.

Of course, I fully agree with you that BYOB is the vastly better alternative.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#43 Post by m. ristev » November 1st, 2019, 1:40 pm

i feel like there are always a few deals to be had on the emp list especially considering it is service included. of course if you are looking at burgundy it is not that friendly but i have always found very interesting wines to drink with some age, even some which cost less than the corkage fee.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#44 Post by Greg K » November 1st, 2019, 1:46 pm

m. ristev wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 1:40 pm
i feel like there are always a few deals to be had on the emp list especially considering it is service included. of course if you are looking at burgundy it is not that friendly but i have always found very interesting wines to drink with some age, even some which cost less than the corkage fee.
Last time I looked at the list they had some Benetiere at fairly reasonable pricing. I agree that Burgundy is almost never going to be a "value" option at a high end restaurant.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#45 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » November 1st, 2019, 4:55 pm

Geranium has some excellent by-the-glass matches - but boy do you pay for it :)!!!
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#46 Post by Craig G » November 3rd, 2019, 5:54 am

R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:34 pm
Pairings on our last visit....

Caviar Souffle with Clam, Leek and Potato
Pascal Doquet, Coeur de Terroir, Verus, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2005

Foie Gras seared with Maple & Apple
Ch. Guiraud, Sauternes 2002

Lobster charred with Pumpkin & Citrus
Sandhi, Rita's Crown, Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA, 2011

Mushroom Tart with Black Truffle & Thyme
Balgera, Valgella, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy, Italy, 2002

Duck: Honey & Lavender Glazed with Beets & Blood Pudding
Ch. de Beaucastel, CDP, 2001

Honeynut Squash with Cheddar & Pretzel
Krug, Grand Cuvee, Champagne

Chocolate: Shortbread with Malt & Barley Ice Cream
Muse Vintage Wines, L'Archiviste, Maury, Roussillon 1978

To me, the ability to drink wines with some age on them was the main attraction. So many times, wines in restaurants with age are simply priced beyond the pale.
I think this illustrates the problem here. In my opinion this is quite a good pairing and given US restaurant wine prices, not bad value, but some people will be bitterly disappointed with the choices and some will feel ripped off. So you can get all sorts of opinions from the same pairing.
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#47 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » November 3rd, 2019, 6:10 am

Craig G wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 5:54 am
R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:34 pm
Pairings on our last visit....

Caviar Souffle with Clam, Leek and Potato
Pascal Doquet, Coeur de Terroir, Verus, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2005

Foie Gras seared with Maple & Apple
Ch. Guiraud, Sauternes 2002

Lobster charred with Pumpkin & Citrus
Sandhi, Rita's Crown, Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA, 2011

Mushroom Tart with Black Truffle & Thyme
Balgera, Valgella, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy, Italy, 2002

Duck: Honey & Lavender Glazed with Beets & Blood Pudding
Ch. de Beaucastel, CDP, 2001

Honeynut Squash with Cheddar & Pretzel
Krug, Grand Cuvee, Champagne

Chocolate: Shortbread with Malt & Barley Ice Cream
Muse Vintage Wines, L'Archiviste, Maury, Roussillon 1978

To me, the ability to drink wines with some age on them was the main attraction. So many times, wines in restaurants with age are simply priced beyond the pale.
I think this illustrates the problem here. In my opinion this is quite a good pairing and given US restaurant wine prices, not bad value, but some people will be bitterly disappointed with the choices and some will feel ripped off. So you can get all sorts of opinions from the same pairing.
I’d be happy with that at $295 per. Go for the experience with friends or family and not get too geeked out.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

Mich@el Ch@ng
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#48 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » November 3rd, 2019, 6:17 am

Was that a full glass of each of those wines? That’s a pretty good reserve pairing. I’d probably still be happier with bringing a couple of my own bottles and paying $150 but not bad.

Dennis Borczon
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Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#49 Post by Dennis Borczon » November 3rd, 2019, 6:57 am

Take that four gras off the menu! Mayor DiBlasio does not want those poultry to suffer...before we eat them!

Greg K
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Location: New York

Re: Eleven Madison Park wine

#50 Post by Greg K » November 3rd, 2019, 7:19 am

Craig G wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 5:54 am
R M Kriete wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 12:34 pm
Pairings on our last visit....

Caviar Souffle with Clam, Leek and Potato
Pascal Doquet, Coeur de Terroir, Verus, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2005

Foie Gras seared with Maple & Apple
Ch. Guiraud, Sauternes 2002

Lobster charred with Pumpkin & Citrus
Sandhi, Rita's Crown, Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA, 2011

Mushroom Tart with Black Truffle & Thyme
Balgera, Valgella, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy, Italy, 2002

Duck: Honey & Lavender Glazed with Beets & Blood Pudding
Ch. de Beaucastel, CDP, 2001

Honeynut Squash with Cheddar & Pretzel
Krug, Grand Cuvee, Champagne

Chocolate: Shortbread with Malt & Barley Ice Cream
Muse Vintage Wines, L'Archiviste, Maury, Roussillon 1978

To me, the ability to drink wines with some age on them was the main attraction. So many times, wines in restaurants with age are simply priced beyond the pale.
I think this illustrates the problem here. In my opinion this is quite a good pairing and given US restaurant wine prices, not bad value, but some people will be bitterly disappointed with the choices and some will feel ripped off. So you can get all sorts of opinions from the same pairing.
I don't think "ripped off" is the right word. I did some back of the envelope math and made a few assumptions (including the Krug being the latest disgorgement), and this is probably around 2.2 times retail mark-up at today's prices. Which is not bad! EMP isn't throwing in Louis Latour Bourgougne or Caymus here, which was never my point. But there isn't a single wine on this list I'm particularly excited about for $300, and at least one I'd definitely prefer not to drink.
Greg Kahn

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