The plan: I provide a case of American pinot noir, 12 different producers, poured blind, in an Asian restaurant, the wines free for you.You pay: your equal share of communal food, plus tip…but nothing else. I provide the wine, tinfoil wrapping, and Sharpie ink, gratis.
Will you bring wine? Probably not because 12 bottles times 2 ounces each is 24 ounces of alcohol-laden grape juice. When in doubt, please bring nothing this time except four stems and cash, and we will recalibrate for the next time, probably April. Max 12 people.
Update. Here is the proposed menu. Chef Liu has won competitions in Beijing as well as here and he curated the menu for us. It’s $60 plus tax plus tip, zero corkage. A little bit pricey. But you will be getting a world class $130 or so experience for the food alone. The other time I ate at a Chef Liu dinner it was $160 per and no one complained.
Thank you George for a flawless event and Melanie for connecting us with one of a kind dishes (I am going back soon to try other dishes on my own). The flights were well thought out. The first, oldest flight was my favorite, but the 2010 Thomas in the second flight was the stunner for me.
Thanks for organizing such a wonderful event, George!
Now a few thoughts about the wine format. I may be an outlier, but I blind taste a lot. The downside is, in a lot of formats, there is less learning. The extreme is a certain person’s frenetic alpha-ADHD chaos, where too many wines are opened, people are tasting different wines at any one time, still bagged wines are set aside, multiple conversations are going on, actually revealed wines are often by some sub-group of maybe a quarter of the table, some degree of uncertainty when asserting yourself to reveal the still bagged wines, then a flurry of unveiling and not getting a good grasp of which was which, or getting a look at the labels. That’s an extreme, but how do you imprint anything from that?
Yours was well organized, but I’d assert blind tasting and constructive discussion about the wines are different. Your concern was suggestive bias. But, discussion can assist in framing what a wine is about, as can seeing what it is. That imprints knowledge. Most of us weren’t familiar with most of these wines to begin with, which makes them semi-blind.
Getting some time with a flight before a food course, then tasting them with that course worked great. My vote would be in that vein, where the wines aren’t blind. Where we all get some time to observe the wines, then can start discussing them, so a respectful progression.
It was great having a private room and round table, so we could all hear each other.
So you’re saying nonblind? For me that would work for the next two theme dinners. For the pinots, there’s a lot of associations, good and bad, with most of the bottlings I served. I dudnt want to gear chatter about what a wine is reputed to be like, or is supposed to be like, until we had a chance to firm at least a preliminary opinion. For the US syrahs and the Beaunes, at a minimum I’ll reveal sooner.