Alfonso Cevola, a friend and wine writer from Texas, was in town recently and asked me to meet him for a pizza. It would be a reprise of a wonderful dinner we had enjoyed two years ago at Keste Pizza and Vino where we ate and talked while drinking Vallana Spanna from the 1950’s.
While I looked forward to seeing him again, but there was a problem. That afternoon I was attending a Bordeaux tasting and lunch for the Wine Media Guild at Felidia Restaurant. There were 12 wines to taste followed by four to drink with lunch. Many of the Wine Media Guild members would bring older vintages and I knew it was going to be a great afternoon. But I looked forward to seeing Alfonso again so we made plans to meet for dinner and I hoped for the best. As it turned out at my table at lunch we had the 1982, 1986 and 1988 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, 1993 Chateau Lafite Rothschild and the 1975 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste among others as we shared wines with other tables. The wine which was at its peak was the 1975 Lacoste. It was surprising to me that the 1982 Mouton was still too young. But more on these wines in another article.
I made plans with Alfonso to meet at La Pizza Fresca that night at 7:30 so I would have enough time to recover from lunch. I invited Nicole and Travis a young couple that always bring wines much older than they are.
At the WMG I was sitting next to Ed McCarthy, co–author of the Wine for Dummies books with his wife, Mary Ewing Mulligan, MW. Ed said that Mary was away on a press trip so I invited him to join us for dinner.
After the WMG lunch there were some open bottles with wine still in them at our table, among them Lafite 93, Lynch Bages 1996 and 2000 and two bottles of Clerc Milon 2004 and 2006 I took them along for the others to taste at dinner.
Travis and Nicole arrived with a bottle of Champagne Grand Cru Godmé Pére et Fils Brut Millesime 2000 and the 1961 and 1964 Barolo from Fontanafredda. Ed brought a bottle of Champagne Benoit Lahaye Grand Cru Essentiel NV and I contributed the 1988 Grato Grati, a de-classified Chianti Rufina. I wanted Alfonso to taste the Grato Grati and really wanted to bring the ‘82 but somehow I picked up the 1988. It did not matter since the wine was drinking very well.
Both the 1961 and 1964 were in very good condition. 1964 was a great vintage in Barolo and it was in very good condition and might have a “few” years in front of it. The 1961 was at its peak and I really enjoyed it with my pizza Margarita!
I just returned from a Crystal cruise of the Greek Islands and Turkey with Michele. More on the trip, my on board wine tasting lecture, and how to make the perfect Martini in a future article!