Chef Derek Gallegos, former chef of the highly reputed restaurant threeTENmain in Hailey, and now Executive Chef of Gretchen's of Sun Valley resort shows us how he cooks some of his favorite early summer dishes...Ciao!!
Chef Derek Gallegos will prepare a menu inspired by the cuisines of Northern Italy to accompany the wines of Alfredo Viettiof Piemonte and Alois Lageder of Alto Adige. Learn about these fine wines in-person from Aldo Zaninotto, Italian ambassador to the U.S. for these venerable wine-making institutions. Wines supplied by Steve Thies of Tastevin Wines of Ketchum, Idaho.
Begins @ 6:30 pm
PICCOLO MORSI Crostini, mascarpone, apple, Madras curry, balsamic syrup & Smoked La Quercia Americano prosciutto, roasted pear, Oregonzola ▪Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2010▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ ANTIPASTI Hawaiian blue sweet prawns crudo, arancini, orange-mint vinaigrette & Idaho Wagyu beef carpaccio, pineapple-basil salsa, roasted rice powder, pinenut oil ▪Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2009▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ PRIMO House-made ricotta & swiss chard tortelli, brown butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano ▪Vietti Barbera d’Asti 2008▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ SECONDO Slow-roasted Snake River Farms “Porchetta” stuffed with house-cured pancetta over braised fennel, escarole, cannelini beans, carrot & golden beet mostarda ▪Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo Langhe 2008 & Vietti Barolo “Castiglione” 2007▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ DOLCE Ginger panna cotta, pear coulis, hazelnut brittle ▪Vietti Moscato d’Asti▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ $75 per person, Tax & Gratuity not included For reservations please call 788 4161 or CLICK HERE to contact us via email
Vietti Barolo "Castiglione" Pale ruby color with garnet hues and powerful aromas of rich, ripe cherries with intricate complexities of spice, tea leaves and rose petals. With strong, rich Tannins, crisp acidity and masculine structure, this ageworthy Barolo shows incredible finesse with excellent balance, integration and a long, lingering finish.
Alois Lageder For the creation of extraordinary wines, one also needs something more than healthy, fully-ripened grapes from the best vineyard sites. There is also a need for the right philosophy and for true human commitment. One of our primary goals is to pay attention to the natural properties of our vineyards and to make the best possible use of them. For every variety of grape, there are particular conditions in which it prefers to grow. We see it as our task to create ideal synergies, supporting nature’s work, thereby taking on the role of “midwives” who facilitate the birth of wines of great elegance, clarity, body, strength, and authenticity. -Alois Lageder
Had a great time at Ketchum Grill yesterday tasting wines with the crew from JW Thorntom wine distributors. Scott and Ann put out a great spread to accompany all the wines. Thank you Lyle! Below are a few of the standouts for me.
Enjoy, Chef Derek
Michel Brégeon is part renegade, part crusader, and full-blown terroirist. Over the years, he has become an ardent defender of the Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine terroir, the most highly regarded of the four appellations in the Pays Nantais. Thanks to his deep understanding of the nuances of the land, he plays the game much differently than the region’s caves cooperatives and negociants, who produce en masse and lose the subtlety of the appellation. More
The ancient fishing village of Cassis has seen its fair share of visitors over the millennia. The Phoenicians first arrived in the sixth century B.C., and with them came the timeless Ugni Blanc grape and viticultural savvy. The Romans later made their way here, as well as their Barbarian successors, followed by the medieval Counts of Les Baux, all the way to tourists of the modern era looking to escape the cold, dark cities. Cassis is not only an active port, but what Kermit calls “an earthly paradise.” More
Champions of Carignan: Overlooked Grape Gets an Upgrade in Chile
February 16, 2011 by Michelle Locke
Green, rough, bitter—for a hard-working grape, carignan shoulders an awful lot of insults. And it’s true the prolific variety, traditionally used in reds from France’s Languedoc region, has produced a lot of undistinguished wine.
But lately, carignan has been coming in for artisanal treatment, notably at the hands of winemakers in Chile who are keeping the prodigious variety’s vigor in check and producing rich, flavorful wines.
Part of the secret is age. Carignan was planted more than 60 years ago in Chile, meaning those vines are now old, which naturally represses production and develops complexity.
Old bush, head-pruned vines and traditional dry-farming in the Maule Valley, where much of Chile’s carignan grows, further checks growth, producing more intense berries with softer tannins.
“Carignan from old vines is something very wonderful. Carignan from young vines is coarse and simple,” says Derek Mossman-Knapp, founder of Garage Wine Co. in Sausal, Chile.
Carignan, which hails from Spain and is grown in the Mediterranean region of France, contributes deep color to wine, but packs a tannic punch and can be high in alcohol. It ripens late in the season and is prone to mildew—not a problem in the dry, hot Maule Valley, located about 180 miles south of Santiago.
In the past, carignan has often been blended in to other red varietals, to jazz up the color and extract. But the new carignan champions say the grape is perfectly capable of standing alone.
“Carignan really does speak for itself,” says Mossman-Knapp. Old-vine carignan, made in the traditional style and not smothered in oak, is a table-friendly wine that evokes an Italian style, he says. “If you have different bottles of wine with food, the carignan will be the first one people finish—and then, uncannily, someone will ask: ’What the heck is carignan?’”
WHEN it comes to describing wine, few people take issue with "fruity", "acidic" or "ruby". Most can handle "blackcurrant", "chocolate", "tobacco", "truffle" or even "toast" (this Johnson swears to having caught a whiff of all five). But then self-styled connoisseurs begin spouting attributes like "graphite" (which does not smell or—if nibbling pencil ends is any guide—taste of anything), "zesty mineral" (how it differs from plain mineral is anyone's guess), "angular" (huh?), or "dumb" (indeed). Little wonder oenological jargon gets a bad rap. And oenophiles (your correspondent among them) stand accused of bamboozling the uninitiated, probably out of some underhanded motive.
I’M not one to go overboard in describing the myriad aromas and flavors in a glass of wine. In fact, most of the gaudy descriptions found in tasting notes will not help a whit to understand the character of a bottle of wine or to anticipate the experience of drinking it.
While it may seem heretical to say, the more specific the description of a wine, the less useful information is actually transmitted. See for yourself. All you have to do is compare two reviewers’ notes for a single bottle: one critic’s ripe raspberry, white pepper and huckleberry is another’s sweet-and-sour cherries and spice box. What’s the solution? Well, if you feel the urgent need to know precisely what a wine is going to taste like before you sniff and swallow, forget it. Experience will give you a general idea, but fixating on exactitude is a fool’s errand. Two bottles of the same wine can taste different depending on when, where and with whom you open them.
"And so came the announcement over the weekend that Robert M. Parker Jr. was shuffling the lineup of reviewers at The Wine Advocate, the wine review he founded in 1978.
Mr. Parker himself is no longer going to review new vintages of California wine, though he will continue to write about Bordeaux, the Rhône and older California vintages. David Schildknecht, a thorough and erudite critic, will no longer write about the Côte d’Or and Chablis, though he will maintain his otherwise extensive portfolio, which includes Germany, the Loire, Austria, Beaujolais, Mâconnais, Jura, Eastern Europe, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Eastern United States.
Antonio Galloni, who had covered Italy and Champagne, will now add the Côte d’Or, Chablis and California. The rest of the lineup includes Jay Miller covering Oregon, Washington, South America and Spain; Lisa Perrotti-Brown on Australia and New Zealand; Neal Martin as critic at large, with specific coverage of South Africa; and Mark Squires on Israel, Portugal and Greece.
Eric Asimov - The New York TimesEric Asimov is the wine critic for the Times.
Clearly, the world of wine has grown tremendously since the days when Mr. Parker started out. Back then, one critic could easily cover the limited number of wines imported into the United States. Today, with wonderful, distinctive bottles arriving from every corner of the wine-producing world, no single person can manage such an all-encompassing job.
Of course, the question that has set the wine-centric slice of the Internet aquiver for the last few days is: What does it all mean?
Drinking Out Loud--- Matt Kramer says it's not all about terroir: To succeed in today's wine world, you have to have a story.
By Matt Kramer Posted: February 1, 2011
"Some of you, knowing my particular passions, would imagine that I would submit that the most important word in wine today is “terroir.” Nope. I would instead submit that it is "narrative."
What happened to terroir? Nothing. It's doing just fine, thank you. We see it everywhere. And, if we don't see that particular term, we see something evocative of it. (My favorite is on Heinz ketchup bottles: "Grown Not Made." It’s ketchup, for heaven's sakes!)
Clearly, terroir is now embedded. Everyone—and everywhere—has terroir. A winery or a wine region jostling for that distinction now finds itself in a roller derby pack of competitors elbowing each other, all howling the same "somewhereness" sales pitch. Time to move on, folks.
Recently, I was talking with a chef whose restaurant was awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide. I congratulated him and, as we chatted about the mysteries of Michelin, I mentioned the name of another chef whose cooking I admire enormously but who has yet to be awarded more than just one star. I confessed to being baffled by this, especially given the chef's extraordinary talent.
The wine panel’s tasting of 2008 pinot noirs from the Willamette Valley in Oregon was exciting. The wines were delicious, and we were all pleased to find so many of them in a lovely, restrained style that invited rather than overpowered. These, I would like to think, are the sorts of wines that inspired those far-sighted pioneers back in the late 1960s and 1970s who imagined that Willamette would be a great place to grow pinot noir.
Oregon has had its ups and downs in its scant few decades as a wine region. Back in the ’90s people spoke of Oregon as a promised land for pinot noir. Why not? The visionaries had already been vindicated when Joseph Drouhin, one of the leading wine firms in Burgundy, made a major investment there in the late 1980s, buying 140 acres and setting up Domaine Drouhin Oregon.
But the wines were inconsistent, which in retrospect should have surprised nobody. Three decades is a mere moment in viticultural time. Clearly, growers and winemakers had a lot to learn about the soils, the microclimates – the terroir, in short. Every year is another vintage of experience under their collective belts.
It would be too easy to conclude that Oregon pinot noir is coming of age. What does that even mean? But the high quality of the ’08s is another vindication of Oregon’s potential.
Of course, our tasting was by no means the final word. We restrict ourselves to 20 bottles, so our top 10 does not represent the 10 best Oregon pinot noirs, only the 10 we liked the best among the bottles we tasted. What’s more, we looked at lower priced wines for the most part, and some ’08s have not even been released.
Among the producers not represented in the tasting were Domaine Drouhin and the Eyrie Vineyard, two of my favorites. And while we listed only 10 wines that we liked, we can recommend a few other bottles among the 20 we tasted.
The 2008 Ponzi Tavola is an easy-going, light-bodied wine that is pure pleasure. It’s only $25 and comes in a screw-cap bottle. And people who like powerful, concentrated fruit flavors in their pinot noirs – not my preference – will not be disappointed with wines like Beaux Frères Ribbon Ridge Vineyard, which at $70 was by far the most expensive bottle in our tasting. They might also enjoy the Ken Wright Meredith Mitchell Vineyard ($45), another wine full of upfront fruit.
A few things I confess I still don't understand Matt Kramer Posted: January 18, 2011
"Wine pundits are supposed to be sages. We fancy that everyone looks to us to have all answers to all questions. I hate to be the one to disappoint you, but we pundits are often as puzzled by events as you might be.
Let me give you some examples of matters that, frankly, I don't feel that I fully grasp. I don't mind saying that I'm hoping that one of you can help me better understand these puzzlers. For example: