Dessert Island Wine

This Henriques & Henriques, Madeira, 15 year old Bual, is one of the best wines I have ever had. And that is saying a lot because I hate about 85% of the sweet wines I have tasted. We served it tonight with our profiteroles. I drank it with and without them and regret not buying (or accidentally taking) a bottle home.

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Voir-vous ce soir à Canele

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Friends Cook at Canelé

We’re really looking forward to our stint as guest “chef’s” for “Friends Cook at Canelé” on February 23rd. Canelé is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants and Chef/Owner Corina Weibel is an old friend. We have had countless delicious meals and fun times at this sweet spot. Plus we love to cook and we both look hot in aprons and clogs.

The cooking gig came up a few weeks ago when we met up with Corina at Silverlake Wine for their (very happy) Blue Monday tasting. She mentioned our mutual friend Steve Ventrello, who lives in Napa, was going to be in town and had agreed to play the accordion at Canelé one night during his stay. “Wouldn’t it be perfect for you guys to be the Friends Cook that night?” Too perfect. We promptly said yes.

Steve not only plays the accordion, he is deeply involved in all things wine: making it, selling it, drinking it, and teaching others all about it. I immediately thought it would be fantastic to pair some wines from his extensive sales book with the three courses we would be preparing. He was enthusiastic about the idea, but first thing first, what were we going to cook?

Coming up with a menu was harder than it sounds–we wanted to make everything. Duck confit… or maybe trout almondine. Something with eggs? Always love a po’ boy sandwich. Or housemade pasta? A central consideration was not simply to make something we love to eat, but to make sure we didn’t embarrass ourselves or Corina by going beyond our skill levels.

Finally, inspired by Steve’s accordion oeuvre (think Amélie) and our love of French cuisine, we came up with a classic bistro prix fixe menu, with some beautiful wines to compliment the three courses. We are giddy about it.

So… please come join us next Tuesday for our restaurant cooking debut (and by cooking I mean cooking with a really heavy dose of help from Corina and her great kitchen staff), fine wines, and the sweet sounds of Steve’s accordion.

“Friends Cook at Canelé”
Swirl Smell Slurp

and wine pairing from
Vintage Wine Marketing

frisée aux lardons
Riesling, “Vieilles Vignes, Lucas et Andre Rieffel
steak frites
Lussac St. Emilion, Chateau du Courlat 2005
Madeira, 15 year old Bual, Henriques & Henriques

(Canelé’s nightly dinner menu will also be served. No reservations are necessary, simply come as you please between 5-10p. The wine pairing portion of our menu will be optional. Prix fixe price to be announced soon.)

Steve graciously provided some information about the winemakers from the line-up:

Lucas et Andre Rieffel
Near the town of Andlau, surrounding the village of Mittelbergheim, lie the 9.5ha of vineyards owned by Lucas Rieffel and his father André. Lucas took over the reins in 1996, and he has been working towards becoming organic ever since. Mostly Riesling (35%) his current crop of varietals is grown on a rich mix of sandstone, clay, marl, granite and limestone soils. His holdings include a tiny parcel of Grand Cru Wiebelsberg, he also makes impressive examples of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and a Klevner Pinot Blanc (aka Auxerrois) from 50-year-old vines. For the past four years he has been busy replacing the overly generous clones with a hand-picked ‘selection masale’ for greater quality. Vinification is a traditional blend of ‘foudres’ and stainless-steel.

Chateau du Courlat
The estate belongs to Mr Pierre Bourotte, also owner of Ch. Bonalgue and Clos du Clocher in Pomerol and is located at the north-west of the city of Lussac on one of the best parts of the appellation. The estate was bought by the family Bourotte-Audy in 1936. The vineyard dates back to the 18th century. 80% Merlot / 15% Cabernet Franc / 5% Cabernet Sauvignon / Age of the vines : 20-25 Lussac St. Emilion 2005

Henriques & Henriques – Madeira
Henriques & Henriques is the largest independently-owned winemaker, producer and shipper of Madeira and the only Ma- deira House who owns vineyards. Since the 15th century the Henriques have been leaders in the Madeira wine business.

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