Thursday, April 30, 2009

Immanuel Kant

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

(I'm letting this one simmer.)

Naked Belly Dancing

Hope that got your attention. Meet my other rockstar nephew, Kit :)

Palari's Faro di Sicilia

I enjoyed the 2004 last night with a friend at CarneVino. We shared the big eye tuna crudo, gamberos al diavolo, filet mignon accompanied by balsamic roasted baby portabello caps, and carrot cake. The Faro was a beautiful pairing with the many flavors and textures on the table. A touch of smoke, fresh red fruits, perky tannin - overall, a very satisfying lighter bodied red that sustained its presence throughout the meal.

Below is a notable excerpt from on this wine:

Sicily's most elegant wines come from this small producer located in the hills around Messina. The winemaking philosophy under Salvatore Geraci is simple: make two wines with the same indigenous grapes but with different selections. His top wine is the Faro. Faro (which means lighthouse) is a little DOC, almost the smallest in Italy. With just above 6 hectares (15 acres) in the DOC area, the production is clearly tiny. Sicily's increasing focus on modern production techniques and international varieties has had some great success, as at the Planeta estate; but Palari provides a refreshing respite from this trend with their great indigenous wines. This is a blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Nocera aged 12 months in Troncais oak barrels and then 12 months in the bottle.

Cocoon Hutnick

Maybe one day I'll wake up and be a butterfly...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where Are You (Going)?

Anyone who knows me is aware I'm a pretty solitary person. I like doing things alone and am not one to give up-to-the-minute status reports. My friends know I'm most likely happy and my acquaintances know they'll see me around in the next month. Is this a conventional way to live? Not if you want to get invited to things and establish your presence in a community. But for me, it works. I have no idea how I turned out this way, but hope this attitude will lead me to a lifetime of fascinating moments. Where are you going?*

*A whimsical Hutnick post, a timeless Dave Matthews song:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Menu Details

Domaine Serene

Is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year with tasting dinners across the country. Last night in Las Vegas, Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse put on a six course meal paired with Domaine Serene's finest wines. While owners Ken and Grace Evenstad weren't able to join us, Allan Carter and Michelle Farkus did an excellent job speaking to Domaine Serene's disciplined and delicate wine making process. I soon tasted for myself the result. A New World pinot noir (and even chardonnay) with the finesse and intensity of a special Burgundian encounter. Head chef, Ronnie Rainwater, and wine director, Kevin Vogt*, created an extrodinary culinary experience for their guests.

We enjoyed four vintages of their famous Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir - the 2001, 2002, 1996, and the 2006. The '02 was my favorite, boasting lively raspberry, tart cherry, and dried cranberry fruit notes graced by black tea flavors and gentle tannins that can still support some age (this was confirmed by the tasting of the '96).

Every dish served with the wine was excellent and will push me to venture outside my standard steakhouse order (shrimp cocktail and filet rare) next time I'm in for dinner. Personally, the most telling part of the night was my urge to revisit the '02 Chardonnay after the series of stellar pinots served with dinner. My white wine heart lies in Puligny-Montrachet,, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Meursault, so I surprised myself with craving for a reminder the of hazelnut and creme brulee notes that unfolded in this seven year old chardonnay from the Cote Sud vineyard in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. I highly recommend you track a bottle down.

*One of my mentors who's an MS and winemaker for his own label Mastery (Gemstone Vineyard, Napa Valley). Thank you, Kevin :) 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Blind Tasting

I had the privilege of participating in a blind tasting of classic wines hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers at Daniel Boulud (Wynn Las Vegas) yesterday. I made the stunning drive back to Sin City from the beach bright and early for this rare opportunity. Some bottles had been donated to The Guild that the attendees don’t come across regularly. I always learn so much from this forum of tasting – after we privately analyzed the wines and came to our own conclusions (country, region, area, quality level, varietal, vintage, and producer), we had a group discussion and then the wine was revealed to us. The deductive tasting format challenges your whole knowledge of wine and there are only a handful of people in the world who are right more than they are wrong.  It’s quite motivating and especially exciting when the wines are best in class. Here’s what we had. If you want specific tasting note, please leave a comment and I’ll get right back to you!

Wine #1: USA, California, Napa Valley, high, Bordeaux blend, 1994, Dominus
Wine #2: France, Northern Rhone, Ermitage, high, Syrah, 1996, Le Meal
Wine #3: France, Burgundy, Cote de Nuits, Clos Vougeot, Grand Cru (high), Pinot Noir, 1999, Alex Gambal
Wine #4: Italy, Piemonte, Barolo (high), Nebbiolo, 2001, Bartolo Mascarello
Wine #5: France, Bordeaux, Right Bank, Libournais, St. Émilion, high, Merlot, 1996, Château La Gomerie
Wine #6: Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, high, 60% Cab, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 1997, Guado Al Tasso

Can You

Run 3.2 miles? My four year old nephew (Grant) can! He finished his first 5K road race yesterday! This is the same little champ who rode a bike without training wheels at two and a half. Sorry to brag, but I think this is more news worthy than 95% of the live television that will air today :)