In June 2011, Debbie Miller Nelson, Wine Manager, had the privilege of traveling to France and immersing herself in French food, culture, and most importantly, wine!
After leaving Alain and his puppy, we drove back to Vosnee-Romanee to meet John-Nicolas Meo at Meo-Camuzet. John-Nicolas was at our dinner the previous night, but he was not at my table and I was really excited about this tasting as I am a big fan of his wines. There is no tour. We move straight to the cellar to start tasting. It is here that my travel companion does the unthinkable –she breaks an empty glass in the cellar. If looks could kill – John-Nicolas gave one.
As we tasted 2009 barrel samples, John-Nicolas gave us his philosophy about the youth of France. That they have no ambition, no drive, no focus on their future, but take it day by day. He brought this up as he gestured towards some of his staff. He must have been having a bad day. None-the-less, his wines are amazing, exciting and I’ll definitely look forward to their release.
He cheered up for the picture.
Our last stop of this intense day was in upper Vosnee-Romanee was with Sylvain Cathiard. Sylvain recently upgraded all of his equipment to modern everything. He saw how much our group was interested and appreciated it and he warmed right up to us.
He even built a new state-of the art cellar where we tasted 2010 samples.
At the end of our tasting, we thanked him. But it was Sylvain, who wanted to thank us. He choked up and shed a few tears as he explained (in French) how exciting and humbling it was for him to see his wines on a NYC wine list or in a US retail store and see how much other people really enjoyed his wines. It was very emotional for him to tell us this and touching and humbling for us – a nice way to end a really intense day of tasting. For Americans who say that the French do not like Americans, they have never met anyone from Burgundy. They opened their homes, their wines and their hearts to us – perfect American strangers who shared a love for wine.
Dinner is at the home of importer Becky Wasserman and her English husband Russell Hone in Bouilland. They love to throw dinner parties judging by the 300 empty bottles on their front lawn including some DRC large formats.
There were about 15 people there for dinner including Alain Burguet, my 2nd boyfriend in France. He told our host John that I needed to sit next to him to so he could “chat me up.” Ah, those French!
Dinner was a huge buffet of pork, salad, potato salad, greens, cheese and an English pudding. I learned that I liked chinato from Italy and a good French style potato salad. Alain asked me to tell my customers about our love affair. So, now you know!
Life is good!
Next stop is our last day in Burgundy before driving to Chablis!
Available at Joe Canal’s:
Meo-Camuzet Marsannay Rouge 2008 $40.99/bottle
Meo-Camuzet Clos Vougeot 2004 BC$139.99
Meo-Camuzet Nuits St George Murger 2004 $106.99
Meo-Camuzet Nuits St George Les Perrieres 2005 BC $117.99
Meo-Camuzet Chambolle Musigny 2004 BC $52.94
Cathiard Bourgogno Rouge 2006 $39.99
Cathiard Romanee St Vivant 2006 BC $479.99
Cathiard Vosnee Romanee Les Suchots 2006 BC $164.99