CONTRAST TOURS DINNERS

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George Harvin Parizade

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Table Clubroom Flowers

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Jeu de Mains Parizade

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Table Main Room Parizade

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Here is to You

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Noailles Bdx Sept 21

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Chateau Lehoul Rose Effect

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Serpent magique
Contrast Tours organises in the U.S., Dinners inspired by what we experience during the wine tours in France. Theses Dinners have two different formats:
  • WINE DINNERS: These are dinners conceived in partnership with a restaurant and its chef, in which a wine selection is paired with dishes elaborated for a perfect pairing and gastronomic experience.
  • ELITE FRENCH WINE TASTING DINNERS: This is a format that we I created to provide an educative and enjoyable experience, akin to what we do in France during Wine Tours: dishes from the restaurant's menu, are paired with typically several wines, enabling comparison and discussions about the qualities and nature of the wines, as well as how and why they provide a better experience with a given dish and beyond.
DECEMBER 15, 2023, PARIZADE HOLIDAY ELITE WINE TASTING DINNER, DURHAM.

Up to 10 Seats. SOLD OUT. Thank you.

Please contact me to be on the wait list, one never knows. Last Saturday somebody could not make it at the last minute ...
wine dinner, parizade
Wine Dinner Set Up at Parizade
The December 9 dinner, was supposed to be the last, but then it sold out, and so I thought that you all might want this ultimate one, which is likely to be the last one for this year!

The title says "Elite," and Elite it is, with 5 Grand Wines, which are destined to inspire you for your premium Holidays table and gifts. All wines will be for sale at the dinner.


PARIZADE, Durham.

Friday December 15, 6:30pm

Only 9 guests for now, plus this French Wine Specialist at Santa's Universal Operations.

$140 per person, including Tax and Gratuity. (Vegetarian: $126)

Please make your reservation with me: email with button at bottom of page, and send your payment after reading how on the page linked below.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at the dinner through Parizade, for gifts and your holidays table, see pricing schedule at bottom.



MENU:


MINGLE DRINK Bread and olive oil and Parizade Olives

DOMAINE RICHEAUME BLANC 2020, Biodynamic
Vermentino 25%, Grenache Blanc 25%, Viognier 25%, Sauvignon Blanc 25%.

A bit of an apéritif with this upscale Mediterranean white, vibrant and round, lush with delicates notes of golden biscuit, toasted almond and mirabelle (yellow plum).



RIBEYE
balsamic roasted mushrooms, grated horseradish

MAS DE CYNANQUE NOMINARIS, SAINT CHINIAN, 2017, Organic
100% Syrah Vieilles Vignes, 80 years old.

DOMAINE RICHEAUME TERRASSES 2015, Biodynamic
100% Syrah

CHATEAU LE CHATELET, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSÉ 2018
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. U.S. Exclusivity

Three wines from three different regions, offering a wide panorama at the elite level. These three wines are all top of the line from these exceptional producers, with original characteristics for each of them, presenting a variety of pairing approach with this dish.

The Nominaris will exemplify the unique character of Syrah in the south, with silky tannins and savors of cacao, coffee, prune, kirshed cherries in a velvety but evidently powerful delivery.

The Terrasses shows how Syrah can yield such different expressions, here somewhat fresher, with violet and black currant strong notes, accentuating a very complex and structured body.

The St Emilion Gd Cru Classé, is a wine that shines on its pedigree. A rather modern Saint Emilion, with a rich, somewhat meaty concentration, very polished tannins, and savors of black currant and cherry. Ultra satisfying and delicious.


VEGETARIAN: PUMPKIN GNOCCHI, spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, sage & brown butter alfredo.


CHOCOLATE TURTLE CAKE chocolate cake, caramel mousse, chocolate buttercream, toasted pecans

LA GRANDE ABBESSE, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU 2016
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

This Saint Emilion is vastly different than the one above. This isa wine that would also be served with filet, pork poultry, but is also very friendly to chocolate, notably thanks to its wealth in cherry aromas and savors of cacao, coffee.


I look forward to your company for this elite holiday celebration dinner.


Here is the wine Pricing Schedule:

* Domaine Richeaume Blanc: $29.99

* Mas de Cynanque Nominaris 2017, 80 years Old Vines Syrah, Saint Chinian: $45.99

* Domaine Richeaume Terrasses 2015, Old Vines Syrah, Provence: $92.99

* Chateau Le Chatelet 2018, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé, U.S. Exclusivity: $86.99

* La Grande Abbesse, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2016: $38.99

6 Bottles: 10% off
12 Bottles: 20% off
parizade
Parizade
DECEMBER 9, 2023, PARIZADE HOLIDAY WINE TASTING DINNER, DURHAM.

Up to 12 Seats. Sold Out
wine dinner, parizade
Wine Dinner Set Up at Parizade
The year is coming to a close, and we are due for one last 2023 dinner at Parizade. This will be the occasion to spend a good time in friends company, selecting in a great dish with somewhat unusual wines.


PARIZADE, Durham.

Saturday December 09, 6:30pm

Only room for 11 guests plus this French Wine Ambassador.

$78 per person, including Tax and Gratuity. (Vegetarian: $72)

Please make your reservation with me: email with button at bottom of page, and send your payment after reading how on the page linked below.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at the dinner through Parizade, for gifts and your holidays table.



MENU:


MINGLE DRINK Bread and olive oil

CHATEAU ROMANIN BLANC 2019, Biodynamic Demeter
Vermentino 40%, Roussanne 24%, Clairette 22%, Grenache Blanc 14%. Decanter Gold Medal with 95 Rating.

Before going to the rather substantial dish, we'll rebuild the world some, and wet our palate with this delicious white from Provence, all in finesse, with an extreme roundness and minerality.



PORK CHOP
roasted apple & butternut squash puree, bacon jam

SYLVAIN GAUTHIER, SYRAH d'ARDÈCHE, 2019
100% Syrah.

CORINNE DEPEYRE PHACÉLIES, 2018, Organic
60% Grenache, 40% Carignan Old Vines

DOMAINE CATHALA, CUVÉE A, 2017
Syrah 75%, Mourvèdre 15%, Grenache 10%

All the wines for this dinner are quite out of the ordinary, and the three reds match this theme. The Syrah d'Ardèche is like a Beaujolais from Syrah, meaning a rather light wine, but with rather dynamic pepper in the finish. A really fresh and surprising curiosity in a bottle. The Phacélies is an unusual blend, developing a rather unusual feel where the red cherry of the Grenache plays with the blueberry, plum and violette from the Carignan, and vice versa. Another positively surprising mix of savors. The Cuvée A is a very well balanced wine with a dominance of violette, towering otherwise rather present ripe cherry savors, with cigar box and light garrigue accents.


VEGETARIAN: PUMPKIN GNOCCHI, spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, sage & brown butter alfredo.


BANANA RUM NAPOLEON crispy housemade phyllo layers stacked with banana-rum pastry cream, fresh bananas, finished with Chantilly cream, raspberry & caramel sauces

CHATEAU VIGNOL BLANC DOUX 2019
Sémillon 60%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%

This is a rather simple, but pleasant white to finish a meal. It is rather dry, but with quite a concentration of aromas (apricot, raisins in marc and more) to agreement a dessert.


I look forward to your company for this friendly holiday celebration dinner.
parizade
Parizade
THE LAST SUPPER

NOVEMBER 16, 2023, SMOKY PARK SUPPER CLUB, ELITE WINE TASTING DINNER, ASHEVILLE.

Up to 11 Seats. 3 Seats Remaining
wine dinner
Wine Dinner at Smoky Park Supper Club
I am really thrilled to be able to offer one Last Supper, a Wine Tasting Dinner at Smoky Park Supper Club, in Partnership with Asheville's Premier Wine Shop Metro Wines. The previous iteration was delightful and this menu should put us all in Thanksgiving mode. And yes, given the quality of the food and of the wines, this is "Elite" material, but if you know me, you may trust that it is also very easy going, relaxed high brow!


SMOKY PARK SUPPER CLUB

Thursday November 16, 6:30pm

Only room for 11 guests plus this French Wine Frontline Missionary.

$106 per person, including Tax and Gratuity.

Please make your reservation with me: email with button at bottom of page, and send your payment after reading how on the page linked below.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at the dinner through Metro Wines.



MENU:


FIRE ROASTED MUSSELS tomato and coconut broth, siri siri cream, farofa, cilantro

CHATEAU LA FLEUR DES PINS, GRAVES BLANC 2019
80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon. Aged in Oak.

PATRICK GALANT CAIRANNE GALIFAY BLANC 2021
100% Chardonnay, Vin Nature


The Graves blanc is a natural choice for this dish. Its light oakyness, supporting rather forceful stone fruit and citrus savors is the perfect balance for this rather "palate present" seafood. The Cairanne Blanc is a comparable wine, but from the Rhône, therefore more buttery and less citrusy, with distinctive white floral notes whose intensity is enhanced by an unusual wood character, a bit smoky with a light toast. This appetizer and its pairings should provide a lot of contrasting palate sensations.



WOOD GRILLED BISTRO STEAK
mustard cream, shiitake bacon gremolata, roasted carrots and parsnips

PATRICK GALANT CAIRANNE VIEILLES VIGNES, 2016
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. 12 months in small oak casts

MAS DE CYNANQUE CARISSIMO, 2017, Organic
Carignan Vieilles Vignes, 117 years old (1900)

A real dichotomy here, between a delicious Rhône wine, somewhat evolved, with polished tannins, a velvet like smoothness, and piercing aromas of violette still resounding from its youth, and the mother of all Carignan wines, from extremely rare old vines, with also a fair amount of evolution resulting in a perfect integration of the barrel aging, and delivering a tamed version of the blue character of Carignan. A real marvel.



NC LOCAL APPLES CRISP oat toping, vanilla bean Ice Cream

CHATEAU VIGNOL BLANC DOUX 2019
Sémillon 60%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%

This a rather simple, inexpensive but pleasant white to finish a meal. It is rather dry, but with quite a concentration of aromas (apricot, raisins in marc and more) to agreement a dessert in a way that could easily become addictive.


I look forward to your company for this utterly cosy and pleasant dinner.
cairanne
Cairanne, the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux, seen from the vines producing Patrick Galant's Cairanne wines.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023, ISAAC TAYLOR WINE DINNER.

Up to 27 Seats.
wine dinner
Wine Dinner Experience
I am extremely excited to present the first Wine Dinner at Isaac Taylor's gardens, in New Bern, done in partnership with Savi's wines, which will handle ticketing and the wine sales.


Saturday November 11, 7:00pm

Up to 27 guests plus this French Wine Frontline Commando.

$89 per person.

Please make your reservation with Savi's Wine


MENU:


9 RAW N.C. COAST SALINE OYSTERS lemon, pepper, bread, butter

CHATEAU VIGNOL ENTRE DEUX MERS 2022
Sauvignon Blanc 60%, Sauvignon Gris 15%, Sémillon 15%, Muscadelle 10%

KARIM VIONNET BEUR BLANC 2021, BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES BLANC
100% Chardonnay, Vin Nature

CHATEAU FARLURET 2016, BARSAC-SAUTERNES
90% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc

This Entre Deux Mers is the reference in that appellation, for its complexity and fruitiness, enhanced with floral notes of honey suckle. A delicious classic with oysters. The Beaujolais Blanc provides a pure and juicy expression of Chardonnay, another classic pairing, but from the opposite side of the wine spectrum, with a more buttery approach. The Barsac is a slightly aerial Sauternes, therefore rather modern in style, very aromatic and perfectly balanced, personally my favorite of all the oyster pairings. It is a rare experience to taste all three such wines, that provide a wide panorama of oyster pairings.



PAELLA


MAS PEYROLLE, ESPRIT 2017, PIC SAINT LOUP, Organic
Syrah 50%, Mourvèdre 30%, Grenache 10%, Cinsault 10%

DOMAINE DU PARANDOU, SABLET ROUGE 2019, HVE
50% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 15% Cinsault

Both of these wines have touches of smoke, ripe cherry aromas, and a licorice finish with a minty overtone. They are unmistakably different though, and equally suited to accompany this dish perfectly.


LAURA'S BISCOTTIS FOR SAUTERNES Almonds, Pine Nuts, Orange Blossom Water

CHATEAU HAUT BERGERON 2016, SAUTERNES
85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc

This dessert is inspired by an Italian tradition, of dipping certain biscuits or Biscottis in Vino Santo. I have researched with Laura (a customer from the Provence Wine Tour who is certifiably a "foodie," and bakes a lot) a recipe for biscotti that would marry well with Sauternes. We will experience the result for the first time, now that some tests made with a few volunteers seem to confirm that it works.


I look forward to your company for this unique dinner inspired by the beautiful location.
raw oysters
Oysters in a French Fashion
NOVEMBER 9, 2023, PARIZADE WINE DINNER, DURHAM.

French Treasures Wine Dinner
parizade wine dinner
Parizade Wine Dinner
This is one of my two wine dinners in the year at Parizade, and traditionally, this one coming at the beginning of the holiday season, is the launch of all the extravagance that is going to take place between now and January 1st.

Indeed, we have here the one of the most impressive wine line up ever, and of course with dishes elaborated by Jason lawless, that will set the stage for a very upscale gastronomic event, in total harmony with the exceptional wines. These include a Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé and a White Chateauneuf du Pape among other treasures.


Thursday November 9th, 6:30pm

At Parizade

$115 per person plus taxes and gratuity.

Vegetarian and Gluten Free substitutions possible, if mentioned at booking.

Please make your reservation at 919-286-9712.


MENU:


CAVIAR Black truffle custard, toasted brioche, chives

KARIM VIONNET, BEUR BLANC, BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES BLANC 2021
100% Chardonnay Vin Nature.

This wine proposes a very natural feeling and juicy expression of Chardonnay.



CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ ON CROSTINI
dried fig and orange chutney, local honey

PATRICK GALANT, CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE BLANC LA NONCIATURE 2021
45% Grenache Blanc, 25% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, 10% Bourboulenc

A true to form Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, with a complex blend and resulting taste based on Grenache Blanc, bringing a symphony of mild garrigue notes.



LOBSTER AND WINTER SQUASH BISQUE tarragon, spiced whipped cream

CHATEAU ROMANIN, AOP BAUX DE PROVENCE ROSÉ 2020, Biodynamic Demeter
60% Grenache, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 % Syrah, 9 % MourveĢ€dre. Decanter Silver Medal, 92 Rating

The best rosé in my portfolio, totally enchanting, with notes of white peach and strawberry piercing through an extraordinary minerality.



HERB CRUSTED COD bacon, clams, Scallions, fingerling potatoes, Parmesan Brodo

KARIM VIONNET, CHIROUBLES 2021
100% Gamay Vin Nature, Carbonic Maceration.

This will be a chance to experience a juicy red wine well suited for fish, a surprising and perfect marriage.



GRILLED NY STRIP parsnip, carrot, and potato gratin, Bordelaise sauce

CHATEAU LE CHATELET, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSÉ 2018
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

A Grand Cru Classé from Bordeaux in all its strength. A wine of exceptional concentration, with very polished tannins, and a seemingly endless depth, with black currant and cherry overtones.



PEAR AND ALMOND TART Chantilly cream

MAS DE CYNANQUE HESPÉRIDES 2015, VDF de SAINT CHINIAN, Organic
Grenache Blanc et Gris Surmuris

An extremely rare wine, maybe unique in the world, quite dry with aromas of grappa, raisins in alcohol, and a touch of caramel.



I can't wait to share this moment with you, around these exceptional dishes and wines.
karim Vionnet
Karim Vionnet at the watering hole up his chai.
NOVEMBER 2, 2023, BORDEAUX WINE DINNER WITH METRO WINES AND AMBROSIA EVENTS, IN ASHEVILLE.

Up to 40 Seats. 6 Seats Remaining
bordeaux rooftop bar
Let's have a Taste of Bordeaux
I am extremely excited to present the my Wine Dinner with Asheville's Premier Wine Shop Metro Wines, and with nobody else but Sam Etheridge of Ambrozia Events in the Kitchen. Sam is a fantastic chef, and I am thankful to be able to work on this fabulous dinner made by him, one of the few chefs in NC who could pull a menu like this one.

This dinner illustrates the June 2024 Bordeaux Wine Tour done in partnership with Metro Wines, and their very special envoy on location: Andy Hale. Yes, I know, you wish you had known sooner, because now all spots for the tour are reserved. But not all hopes are lost, please contact me and get on the wait list, one never knows, you might also want to look at the other tours next year, there are still a few spots available for both of them, but probably not for very long.

This dinner will be a rather true to form Bordeaux Dinner, with the type of food that we indulge on during the tour, and that Bordelais favor, paired with as wide a range as was possible to display in one dinner, of my premier Bordeaux selection. There will even be some previous tour participant(s) at the dinner, and most likely as well, some of the "fast to click" visionaries who are counting the days to this elegant journey, full of history, style and sensual rewards.


Thursday November 2nd, 6:30pm

At Engaged

Up to 40 guests plus this French Wine Frontline Paraboot Trooper, Andy Hale and Metro Staff.

$95 per person plus taxes.

Please make your reservation here. (But hurry, just a few left!)


MENU:


6 RAW OYSTERS lemon, pepper, bread, butter

CHATEAU VIGNOL ENTRE DEUX MERS 2022
Sauvignon Blanc 60%, Sauvignon Gris 15%, Sémillon 15%, Muscadelle 10%

CHATEAU LA FLEUR DES PINS, GRAVES BLANC 2019
80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon. Aged in Oak.

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES SUPÉRIEURES 2020
90% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc

Raw oysters is one of the must have French delicacies, and they are everywhere in Bordeaux. One of the reasons is that Bordeaux Blancs are some of the very best wines to pair with them. If you have never had oysters, and are reluctant to try, please do yourself a favor, close your eyes if you have to, leave the brain aside, smell the ocean in the oyster, and go for it. Because not only are oysters a very healthy food when raised properly, but they are also one of the very best companion to most white wines, which they help appreciate better.

We will have oysters here, with a superb Entre Deux Mers, rich, complex and deliciously aromatic, where the Sémillon and Muscadelle balance the citrus from the Sauvignons with a touch of stone fruit and honey suckle.

The Graves Blanc displays all the character of Sémillon, and is therefore infused with stone fruits savors very well integrated with a touch of wood that will bring a tad of smokiness with the oysters. And the Graves Supérieures, also known as "Moelleux," is a semi Sauternes, if I may write. This means a wine that is not "dry" anymore, and displays most of the characteristics of a Sauternes, in a drier format. I will explain at the dinner how such a wine is produced. It is one of the very best pairings possible with oysters, combining salt and sweet.



FOIE GRAS
fennel apple chutney, little gem salad, cider vinaigrette

CHATEAU HAUT-BERGERON, SAUTERNES 2013
85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc

Foie Gras is another specialty of the countrysides surrounding Bordeaux, and of course Sauternes is one of the best pairings known to man with this exquisite preparation. I am very, very, very proud of my Sauternes producer. People on my tours have seen them win competitions where the elite of Bordeaux was participating. Chateau Haut-Bergeron is THE Sauternes that wine aficionados in the know, drink. And this 2013 vintage is perfect for Foie Gras.



DUCK CONFIT TERRINE cherry bordelaise, winter squash, garlic greens

CHATEAU COULONGE MALBEC 2016, Transition Organic
100% Malbec

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAND VIN DE GRAVES 2019
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot

CHATEAU LE CHATELET, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSÉ 2018
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

When foie gras is part of the diet, duck is too. Bordeaux wines with their lightness, mellowness and depth, are especially suited for Duck, a rather lean meat with an unmistakable light but gamy taste.

It seems to be little known here, but Malbec is actually original from Bordeaux, and this one is just perfect, with its classic Malbec bouquet, blueberry, blackberry, violette, distinctively enhanced by an overtone of bland tobacco in mid palate.

The Ch. Léhoul Grand Vin is a superb Graves, deep and complex, with notes of tobacco, black currant, blackberry. The Saint Emilion, is a grand cru classé that I import in exclusivity, which is very rare. It is coming from some of the very best plots in Saint Emilion. It will surprise you by its concentration and soft but determined power, delicately but surely conquering the palate with cherry and black currant savors.



BLUE CHEESE CHEESECAKE poached pear, spiced honey syrup, pecan crumble

CHATEAU HAUT BERGERON 2016, SAUTERNES
85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc

Blue Cheese is the perfect pairing with Sauternes, and a dessert like this one is rare, magical. Be prepared for a bouquet final resembling these fire works along the river in Bordeaux, with a lot of flavors bouncing off of each others.


This dinner is a super rare treat, and I can't wait to share this moment of ecstasy with you.
raw oysters
Oysters in a French Fashion
OCTOBER 12, 2023, PROVENCE WINES TASTING DINNER, AT AVENUE M, ASHEVILLE NC.

Up to 18 Seats available.
avenue m, toast
Wine Dinner Toast at Avenue M
I am thrilled to now offer a Wine Tasting Dinner in Asheville at Avenue M, in the same exact format I have done so many times in Durham.

Avenue M is one of the most true to form Farm to Table restaurants in town, of superb quality with its new chef Jennifer Cole, who really brings up the Asheville food horizon, strong of her long history in some of the best kitchens in the world, including long tenures in Madrid and Paris.

This dinner is dedicated to the beautiful and surprising wines of the Provence Wine Tour.


AVENUE M

Thursday October 12, 6:30pm

Up to 18 guests plus this French Wine Frontline Commando.

$124 per person, including gratuity and taxes.

Please make your reservation with me: email with button at bottom of page, and send your payment after reading how on the page linked below.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at great pricing.


MENU:


PLEASE NOTE THAT AVENUE M'S MENU CHANGES OFTEN, AND THAT CONSEQUENTLY SOME DISHES HERE MAY BE SUBSTITUTED, INCLUDING POSSIBLY THE DAY OF THE DINNER. WINES THOUGH SHOULD REMAIN THE SAME. PLEASE LET ME KNOW OF ANY DIETARY RESTRICTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE.


BEET SALAD roasted, raw, goat cheese, spicy pecans

CHATEAU ROCHECOLOMBE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2021, Organic
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah. Paris Gold Medal.

PATRICK GALANT CAIRANNE VIEILLES VIGNES 2016
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. 12 months in small oak casts

Chateau Rochecolombe's Côtes du Rhône is the standard against which all other Côtes du Rhône are measured, in this price category for which it delivers way more than should be anticipated. It is juicy, supple, veery aromatic with a dominance of raspberry and plum, a salivating mâche (chew), and a delightful grey licorice finish.

Patrick Galant's Cairanne Vieilles Vignes 2016 is like a slightly softer Chateauneuf du Pape. It is suave, velvety, with a soft power and very well integrated flavors of violet.

This duo offers side by side a fresh but profound wine with an aged cru, that share a common Rhône wines character.



HICKORY NUT GAP BEEF CHEEKS
sweet potato puree, shallot confit, lion's mane mushrooms, chocolate & red wine sauce

CHATEAU ROCHECOLOMBE CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2021, Organic
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.

DOMAINE RICHEAUME TRADITION RED 2018, Biodynamic
Syrah 47%, Grenache 43%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%

SCAMANDRE 2011, COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES, Organic
50% Syrah, 20% Carignan, 15% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre

The Chateau Rochecolombe CDRV is a more aerial version of Côtes du Rhône than the one with the first course, very substantial nevertheless, and quite elegant as well.

Domaine Richeaume is one of the very best estate in all of Provence, its secret fame is well tambourines through the grapevine, for it delivers wines like this Tradition 2018, that carry a freshness exempt of acidity, serving flavors of blackberry, cassis and plum, that accentuate a fleshy body to meet quasi universal acclaim.

Scamandre is one of the very top, if not the very top Costières de Nîmes, the appellation from Camargue, the estuary of the Rhône river. At 12 years of age, this wine is still ultra fresh and kicking, although in a gentle fashion with a soft tamed power that evokes the strength of the native toros of that area, with dark red fruits flavors that brighten under the sun, and totally domesticated tannins.


BREAD PUDDING cranberries, sherry caramel, whipped cream

PATRICK GALANT DIMANCHE D'OCTOBRE 2012
Viognier Vendanges Tardives

A rather unique wine, because very dry, with aromas of quince and gentle alcohol. A very rare wine that will most likely enchant you at the end of this meal.


I look forward to celebrate wines from the Provence Wine Tour with you..
cairanne, dentelles, mont ventoux
View on Cairanne, the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux from Patrick Galant's Vineyard.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2023, WINE DINNER, AT BLU, FARM TO TABLE, WASHINGTON NC.

Up to 30 Seats available.
blu, wine dinner
Wine Dinner at Blu, Farm to table.
Washington NC, the original Washington, is a rather small town, a destination for folks seeking a place with style and a far away feel, even if only about 2 hours from the Triangle. As I have said before, this is Amazonia in North America (I don't do Florida). Think how far you go, in so little time.

Don't miss this lovely dinner on Farm to table rooftop with view on the water.


BLU Farm to Table

Friday September 29, 6:30pm

Up to 30 guests plus you know who.

$115 per person, plus gratuity and taxes.

Please make your reservation at (252) 833-0701 or Vickie@laneblu.com

Wines will be available for purchase at excellent pricing from Wine and Words, the treasure wine shop in Washington.



MENU:


GOUGÈRES

DOMAINE DU CASSARD, CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX
100% Sémillon

An uncommon sparkling wine, which one of the recent Mayors of Bordeaux served at City Hall. Crisp and rather dry, with citrus and pear aromas on a yeasty structure with fine bubbles. Very pleasant and refreshing.



CRAB AND SQY+UASH IN HOUSE MADE PASTRY PUFF


CHATEAU COULONGE MARCEAU, BORDEAUX BLANC 2019, Organic
100% Muscadelle, No Added Sulfites, non filtered

Muscadelle is a difficult grape to grow, and you will not see a lot of 100% Muscadelle wines. As a matter of fact, even this exceptional producer cannot produce it very often. So let's delight ourselves on this 2019, which by now is very rounded and maintains its lovely honey suckle aromas.



FLOUNDER

CHATEAU VIGNOL LOUISIANE, BORDEAUX BLANC 2019
Muscadelle 40%, Sauvignon 30%, Sémillon 30%

A golden Bordeaux white, with a delicate mix of stone fruit and honey suckle aromas. Another unique wine that has not been replicated since this vintage. To enjoy while it lasts.



BRAISED AND SEARED SHORT RIBS, spices, squash

MAS PEYROLLE PIC ESPRIT 2017, PIC SAINT LOUP, organic
Syrah 50%, Mourvèdre 30%, Grenache 10%, Cinsault 10%

A full body wine from Languedoc, with well rounded tannins and aromas of cherry with a strong finale on black licorice with a mint accent. A profound complexity able to tame the power of this dish.



TIRAMISU WITH PEARS SOAKED IN SMOKY BOURBON

MAS DE CYNANQUE HESPÉRIDES 2015, VDF FROM SAINT CHINIAN, organic
Grenache Blanc et Gris Surmuris (Late harvest)

A probably unique wine, rather dry, with aromas of grappa and a touch of caramel. A mild digestive to enchant the palate at the end of the meal.



I look forward to enjoy your company in this unique Washington venue.
muscadelle vines
Chateau Coulonge Muscadelle vines that produce the Chateau Coulonge Marceau, a very rare and high value wine. Muscadelle is not easy to grow.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2023 FRENCH WINES PAIRING WITH SOUTH ASIAN FOOD

WINE DINNER AT KRILL, DURHAM
krill, wine dinner
Wine Dinner at Krill
The Wine Tasting Dinner at Krill last March was a big success, and we now present a full scale Wine Dinner, elaborated with love by Chef Karl Sosa, Mustafa and yours truly. Expect a plunge in a different universe, with flavors and pairings to challenge and mood swing.


KRILL, Dinner is at 6:30

$90 per person, plus gratuity and taxes.

Wines will be available for purchase at excellent pricing.


RESERVATIONS


MENU:


CRAB TAKOYAKI, Bonito flakes, eel sauce. Sesame seeds

DOMAINE DU CASSARD CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX
100% Sémillon, Méthode Champenoise.

A lovely bubbly from Bordeaux with substance and aromas or pear, lemon, on a yeasty background.


SEARED SCALLOP
Citrus-Soy beurre blanc, pea puree

CHATEAU COULONGE MARCEAU 2019, BORDEAUX WHITE, organic
100% Muscadelle, No Added Sulfites, non filtered.

A rather aromatic and rare white wine, above all floral, with very present aromas of honey suckle and a great finesse.


RAMBUTAN AND PINEAPPLE SALAD, Jicama, red onions, scallions, coconut vinaigrette

CHATEAU ROMANIN ALPILLES ROSÉ 2020, Biodynamic
65% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon

A somewhat evolved rosé, displaying both fresh and jammed fruit aromas, notably of peach, as well as tertiary smoky savors enhancing its profoundity. A totally out of the ordinary wine able to stand its ground.


SINGAPOREAM STIR-FRY NOODLES, Pork and shrimp shumai, carrots, cabbage, scallions, red onions, crispy garlic oil

CHATEAU VIGNOL BORDEAUX CLAIRET 2022
90% Merlot , 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

A light red, fresh and aromatic, with notably savors of pomegranate and cherry.


GOJUCHANG GLAZED RIB, Purple cauliflower puree, smoked chili oil, crispy shallots and garlic

DOMAINE DU PARANDOU, SABLET 2019
50% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 15% Cinsault

A more aerial cru from the Southern Rhône, with deeper fruit on a smoky body refreshed by a mint finale.


UBE HALAYA, Keso ice cream, corn flakes, raspberries

CHATEAU FARLURET, BARSAC 2016
90% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc

A Sauternes full of vivacity, fresh and brilliantly aromatic with an exotic fruits accent.



I look forward to sharing this evening of culinary creativity with you all.
robin grangeon, domaine du parandou, sablet
Robin Grangeon, Domaine du Parandou, Sablet
SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 FRENCH FAMILY SECRET, WINE DINNER AT PLUM, DURHAM

Only 23 Seats plus your Accomplice Host. SOLD OUT
trenton shank, plum, chef
Trenton Shank, Plum's wonder chef
I am extremely excited to finally be able to present this Dinner with Trenton Shank, Plum's young but decidedly out of the ordinary talented chef. We put together a menu which dwells on Trenton's rather rare experience in certain culinary fields put in evidence here. For the wines, we are definitely in the category that you keep for family, rare wines of high quality from under-rated appellations that one often does not want to share too broadly ...

PLUM, Dinner is at 6:00

$100 per person, plus gratuity and taxes.

Only 23 guests, plus this French Wines Front Line Worker.

Wines will be available for purchase at excellent pricing.

RESERVATIONS


MENU:


HIMACHI CRUDO, Mirin-Apple Ponzu, Endive, Filo.

DOMAINE DU CASSARD CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX
100% Sémillon, Méthode Champenoise.

A lovely bubbly from Bordeaux with substance and aromas or pear, lemon, on a yeasty background.


RADICCHI,
Fresh and Preserved Figs, Bailey Hazen Blue Jasper Hills Cellars, Charred Honey Vinaigrette.

DOMAINE DE LESCURE À L'AVENIR 2020, Fronton
100% Négrette.

A rather aromatic read wine from an obscur appellation west of Toulouse. Just on the lighter side, with clear savors of strawberries and a pronounced violette accent. A wine especially suited for vegetal dishes.


CHÈVRE AND SCALLOP AGNOLOTTI, Grapefruit Beurre Blanc, Thyme

CHATEAU LA FLEUR DES PINS, 2019, Graves Blanc
80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon. Aged in Oak.

A delicious Bordeaux white, well rounded from a strong vintage, expressing aromas of citrus goldened with stone fruits.


SMOKER BRAISED COLLAR STEAK, Parsnip purée, Lexington Demi-Glace, Charred Sweet Peppers

PATRICK GALANT CAIRANNE VIEILLES VIGNES 2016
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. 12 months in small oak casts

Extremely rounded tannins, first by the olde vines, then with aging, a very mellowed Rhône wine of substance, velvety and suave, with profound notes of violette and cherry. We are not far from Chateauneuf du Pape, and it shows.


POMEGRANATE MACARON, cassis, Chocolate silk, Almond.

CORINNE DEPEYRE AMITIÉS 2015, Organic
100% Grenache Rouge Late Harvest.

A very rare wine evoking a Banyuls, in a substantially drier and fresher version. A definite presence of cherry savors ideal for chocolate pairing.



This will be an intimate setting for an evening of culinary surprise for just a few.
cairanne, dentelles, mont ventoux
View on Cairanne, the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux from Patrick Galant's Vineyard.
AUGUST 30, 2023, WINE DINNER, CYPRESS HALL, NEW BERN.

Only 24 Seats plus your thankful host.
cypress hall, new bern
Cypress Hall, New Bern
Cypress Hall

WednesdayAugust 30, 6:30

$95 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Wines will be available for purchase.


MENU:


BOUILLABAISSE, octopus, potato, fennel, tomato, saffron

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES BLANC FÛTS 2020
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, aged in oak.


STUFFED QUAIL bacon, pine nut, raisin, calvados

KARIM VIONNET CHIROUBLES 2021
00% Gamay Vin Nature, Carbonic Maceration.


PLUM TART WITH CHÈVRE CRÊME PATISSIÈRE

DOMAINE DU CASSARD CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX
100% Sémillon

A light, dry and refreshing bubbly with a lemony and slightly yeasty accent



I look forward to this evening of joy in my favorite New bern restaurant.
chateau lehoul, bordeaux, graves
Jean-Philipe et Nicolas, the honest faces of Chateau Léhoul.
JULY 22, 2023, VARIATIONS ON WHITES AND ROSÉS, PARIZADE, DURHAM.

Only 14 Seats plus your thankful host.
parizade
Parizade
Refreshing and out of the ordinary wines for summer.

Parizade

Saturday July 22, 6:30

$105 per person, including tax and gratuity. ($90 for Vegetarian option)

14 seats max.

Please make your reservation with me: email with button at bottom of page.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at great pricing.


MENU:


WATERMELON AND BARREL AGED FETA

CHATEAU ROMANIN ALPILLES ROSÉ 2021, Biodynamci Demeter
65% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon

CHATEAU VIGNOL, CLARET 2022
90% Merlot , 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Stunning minerality and lovely aromas in the Provence rosé, a watermelon like concentration and pomegranate aromas in the Claret, the original Bordeaux wine. This is a true variation on the lighter shades of red.


SEARED BRANZINO broccolini, mixed olives, smoked tomato salsa

CHATEAU GRAVES BLANC SEC 2022
80% Sauvignon Banc, 20% Sémillon

CHATEAU GRAVES BLANC SEC 2019
80% Sauvignon Banc, 20% Sémillon

I have kept a handful of bottles of the 2019 in order to share this rare opportunity to taste side by side, two different vintages of this wine that year in and year out, enchants white wine drinkers with its stunning crispness and aromatic complexity. It is likely that the 2019 will have developed tertiary aromas of delighting interest.


VEGETARIAN SUBSTITUTION: Marinara Spaghetti


STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

DOMAINE DU CASSARD CRÉMANT DE EBORDEAUX
100% Sémillon

A light, dry and refreshing bubbly with a lemony and slightlyyeasty accent



I look forward to sharing this pink and white dinner with you.
chateau lehoul, bordeaux, graves
Jean-Philipe et Nicolas, the honest faces of Chateau Léhoul.
JULY 20, 2023, AROUND CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE WINE DINNER, AT AVENUE M, ASHEVILLE.

avenue m, restaurant
Avenue M
Avenue M has a new chef, one that friends of mine have highly recommended, yes the world is small. Jennifer has worked in top restaurants in Paris and Spain, so I am quite confident that this will be a great wine Dinner, just upon my return in the country.

Avenue M

Thursday July 20, 6:30

$120 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

65 seats max.

Reservation: (828) 350-8181

Wines will be available for purchase at great pricing.


MENU:

Avenue M is a Farm to table restaurant, and it is not possible at this time to know what the dishes will be, but if you have any dietary restrictions, please let it be known at reservation, and the kitchen will accommodate you.

So just expect great dishes to pair with these wonder wines around :

1

DOMAINE RICHEAUME TRADITION WHITE 2020, Biodynamic
25% Vermentino, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Viognier

This is phenomenal Grenache blanc type of white, with a slightly golden color connected to its delicious notes of mirabelle and slight white flowers. Very round and persistent.


2


CHATEAU ROMANIN ALPILLES ROSÉ 2020, Biodynamci Demeter
70% Grenache, 30% Counoise

Stunning mineralogy in this beautiful rosé, rounded by a couple of years in bottle, delivering persistent subtle aromas of ripe white peach, raspberry.


3

CORINNE DEPEYRE, PHACÉLIES 2018, CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2018, Organic
60% Grenache, 40% Carignan Old Vines

A fair amount of concentration in this rather pulpous and ample wine with aromas of cherry, blackberry, black currant, with a licorice slightly spicy finale.


4

PATRICK GALANT, CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE LA NONCIATURE ROUGE, 2017
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. Parker 91-94

A wine delivering what should be expected from this appellation: concentration, smoothness, ampleness. Here augmented with aromas of violette, cherry, lavender, garrigue, cigar box, gentle licorice. A very complex and enchanting wine,


5

MAS DE CYNANQUE, HESPÉRIDES 2015, Organic:
Grenache Blanc et Gris Surmuris (late harvest)

This is a rather rare and dry liquor like wine, with aromas of grappa, notes of caramel, intensely satisfying.



I look forward to experiencing this exceptional wine dinner with you between two Provence Wine Tours.
corinne depeyre, vigneronne
Corinne Depeyre, Vignes Rhône
APRIL 27, 2023, FRENCH WINE DINNER, AT THE GUINGUETTE, BLACK MOUNTAIN.

Only 24 Seats plus your thankful host. SOLD OUT

Please contact me to see if we can squeeze you in.

wine dinner, wine tasting dinner, cecilia's
Previous Wine Dinner at Cecilia's in Asheville
Cecilia is throwing a wine dinner again, this time at her Black Mountain location. Don't miss it, this menu is terrific, and of course the wines will leave their mark. All at in an unpretentious, fun and festive location, lovely conviviality at a bargain price.

LA GUINGUETTE French and Latin Café, Black Mountain

Thursday April 27, 6:00

Up to 24 guests plus you know who.

$95 per person

Reservation: 888-434-7810 or INFO@CECILIASKITCHEN.COM

Wines will be available for purchase at wonder pricing.


MENU:


Mise en Bouche trout gougère, petit croque-monsieur, paté de campagne

Fontaine du Clos, Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2020
Viognier 60%, Marsanne 40%

A Vacqueyras Blanc is one of the best whites produced in the Rhône Valley. It is typically floral, and this one exhibits delicate white flower aromas, on an aerial texture punctuated by apricot notes. A delight to wet your appetite.



SALADE AU CHÉVRE


DOMAINE CATHALA, CUVÉE A BLANC 2020, SANT CHINIAN
Grenache Blanc 50%, Roussane 30%, Marsanne 20%

A dry but aromatic white from Languedoc. Dominated by the round dryness of Grenache blanc, enhanced with aromas of apricots from the two other varietals. A different and delicious white, ideal with goat cheese.



BOURRIDE

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES BLANC FÛT, 2020
65% Sémillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in oak.

this wine is a firework of aromas, citrus, mango, lichee, passion fruit, that will hold their ground to danse a festive complicit chachacha with this very powerful dish.



LAMB CHOPS rosemary butter, gratin dauphinois

DOMAINE RICHEAUME TRADITION 2017, Biodynamic
Syrah 47%, Cabernet Sauvignon 18%, Grenache 43%, Tempranillo 13%, Merlot 12%. Gold Medal Decanter, 95 rating.

Superb Provence Red, fresh, unctuous and rich in multiple aromas, notably plum, black currant, blackberry. The wine of reference with lamb.



CHOCOLATE MOUSSE MILLEFEUILLE

LA GRANDE ABBESSE, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU, 2016:
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

A light cherry attaque, then some unmistakable coffee and chocolate accents, all cooled by the Cabernet Franc. This wine blows the hot and the cold, and pairs delightfully with chocolate.


Cecilia always offer a fun and festive environment, here with gastronomy, a sum that makes life how we like it..
domaine richeaume
Domaine Richeaume
APRIL 20, 2023, WINE DINNER, PARIZADE, DURHAM.

parizade, spring, restaurant
Parizade in the Spring
Dinner is at 6:30 at Parizade.

I am just back from a scouting trip to France, preparing for the spring and fall wine tours there, and I am excited to resume my dinners series with the star of the whole show: a Parizade Wine Dinner. If you have not made your reservation yet, don't delay, there is not always room for everyone at these Parizade dinners, among the very best in the whole State and beyond.

6 special courses from Chef Jason Lawless to ideally pair with with 6 wines selected by yours truly.

$115 plus gratuity and taxes.


RESERVATIONS or (919) 286-9712



MENU:


GOAT CHEESE CROQUETTES saffron Aïoli

DOMAINE CATHALA, SAINT CHINIAN CUVÉE A BLANCm 2020
Grenache Blanc 50%, Roussane 30%, Marsanne 20%

Delicate yet assertive south western white. Perfect balance with aromas of fresh apricot.



LIGHTLY GRILLED KING MACKEREL TARTINE lemon creme fraiche, pistachio, tarragon

CHATEAU SAINT MAUR, EXCELLENCE BLANC 2020, CÔTES DE PROVENCE CRU CLASSÉ
100% Vermentino

A delicious fermenting from the French Riviera, delivering a very pleasant viscosity white flower notes and aromas of Apricot in the finale.



LOBSTER RISOTO pea greens, pecorino romano

CHATEAU LÉHOUL, ROSÉ 2020, BORDEAUX VDF
Merlot 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Malbec 10%, Petit Verdot 10%, Cabernet Franc 10%

A fresh Bordeaux Rosé, that tastes like a Provence one, with a tad more persistence and body in mouth.



SEARED DUCK BREAST local strawberries, braised endive

CHATEAU COULONGE, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR MALBEC 2016, TRANSITION ORGANIC
100% Malbec

Malbec from its origins. Blond tobacco in mid palate gives this with wine a special character and distinctiveness, especially when assorted like here, of the blueberry, plum and violette aromas that otherwise characterize Malbec.


CRISPY PORK CREPINETTE wild mushroom polenta, caper chimichurri

CHATEAU LÉHOUL, GRAVES ROUGE 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon 40%, Merlot 40%, Malbec 10%, Petit Verdot 6%, Cabernet Franc 4%. Gold Medal Paris 2018.

Perfect balance between Merlot and Cabernet in this complex wine, with notes of tobacco, chocolate, coffee as well as black currant and other blue fruits.


GRILLED LAMB CHOPS couscous tabbouleh, tzatziki 

SYLVAIN GAUTHIER, SAINT JOSEPH 2019
100% Syrah

Beautifully silky tannins, aromas of plum, prune, cherry. Lots of depth and complexity. The quintessential mysterious wine, to discover here with a perfect food pairing.



I look forward to share with you this journey along the route of lesser known French wines.
northern rhône
The majestueuse Rhône River in its northern version, near Sylvain Gauthier's chai.
MARCH 16, 2023, WINE TASTING DINNER, SMOKY PARK SUPPER CLUB, ASHEVILLE.

Limited to 17 guests. SOLD OUT

Please contact me if you would like to be on the Waiting List.
elegant wine dinner
French Social Movement
I am excited to be finally able to offer a Wine Tasting Dinner at SPSC, which has been for a while, a venue of choice for many people wither living or visiting Asheville, for it proposes a cosy and inviting venue, with excellent food at community prices.

It is worth noticing, that not by accident, SPSC's chef, Michelle Bailey is enjoying a growing well deserved notoriety.

SMOKY PARK SUPPER CLUB, Asheville

Thursday March 16, 6:30pm

Up to 17 guests plus this wine ambassador.

$100 per person, including taxes and gratuity.

Please make your reservation with me: call 919-416-1111 or text 984-312-5315, or email with button at bottom of page.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at excellent pricing from Metro Wines.


MENU:


FIRE ROASTED HALLOUMI Parsnip/Cannellini Bean Hummus, Radicchio, Pickled Apricot & Olive Herb Salad, Cider Gastrique, Appalachian Fry Bread

DOMAINE RICHEAUME TRADITION WHITE 2020, Biodynamic
25% Vermentino, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Viognier

CHATEAU ROCHECOLOMBE, VIOGNIER 2020, Organic
100% Viognier

Domaine Richeaume's Tradition Blanc, is phenomenal Grenache blanc type of white, with a slightly golden color connected to its rather neutral but taste ornate with a golden feel and delicious notes of mirabelle and slight white flower. The Chateau Rochecolombe Viognier is a perfect Viognier, somewhat floral with accents of apricot and pear, both powerful and yet restrained in its flamboyance.



SMOKED BRISKET Alabama White Sauce, Embered Red Onion seasonal side

DOMAINE SCAMANDRE RED, 2011, Costières de Nîmes, Organic
50% Syrah, 20% Carignan, 15% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre

DOMAINE LA ROUVIOLE, COUP DE THÉÂTRE 2017, Vin de France du Minervois, Organic
100% Syrah

VEGETARIAN OPTION: SEARED LOCAL MUSHROOMS Hand-cut GF Fettucine, Winter Squash Puree,
Charred Cauliflower, Crisp Brussels Leaves, Cranberry Vinaigrette

The Coup de Théâtre (Theatre Plot Twist), is just that, a rather surprising wine loaded with black currant aromas, licorice and a minty finish. This is a wine with a strong sense of terroir, very earthy, and made for braised or smoke meats, especially beef.

The Domaine Scamandre 2011is really an upcoming star, if there was such an appellation it would be an Extra Supérieure Costières de Nîmes, since it exceeds by several notches, what is expected from wines from that coastal part of the Rhône. So much so that it only starts to be served after 8 years of age typically, an age where many wines retire or have already retired. Yet this baby is only starting, with accents of cherry and blackberry on a cigar box and leather finish. A diamond, not totally in the raw anymore, to be discovered.


APPLE CRISP

CHATEAU VIGNOL BLANC DOUX 2019
Sémillon 60%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%

This a rather simple, inexpensive but pleasant white to finish a meal. It is rather dry, but with quite a concentration of aromas (apricot, raisins in marc and more) to agreement a dessert in a way that could easily become addictive.



I hope to have the pleasure to see you at this convivial, cozy and fun dinner.
domaine scamandre
Jean-Philipe et Nicolas, the honest faces of the Chateau Léhoul's new owners.
March 8 and 9, 2023, UNORDINARY WINE TASTING DINNER, AT KRILL, DURHAM.

Only 12 Seats plus your grateful host.

Thursday March 9: SOLD OUT.
Please contact me to be on the wait list.

Wednesday March 8: 2 Seats remaining
wine dinner, wine tasting dinner, cecilia's
If you ever wanted to try Krill, if you always were curious of how pair Asian cuisine with wine, this is a unique opportunity. Krill is a very good and approachable south asian restaurant, and this dinner is meant to open new horizons, breaking ground with tip top wine pairings.

KRILL Asian Bistrot, Durham

Thursday March 9, 6:30 (and March 8 if there is enough demand for a second session)

Up to 12 guests plus this wine missionary.

$102 per person, including taxes and gratuity.

Please make your reservation with me: call 919-416-1111, text 984-312-5315, or email with button at bottom of page.

Payments and Cancelation Policy

Wines will be available for purchase at wonder pricing.


MENU:


MISE EN BOUCHE: BLISTERED MISO SHISHITOS furikake aïoli

MAS DE CYNANQUE MÉANDRES 2017, Organic
40% Albarino, 40% Petit Menseng, 20% Grenache Gris

This is a unique and delicious wine, light crisp, and especially apt with spicy food. A wine to discover.



COCONUT RED CURRY
seasonal vegetables and jasmine rice

CHATEAU LÉHOUL ROSÉ 2019, Vin de France de Brodeaux
Merlot 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Malbec 10%, Petit Verdot 10%, Cabernet Franc 10%

DOMAINE RICHEAUME ROSÉ 2019, Biodynamic
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah

Both of these rosés are older, and augmented by time and the micro-oxydation through the cork that happened since their bottling. This tertiary evolution has created rosés that are somewhat deeper, and can subsequently handle flavorful food very graciously. These rosés will surprise you and possibly expand your expectations about rosé.



ADOBO CHICKEN tumeric rice, raisins, peanuts, adobo demi

CHATEAU COULONGE FÛTS, 2018, Bordeaux, Organic
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, aged in oak.

CHATEAU COULONGE JULIETTE, 2016, Bordeaux Supérieur, Transitin organic
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, aged in oak.

These two wines are variations on Cabernet, with more or less Merlot, which brightens the wine. They both provide a rather crisp and pure expression of Cabernet, and shine with food, revealing then all their aromas mostly around blackberry and blueberry.



COCONUT CASSAVA condensed milk, shortbread crumble, coconut gelato and peanut brittle

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES SUPÉRIEURES (MOELLEUX) 2020:
100% Sémillon

This is a drier dessert wine with a lot of exotic fruit aromas, notably pineapple, mango.



Both Krill and I are very excited with this event, and we look forward to sharing with you this premier wine experience accompanying their dishes.
barrels, futs
Barrels Chais at Chateau Coulonge
MARCH 3RD, 2023, FRENCH WINE DINNER, BLU, FARM TO TABLE, WASHINGTON NC.

Up to 30 Seats available.
elegant wine dinner
There are a few intriguing spots in this State where I always like to go. Asheville for instance, but also, as some of you know, Washington NC. Washington although a rather small town, is a destination for folks seeking a place with style and a far away feel, even if only about 2 hours from the Triangle. As I have said before, this is Amazonia in North America for this sticker with North carolina. So think how far you go, in so little time.

I am also beyond proud, to do a Wine Dinner with Vickie Dessourdy, the owner chef of Blu, the latest restaurant which surfaced in Washington. This is a farm to table restaurant, with a specially on gluten free. Beyond that, Vickie will be part of the Provence Wine Tour this May, and I am thrilled about that, as her company is very pleasant. If you are yourself interested by the tour, this is another reason to come meet her during this dinner.

As you may be able to judge from this menu, things at Blu are done in a thoughtful, refined and elegant fashion.


BLU Farm to Table

Friday March 3rd, 6:00pm

Up to 30 guests plus you know who.

$110 per person

Please make your reservation at (252) 833-0701 or Vickie@laneblu.com

Wines will be available for purchase at excellent pricing.


MENU:


ESCARGOTS À LA BOURGUIGNONNE Delicate escargot in white wine garlic oil with crusty French bread.

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES BLANC SEC, 2020
80% Sauvignon Banc, 20% Sémillon

This wine is a superb vintage from one of the very best producers in the Graves part of Bordeaux, and this white is their most popular wine, available though in too little quantities. So enjoy this here, I have not promoted this wine in two years, but a replenishment is on the way, allowing me to be a little looser about it, so you get to find it in this dinner.

This is the quintessential Bordeaux white, the lesser known side of Bordeaux, although possibly its most valuable. The Sauvignon and the Sémillon interact in a beautiful fashion here, and you will find rich aromas of citrus, but also lychee, white peach, all on a very crisp and sharp structure. This is normally the companion of choice for grilled fish, but it also pairs magnificently with escargots.



BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO Creamy style risotto, baby caramelized squash, drizzle of sage and rosemary infused oil.

DOMAINE ROSE DIEU, SAINTE CÉCILE LES VIGNES, OLD VINES, 2018
50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre

This is a very plush wine, with all the accents of a southern Rhône one (cherry, raspberry notes, slight pepper and garrigue tones), very round and juicy, with a finish with rose aromas, which make this wine both quite rare and delicious.



VEAL CHOP WITH ROSEMARY BUTTER Farm raised veal chop, pan seared with roasted root vegetables, topped with our rosemary butter.

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES ROUGE 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon 40%, Merlot 40%, Malbec 10%, Petit Verdot 6%, Cabernet Franc 4%. Gold Medal Paris 2018.

This is an already quite evolved beautiful Graves red, in which one will find a perfect balance between the sunniness brought by the Merlot, its cherry aromas, and the blackberry and black currant tendencies of the Cabernet Sauvignon, all augmented by the contribution of the other varietals. This is a very righteous Paris Gold Medal from the best Bordeaux vintage until 2022, if this one confirms the expectations it created.



GUAVA CREAM CHEESE PASTRIES Flaky pastry, sweet cream cheese and guava filling dusted with powdered sugar.

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES SUPERIEURES 2020, (Moelleux)
90% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon

"Moelleux" means "softer," so this is a wine with a slight sweetness, especially compared to a dry wine, but otherwise it is more aromatic than it is sweet. It provides a very rich concentration of aromas, from quince to pineapple, mango, so not only is it fruity, it is also fruity with fruit aromas that are especially expressive, and rather exotic, as even if quince is not technically exotic, it is de facto, given how rare it is in America. a rather unusual and addictive wine, with a nice acidity punctuated by the muskiness of botrytis.


I hope to have the pleasure to see you at his unique French wine dinner in the middle of almost Amazonia.
chateau lehoul, bordeaux, graves
Jean-Philipe et Nicolas, the honest faces of the Chateau Léhoul's new owners.
FEBRUARY 25, 2023, ELITE FRENCH WINE TASTING DINNER, PARIZADE, DURHAM.

Only 6 Seats plus your thankful host. 2 Seats remaining.
wine dinner, wine tasting dinner, parizade
Elite Wine Tasting Dinner at Parizade
As the Provence Wine Tour is being released and the Bordeaux Wine Tour will be soon (it is not ready yet, this linked page is incomplete, but you are very welcome to peak at it), this dinner will illustrate mostly the former, but with a taste of the latter, and even the fall wine tour. This is an "Elite" wine tasting dinner, as all the wines are from the rather upscale category, yet at somewhat budget prices, meaning reasonable for wines of this quality, $35-$50 retail for the reds, the rosés are cheaper.

PARIZADE

Saturday February 25, 6:30

Up to 6 guests plus you know who.

$112 per person, including tax and gratuity, paid to me (PayPal, Zelle, Cash or checks made to Contrast Tours)

$92 for Vegetarian Option ( I know, It pays to save the planet!)

Please make your reservation with me: call 919-416-1111 or text 984-312-5315, or email with button at bottom of page.

Wines will be available for purchase at wonder pricing.


MENU:


CHICK PEA AND MUSHROOM FALAFEL creamy feta dressing, pickled onion, cucumber salad.

CHATEAU LÉHOUL ROSÉ, 2020, Vin de France
Merlot 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, Cabernet Franc 30%

DOMAINE RICHEAUME, ROSÉ 2019, Biodynamic

90% Grenache, 10% Syrah

Two rosés to start the evening in this time when spring is in the air, and cannot come too soon. The Chateau Léhoul rosé is a very satisfying rosé, meaning with some weight, with a beautiful light onion peel color, and light but persistent aromas of British candy with a rather controlled acidity.

The Domaine Richeaume rosé 2019 is the favorite rosé of a number of my customers, as are their reds and white. It has created a standard, for it is rare to find a rosé with 4 years of age that keeps evolving favorably. I still have a few cases left, although not a whole lot, before the 2022 arrives later this year. This is a rosé with still some fresh aromas o raspberry and grapefruit, but also a cooked fruits dimension and bit of smokiness resulting from evolution. You really should taste this, especially if you have not been able to escape the persistant, yet erroneous rumors, that rosés have to be drunk in the year. Good rosés are better, at least for many wine lovers, with a bit of age, they then gain in roundness and depth.

Oh, and although this is not a rosé drunk by Brad Pitt, it dances and makes pirouettes around that one, as well as a few others heavily marketed, but which are all wines of négoce, by opposition to this vintner producer rosé.



AUSTRALIAN LAMB CHOP,
saffron couscous, braised chickpeas, dried apricots & plums.

DOMAINE RICHEAUME, COLUMELLE 2015, Biodynamic
Syrah 46%, Merlot 37%, Cabernet Sauvignon 17%

MAS DE CYNANQUE CARISSIMO 2019, Oganic
Carignan Vieilles Vignes, 117 years old (1900)

VEGETARIAN SUBSTITUTION: MARINARA, spaghetti, heirloom cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, basil

Two absolutely exceptional wines, each being a perfect pairing with this dish. Some of you may be familiar with the Domaine Richeaume's Tradition red, which has become a wine of reference at Parizade and other restaurants in the State. The Columelle which is the result of a tighter selection and different vinification, manages to create an evident step up, delivering an absolutely enchanting wine, with supremely rounded tannins, higher concentration, and a superb bouquet centered around black currant, plum.

The Carissimo, is a unique wine, given the very rare 117 years old vines it is produced from, by one of my very top producers in Saint Chinian, Languedoc, the type of producer, like Domaine Richeaume, which does not produce a single bad wine. Very rounded tannins as well, and aromas of blue fruits with a bit of violette. It could be that you have never tasted a Carignan, and it is rarely as good as this one, 117 old vines and tip top winemaking skills make a difference.



FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE TORTE crème anglaise and amaretto cherries

LA GRANDE ABBESSE, SAINT EMILION GRAND CRU 2016:
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

This wine would be good with a number of savory dishes, notably turkey, duck, etc, but it also is fantastic with chocolate desserts. This is because of its pronounced aromas of coffee and cacao, assorted with a certain "coolness" in taste, that contrasts and complements well the warmth feeling of chocolate. If you have never tried this, you probably will be surprised.


I look forward to share these beautiful wines and food with you.
carignan, 117 years old vines
The 117 old vines vines producing the Carissimo
JANUARY 28, 2023, FRENCH WINE TASTING DINNER, PARIZADE, DURHAM.

Only 13 Seats plus your thankful host. 2 Seats remaining
wine dinner, wine tasting dinner, parizade
Wine Tasting Dinner at Parizade
In this heart of winter, we do a Winter Wine Tasting Dinner.

PARIZADE

Saturday January 28, 6:30

Up to 14 guests plus you know who.

$94 per person, including tax and gratuity, paid to me (PayPal, Zelle, Cash or checks made to Contrast Tours)

Please make your reservation with me: call 919-416-1111 or text 984-312-5315, or email with button at bottom of page.

Wines will be available for purchase at wonder pricing.


MENU:


CAESAR SALAD white anchovy, reggiano part, sourdough toast.

DOMAINE CATHALA BLANC, SAINT CHINIAN 2020
Grenache Blanc 50%, Roussane 30%, Marsanne 20%

CHATEAU ROCHECOLOMBE VIOGNIER, 2020, Organic
Viognierc 100%

The Saint Chinian is like a more aerial Rhône white wine, and the Viognier is a pure Rhône white. Although the viognier has more, both provide a bit of "fat" to be more satisfying in the cold months. Aromas of apricot in both with a more evident floral dimension on the viognier.


SHORT RIB BOURGUIGNON LINGUINI,
bacon, mushrooms, carrots.

DOMAINE LA ROUVIOLE, COUP DE THÊATRE, 2017, Vin de France from the Minervois, Organic
100% Syrah.

SYLVAIN GAUTHIER, SYRAH 2019
100% Syrah.

DOMAINE ROSE DIEU, SAINTE CÉCILE LES VIGNES OLD VINES 2018
50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre

A pair of Syrahs, very different one from another and a classic but juicy southern Rhône wine, to pair with this rather wintry take on a bolognese. The Coup de Théâtre is earthy, aromatically intense, and screams for braised beef. The Northern Rhone Syrah is somewhat lighter, much less tannic, but provides a lot of fresh pepper and can stand up to this kind of preparation. The Sainte Cécile provides a feeling of sunshine in the form of cherries and lushness, another way to approach this recipe. Altogether a rather wide panorama of what to pair with such a dish.


CHEESECAKE WITH WINTER FRUIT COULIS

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES SUPÉRIEURES (MOELLEUX) 2020:
100% Sémillon

This is a "semi-Sauternes," somewhat drier than a Sauternes, yet providing a high concentration of fruit, notably pineapple, mango, and other exotic fruits. A drier dessert wine to complement this cheese cake.


I look forward to this winter dinner with you.
sylvain gauthier, vintner, winemaker
Sylvain Gauthier
JANUARY 18, 2023, WINE DINNER AT THE BANK, WASHINGTON, NC
washington, the bank, restaurant
The Bank, the"Reserve" restaurant in Washington NC
As you might know, Washington is important to me. Given my political history, notably as a photographer, I have been there countless times. It is therefore amusing, sort of suiting, that Washington, NC, have become a power center for my current activities in Eastern Carolina.

Washington exudes the spirit of Eastern North Carolina, a small and charming colonial town surrounded by swamps, with the Aligator River in the vicinity, it is Amazonia in north America. I like to think of Washington NC, as a northern Manaus, maybe a git gentrified compared to the original.

For this first wine dinner of the year, I am taking you to The Bank, figuratively of course (!), Washington's most popular restaurant, with a menu made for winter:

Gathering starts at 5:30, Dinner is at 6:00.

Only about 40 seats, reserve now.

Tickets: $125

Wines will be available for purchase at competitive pricing.

Reservations: 252-948-9000 0r 252-495-2776

See Bank's Announcement.


MENU:

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

CHATEAU LÉHOUL GRAVES SUPÉRIEURES (MOELLEUX) 2020:
100% Sémillon

This is a "semi-Sauternes," somewhat drier than a Sauternes, yet providing a high concentration of fruit, notably pineapple, mango, and other exotic fruits. Combined with the salinity of oysters, this wine provides a magnificent pairing, it also is excellent with cheese.

SUBSTITUTION: Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Fried Goat Cheese


NC SPECKLED TROUT MEUNIÈRE

DOMAINE ROMANIN, POUILLY FUISSÉ CLIMATE LAMURE OLD VINES, 2019:
100% Chardonnay, Burgundy

Delicate and unctuous expression of chardonnay in its most elegant form. A bit of citrus and lingering notes of apricot with that distinct Burgundy minerality.



RABBIT PATÉ PUFF PASTRY

MAS PEYROLLE, ESPRIT 2017, PIC SAINT LOUP, Organic
Syrah 50%, Mourvèdre 30%, Grenache 10%, Cinsault 10%

Aromas of cherry, garrigue, pepper and spice with enough power to complement harmoniously a lovely paté.



VENISON TENDERLOIN IN RED WINE MUSHROOM SAUCE

DOMAINE CATHALA CUVÉE ABSOLUE, SAINT CHINIAN, 2017
Syrah 70%, Mourvèdre 30%

A very complex and profound wine with very polished tannins, which I often compare to a Chateauneuf du Pape from Occitania. Aromas of violette, cherry, light spices to balance the power of the venison.



BLUE CHEESE CHEESE CAKE WITH MANGO CONFIT

CHATEAU HAUT BERGERON, SAUTERNES 2013

85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc

One of the very best Sauternes, with enough acidity and lovely fruit, a superb pairing with blue cheese.
pamlico river, washington
The Pamlico River in Washington NC
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