This month’s installment of “The Art of Wine & Food” at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale featured a very special guest: Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson! In town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Andrea was kind enough to join us for the evening and present an educational seminar focusing on Old World vs New World wines featuring her innovative stemware line “The One.”
The wines were served in two flights, two Chardonnays followed by two Pinot Noirs, with a delicious food pairing for each duo created by the very talented Chef Martha Clemons of L’Hermitage Catering. For our first flight, guests enjoyed the 2009 Joseph Drouhin Meursault from Burgundy and the 2010 Kuleto Napa Valley Chardonnay. These two wines kicked off a conversation about “terroir” and Andrea explained the meaning of this term which is all too often associated with wine snobs. The term “terroir” essentially refers to a wine’s ability to reflect the place it comes from. Andrea added that it is not necessarily specific to wine; cheeses and meats can also exhibit terroir as do many other products whose purpose is to reflect the particular region they come from. The Meursault’s lovely minerality, complexity and lower alcohol content (13%) reflected the limestone rich soils and cooler climate of Burgundy, while the slightly more opulent Napa Valley Chardonnay exhibited more fruit and higher alcohol (14.4%) as one might expect from a warmer climate which produces riper fruit. Both wines showed beautifully and when polled, guests preferred the Meursault to drink on its own; however, with the dish, Sweet Corn & Bacon Risotto with Seared Scallop, guests preferred the Kuleto Chardonnay which had a lovely food friendly acidity.
Our next flight featured two Pinot Noirs, the 2009 Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny from Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits and the 2010 WALT “La Brisa” Pinot Noir from Sonoma County California. This duo also beautifully illustrated the difference between Old World and New, and sparked a lively discussion of the variety of descriptors that can be used to refer to “cherry” aromas and flavors found in wine including: Luden’s cough drop, Cherry Jell-O, and red Twizzlers just to name a few. The Chambolle-Musigny exhibited notes of earth, pipe tobacco, red currant and cranberry while the Sonoma County Pinot Noir provided a nice contrast with oodles of ripe black fruit, licorice and spice. Andrea explained that one of the key descriptors for Old World wines is “earth-forward” while New World wines are generally described as being more “fruit-forward.” Both wines paired nicely with the delicious Seared Duck Breast with Cranberry Glaze and Oven Roasted Brussels Sprout – yes, it was every bit as delicious as it sounds! Andrea went on to discuss the different textures found in wines, likening them to the different textures found in milk, with light-bodied wines approximating the mouthfeel of skim milk and fuller-bodied wines being closer to two-percent. When someone asked a question about Cabernet Sauvignon relative to the Pinot Noir we were drinking, she described Pinot Noir as having more of a silky texture and used the effective analogy that if Pinot Noir is like lingerie for your tongue, Cabernet Sauvignon is akin to a velour robe.
When it came to the topic of glassware, Andrea explained that after sampling many different types of stemware, she came to the conclusion that each grape variety did not, in fact, require its own unique glass to show optimally. In fact, many of the glasses had the opposite effect, at times over or even under aerating the wine. As a result, the concept for “The One,” her own line of stemware, was born. With one glass for white wines and one for reds these glasses not only highlight the nuances of their respective wines but also greatly minimize the time and space required to maintain and store large quantities of glassware. To make matters even better, the glasses are break resistant, dishwasher safe and lead-free. As if I didn’t respect this woman enough already, now I get to reclaim half of my kitchen cabinets! Each guest got to take home a set of glasses thus ending their search for “The One” as well…as least as far as glassware is concerned.
A sincere thank you to Andrea Robinson for taking the time to join us and for a wonderfully entertaining and enlightening talk. Please be sure to check out her fabulous website at www.andreawine.com. An additional thanks to Republic National Distributing Company for providing the very special wines for the evening and to Chef Martha Clemons of L’Hermitage Catering for the deliciously divine pairings. Please join us the for next installment of “The Art of Wine & Food” at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, March 28th when we will feature the theme “Under the Tuscan Sun: Explore One of Italy’s most Beloved Wine Regions with the Wines of Fattoria Fèlsina.“ The event is from 6-8pm and tickets are $35. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Gail Vilone at 954-262-0249 firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!