(source: AOC Bedford, Neil conveniently sat under the copper frying pan...)
Dinner and wine with a fellow blogger is a treat, but twice in a month? Rare, indeed.
Neil (Brooklynguy) was kind enough to supply the wines for a tremendous dinner on my last trip to NYC. AOC Bedford is a quiet little French Bistro (apparently NYC's "most romantic restaurant", so I hope Neil took Brooklynlady there sometime!) in Greenwich village, just a few blocks from where I used to live in New York. Sunday is bring your own wine night, with no corkage on the first bottle (Ha! One bottle...).
Neil was late, but that was ok as the server set me up with a Pinot Blanc from Germany. Very nice, but I can't recall the name of the wine (no notebook tonight). What I absolutely can recall is that the restaurant was obsessive about using the proper stemware for each wine, and the glasses did not betray the manner in which they were cleaned - Bravo!
Neil opened with the Henri Billiot Brut Rose NV Champagne that has previously written about. His comments were "nearly perfect", and I would agree. While the rose colour was subtle, I found the pinot noir came through quite clearly, with nice blackberries and that crisp white champagne backbone and a great mousse. Neil correctly refused the ice bucket, allowing us to observe the flavour and aromas evolve throughout the evening. Like Neil, I am not a huge fan of rose Champagne, but this was a great one.
With appetizers we opened the 2002 Domaine du Closel Savennieres Clos de Papillon, a delicious Loire white that Neil has tasted on multiple occasions (I don't see the '02 there). Anyway, this was a delicious, but ageing, white, which we both remarked was remarkably similar on the nose to a Sauternes (apricot, noble rot). An elegant, balanced, white that is losing some of the crispness I love in Loire whites, perhaps peaking in my mind.
For the main course Neil shared a 2002 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee, which he wrote about here. Cherry red in the glass, it started musty, but followed with earthy vanilla, blackberry/raspberry, and smoke. On the palate it showed dry, dusty tannins, with a nice - but short - finish. A terrific red Burgundy showing that paired well with my lamb, drink now.
Many thanks to Neil, who was surprisingly close to how I pictured him! My apologies, Neil, as I was very disorganized for this event - I didn't even bring a gift (how embarassing - I was going to bring the de Villaine Bouzeron I sampled here). Unfortunately, airline travel with wine is frustrating these days. Speaking of de Villaine, tomorrow is WBW #39....