Working in the food and wine biz, there are tons of opportunities to try new wines, new restaurants and the like, but a recent invitation came across my desk that I couldn’t pass up…a wine dinner featuring Chateau La Nerthe wines.
As luck would have it, we discovered these beautiful wines while visiting the Cotes du Rhone region this fall. The winery’s cellar dates back to the 12thcentury—the tour of the place was fascinating.
Even better, the wines lived up to their legendary past. We packed a few in our suitcase to cellar.
Fast forward to the here and now. The Chateau La Nerthe dinner at L’Olivier’s – the new restaurant in Montrose from a chef that’s not new to many of Houston’s fine dining fans. Olivier Ciesielski led the culinary charge at Tony’s restaurant (where my hubby of 29 years proposed) for nearly a dozen years, and now he and his partner Mary Clarkson are creating new fare together at L’Olivier. I enjoyed the five course meal he and sommelier James paired with the lovely wines of Ch. La Nerthe.
An unexpected treat was the Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Clos de Beauvenir 2009…a minority varietal in a region known for its hearty reds. This wine of Roussane & Clairette grapes paired beautifully with a bright ceviche dish that had been prepared with pineapple juice among other things. The wine tasted of oranges and honey with a smidgeon of spice. It was a nice surprise as a pairing for the ceviche and worked well.
The other stand outs – Ch La Nerthe’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2007. This full-bodied wine tastes of dark cherries, plums and earthy notes. Chef Olivier paired this wine with a light roast pork dish with grilled apples and a drizzle of honey. Hearty roast meats are ideal for wines from Chateaneuf-du-Pape… especially in front of a roaring fire in the dead of winter! Use your imagination now that we’ve hit the century mark outside!
One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the Roquefort terrine with figs, apricots and pecans. The sturdy cheese paired well with the Cuvée des Cadettes 2005 – a very strong-willed, full-bodied red with juicy boysenberry and plum fruit and a dark chocolate component as well. If you buy this wine, rest assured you can cellar it for a long while…it’s big! And luscious!
BTW, L’Olivier’s is also serving brunch in addition to its lunch and dinners Tues-Sunday. Dessert fans, go for the Floating Island! I know…been there, done that, but you will be wowed by this one!
For more fun food and wine ideas, head to my website Goodtaste.tv. While you’re there, sign up for a chance to win a fabulous trip to Napa on Southwest Airlines. Enjoy!