Had a great time in Vegas. My friend and neighbor Tom Cook hooked me up with Alex, aka Alessandro Stratta, of the restaurant Alex at the Wynn Las Vegas. We had such a fantastic dinner that I had to go back a second night. Tom is an excellent host with a million great stories. If I had thought enough ahead of time, I would have scheduled dinner around 4 p.m. We could easily have nibbled on petit fours and appetizers with and between bottles until midnight and beyond.
The standout little appetizer gem was the "Cheese and Crackers." But don't ask for a plate of them. When I mentioned how much I liked them, the chef's face went white. Apparently they're a pain in the butt to make. Not nearly as simple as they sound. And they paired perfectly with the 2003 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Alex showed me a bottle from Lebanon. I can't for the life of me find the notes I took, so I wrote him for details …
Just finishing up my blog from our dinner. I'm way behind on these. What was the name of the Lebanese wine you showed me? And fill me in on some notes about it so I can appear smart."
It’s good to hear from you.
"The wine is Chateau Musar from Lebanon, which has been produced since the late '30s. The owner is Serge Hochar, who has been making their wines since the mid '50s, but his son, Gaston, is the winemaker. The grape varieties are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault, some Grenache. The great vintages are '59, '64, '69, '72, '85, '90 and '95.
"He also makes a white wine made with [Obeidah and Merwah,] the grapes that [are believed to have] mutated into Chardonnay and Sémillon, respectively. I hope I impressed the hell out of you, but I’ve got to be honest; there is a master sommelier right behind me right now feeding me the info.
"Hey, I won’t tell if you don’t!"
See how we are?
Paula Woolsey — Jerome, Arizona — May 27, 2007 11:27am ET
Jason Johnson — Shreveport, La. — May 30, 2007 7:31pm ET
Matthew Habdas — connecticut — June 5, 2007 1:11pm ET
E Plotkin — Scottsdale AZ — June 6, 2007 5:50pm ET
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