Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Piper-Heidsieck Flows Liberally At The 2019 Oscar Party by Philip S. Kampe

Let me be honest.

I attend Oscar parties, not for the nominated movie announcements, but, for the Champagne. This is the fifth year, Piper-Heidsieck is the Champagne of choice at the 91st Oscars, which takes place on February 24th. Fortunately, thanks to contacts in the industry, I received an invite to view the live announcements from Hollywood.

The announcement party takes place at a popular iPic theater in Manhattan, where the seats have tables-sorta like boxes at concerts. Champagne, at each table is flowing as we watch the big screen with the announcements.

I was a bit surprised that the hosts, Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis, making the Oscar announcement did not have a glass of the red labeled Piper-Heidsieck Champagne in their hands.

My Piper Heidsieck days go back to Cannes Film Festival (1999) when Piper-Heidsieck started their twenty year run as the official Champagne of the festival. My father remembers seeing Rex Harrison standing next to a 48 liter bottle of Piper-Heidsieck in 1964, celebrating his role in ‘My Fair Lady.’

Historically, Piper-Heidsieck, originally supported the cinema in 1933, when a bottle appeared in a Laurel and Hardy movie, ‘Sons of the Desert.’ The first bottle of Piper Heidsieck was created for the Queen in 1785. The brand has always been synonymous with quality and excellence.

The 2019 Oscar nominations ran the gamut, from predictable, ‘A Star Is Born’ to new wave, home viewing movies like ‘Roma.’ Other nominations for Best Picture included, ‘Vice’, ‘BlackKlansman’, Green Book’, Black Panther’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘The Favourite.’

For the 91st Oscar nominations, Piper-Heidsieck created a limited edition magnum-which you can see in the photo. It is being  held by MC Michael Green (the guy in the red and gold jacket..)

The Oscar nominations each year carry a lot of surprises, Noticeable milestones this year included the ‘Black Panther’, the first Marvel Studio movie and the first superhero movie to receive a Best picture nomination. Popular, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was passed over, as was Bradley Cooper for Best director in ‘A Star Is Born.’ And last, but not least, Netflix streaming movie, ‘Roma,’ received ten Oscar nominations.

The 91st Academy Awards take place at 8pm (EST) on ABC.
Make sure your Piper-Heidsieck is chilling…

Philip S. Kampe
                                                         The Oscar Party Begins

                                                                 MC Michael Green
                          Working on this article at home, with my Favorite Beverage.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Whats worse? Drinking Beer From a Tennis Can or Drinking Wine from a Pringles Can? by Philip S. Kampe

  Whats worse? Drinking beer from a tennis can or drinking wine from a Pringles can?

I am a copycat wine drinker.

Most people believe that I listen to my own drummer. And that really is the case, but, in certain circumstances, I follow someone else’s beat.

In this instance, a Texas woman was banned from Walmart for life because she drank wine from a Pringles potato chip container, while riding around a Walmart parking lot in an electric shopping cart. Mind you, she was caught at six thirty in the morning. Witnesses noticed her driving in circles and attempting wheelies for an hour or so before being apprehended..

This monumental event didn’t go unnoticed by me. It brought up a lot of questions, while raising my curiosity about this woman’s resourcefulness.

What I want to know: What flavor of Pringles potato chips (BBQ, Spicy, Original) container did she drink from? What type of wine was her preference? Did she clean the Pringles container out first or did she leave the residue inside the canister?

With all of these unanswered questions, I took to the task and set up my experiment during the Sunday football playoffs.

Having grown up in New Orleans, I have to admit that I am experienced with drinking beer from tennis ball cans. I’m guessing that the rubbery canned odor will be much worse then drinking wine from a Pringles can. The rubbery scent is foul. The Pringles odors vary, but, in a good sense.

One of my wine friends and Master Sommelier, Fred Dexheimer, suggested that I start my experiment with a Riesling. Apparently, he has had some prior experience with Pringles and wine somewhere in his illustrious career. Freed sets up bars and restaurants with unique spirit and wine concoctions.

My experiment began with two BBQ Pringles cans. Both cans were emptied. One was washed with water, the other was left with the debris (powder) from the chips. I pored half a bottle of Riesling in each canister. Apparently, a Pringle canister can hold a full bottle of wine and have room to spare. That was my first finding. Secondly, I put the transparent lid on top of each canister and turned each can upside down. No leaks.

Maybe I was onto something?

I turned both cans upright, It was time.

I drank from the clean can first. The aroma was noticeable-a vibrant BBQ odor that was mixed with honeysuckle and orange blossom. It didn’t turn me off, but, quite the opposite, it intrigued my palate. I was now ready to drink from the BBQ Pringles can. No surprises here. The Weingut Maximin Grunhaus Herrenberg Riesling 2016 was as fruity as ever. The 50mg of sugar disappeared and was replaced with a faint smoky taste. Could that be the BBQ potato chips or just part of the wine? 

I sampled the second can, with the residue and believed that the results were the same, residue and all. The next sampling was an obvious pairing, pizza Pringles with  Chianti.
The classic twosome were like a match made in heaven. The Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Reserva 2015 was well balanced, velvety on the palate with hints of rosemary and tomato sauce on the palate. Did a hint of tomato sauce sneak its way into my mouth by way of the Pringles can? To answer this question, I went one step further. I poured a glass of the Chianti in a wine glass and proceeded to sample. What disappeared was the tomato sauce flavor. It was replaced with rosemary, an herb that normally dominates whatever it comes in contact with.

What I have learned from this experiment: Drinking wine from Pringles cans does add nuisances to a wines flavor. If you are not satisfied with a wine that you buy, try drinking it from a non-rinsed Pringles canister. Your results will vary, of course.

note: Save your empty Pringles cans and use them as wine glasses for your next together or experiment on your own.

                                                                   Philip S.Kampe


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ferraton Pere & Fils 2015 Saint-Joseph 'La Source' at $30 Is a 'True Bargain' Rhone Valley Wine by Philip S. Kampe

Ferraton Pere & Fils, headed by onenologist Damien Brisset has scored a true ’tour de force’ with the 2015 Saint-Joseph ($30). The northern Rhone Valley, known for Syrah, has come to life with another of Ferraton Pere & Fils value wines. 

Normally, I drink the reasonably priced Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu. It’s a great wine to keep as a ‘go to’ everyday wine. But, at $30 and from the acclaimed 2015 vintage, why not splurge for the Saint-Joseph ‘La Source’ to start 2019 off.

I am glad I did.

Ferraton Pere & Fils (FPF from now on) was established in the center of Hermitage in 1946 by Jean Orens Ferraton. As the years went on, son, Michel, grew the estate to include plots in Saint-Joseph, as well as Crozes Hermitage.

Today, respected wine producer, Michel Chapoutier owns the property, but, has given the reigns to Damien Brisset to run the property independently.

Since 2015, all of the FPF  properties have become certified biodynamic.
Organic farming began in 1998.

The 2015 vintage in the Rhone Valley was considered by many as an ‘epic year.’ The conditions were perfect, warm and abundantly sunny days and just enough rain to precede an unusually long growing season. The end result was a bounty of exceptional 2015 vintage wines.

The 2015 Saint-Joseph embodies what determined grapes with an exceptional winemaker can achieve. Barrel aged for over a year (10% new oak) and deep in color (ruby), this mineral laden, spicy wine with an extremely long finish, drinks like a $60 counterpart.

FPF is known for high quality wines at value price points. The 2015 Saint-Joseph ‘La Source’ has well achieved M. Chapoutier’s goal.

If you are ever in the Rhone Valley and want to visit the winery or possibly meet Damien Brisset, visit their website: www.ferraton.fr  or call +33 (0)475 08 59 51

Philip S. Kampe

Monday, January 7, 2019

Wairau River-New Zealand's Top Family Estate Winery Blossoms In Both Wine and Food Venues by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

                                                                Dave Kenny

                                                                  Cellar Door


While visiting New Zealand we stumbled onto Wairau River Winery, a winery that was established in 1978 (first vines planted) by Phil (love that name) and Chris Rose.

Today, in 2019, their five children (many are adults) and extended family pitch in to run this family owned estate in the world famous Marlborough region.

The Wairau Valley is extensive and is surrounded by the Awatere and Southern Valleys.  Once you drive out of Blenheim, all you can see are vines.I was told that nearly half of the vines in the Marlborough wine region exist in three valleys, where the Wairau River meets the Pacific Ocean. The Richmond Mountains in the North separate the region while the Wither Hills in the south protect the region from the nearby harsh weather elements that cause havoc.
The Wairau Valley is mainly flat.

Wairau River winery is home to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Riesling,  Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Naturally, Sauvignon Blanc is the most important grape in the region. The first vines were planted in 1973. Today, the demand has grown to the point that in years to come, the demand will outgrow the supply. In other words, there is no room to plant any new Sauvignon Blanc seedlings.

Historically, wine has been made in New Zealand for the past two hundred years. The European immigrants jump started the industry about a hundred years ago, while most recently, within the past twenty years, the focus on the cool climate grapes paired with modern technology has put New Zealand on the map. White varietals thrive alongside Pinot Noir.

Although the Rose’s planted their first grapes in 1978, it was not until 1991 that they released their first vintage. The years prior, they sourced their grapes to other vineyards. Being pioneers in the industry, Phil and Chris Rose have made the most out of this prestigious wine region. Marlborough wines are known for their intensity of flavor due to the cool climate, which was mentioned earlier. Low yields and ripe estate fruit define Wairau River wines.

Wairau River means ‘a hundred waters’ and on the banks of the river, known for its stone and silt, the Rose’s winegrowing days began. Today, they own 500 acres. They only use the finest grapes for their wines, focusing on –you guessed it-Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

The Rose dynasty estate covers nine (9) vineyards in the Rapaura appellation of Marlborough. According to Export Manager,  Dave Kenny of Wairau River, the Rose’s had their pick of the region in the late 70’s and chose wisely where to plant their vines. Early success led to expansion, followed by sustainable farming practices.  Protecting the environmental integrity of Wairau River has long been the path for ‘Green Country’ traditions and a credo of New Zealand wine production.

Beside sampling Wairau River’s bread and butter, Sauvigon Blanc and Pinot Noir, wine extraordinaire Dave Kenny shared an amazing batch of Wairau River wines with us. The Pinot Gris, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay stood out.

We had the opportunity to sample numerous reserve wines with our lunch at the popular ‘Cellar Door’ restaurant, adjacent to the winery. Tables inside and out-next to the vines- enhanced the Wairau River wine experience.

My lunch consisted of an amazing seafood chowder that paired perfectly with Pinot Gris, a wine that Wairau River exports to the states and is distributed by Terlato (they import Pinot Noir, as well).

On Dave Kenny’s recommendation, my wife, Maria, ordered a double baked blue cheese soufflé, which was so decadent that I had to ask Dave for the recipe.

Double Baked Blue Cheese Souffle

6 ounces of butter
4 ounces of plain flour
24 ounces of whole milk
9 ounces of strong blue cheese
2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
10 egg whites
6 egg yolks
Pinch of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter
Add flour and cook to blond color
Whisk in milk and simmer
Add salt and pepper
Add cheese and melt in
Turn heat off stove and let cool for three minutes
Transfer mix into a bowl and whisk in egg yolks
Whip egg white until ribbon stage
Fold in egg whites

Grease ramekins and fill to ¾
Place in water bath and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes
Take out of oven and let cool
Put on serving dish when ready

To reheat:
Slightly cover soufflé with cream and put in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes
Souffle should be puffy and colored when serving
Add mescalin salad and sliced pair with toasted walnuts as garnish on side
Top with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper vinaigrette

The Cellar Door Restaurant is where you may have the opportunity to meet Phil and Chris Rose. Rumor has it that Phil pops in each morning to have his morning tea. The relaxing atmosphere of the Cellar Door is where I want to be.

What could be better then pairing Wairau River wines with double baked blue cheese soufflé?


Wairau River Wines
phone +64 03 5727850
email: dave@wairauriverwines.com
address: 264 Rapaura Road  RD3  Blenheim, New Zealand 

Terlato Wines (Wairai River importer)
phone: +1 847 444 5500
email: pr@terlatowines.com 


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