Wine is more than the juice in the bottle.
First of all, I'm so deeply sorry. I apologize for the lack of content and lack of posts on this site. It is amazing how life and time speed by so fast. I'm going to try to do better.
Last week I had the privilege of attending a dinner at one of my favorite places. JJ's, owned by my dear friend Jimmy Frantze, has been the location for many special dinners where life long memories have been made. This night was no exception.
They were hosting an old colleague and friend named Jacques Lardiere. I met him in 1995 here in Kansas City while he was making a tour promoting Louis Jadot for whom he was their winemaker. I worked for Kobrand at the time who was and is the importer of the wines and my job was to make his time in Missouri perfect. He is internationally respected as France's most passionate Burgundian. A few years later I had a chance to meet him in Beaune for what was a truly wine-life changing experience for me. My friend Keith Paden, who now works for Kobrand, had invited me and my wife for the evening..
I had not seen Jacques in probably 20 years and I had a tiny reservation in the back of my mind that he probably wouldn't remember me but when he saw me he immediately gave me a big hug and said it had been too long.
Of course the wines and food were fantastic. It goes without saying. He has since retired from making Louis Jadot to a project in Oregon called Resonance in Yamhill.
I could easily dedicate the time of writing this post to the wines either of Louis Jadot or Resonance or the food of JJ's and it would be worthy.
However, I want to expound for this brief moment on value of the human relationship. Surrounded by great friends we laughed and shared and definitely enjoyed the philosophy of Jacques Lardiere which actually only is demonstrated in his wine but is much, much bigger to include all of life. I remembered and basked in WHY I love this business so much. We shared stories and caught up and shared incredible Burgundy.
I'll share only one because the wine itself is a metaphor for the entire post. At the time of my meeting Jacques in September 1995 I had him sign 6 bottles of 1990 Clos Vougeot. Over the years I shared them with friends at special events and in perhaps a serendipitous way saved the last where it rested in my cellar. It waited. I brought the bottle to the dinner in hopes that a few of us might have a quieter moment to open it afterwards. Jacques commented that it should still be young at 28 years. He was happy to see it. We were all excited to drink it. Of course he was right but it was so beautiful. A gorgeous expression of Pinot Noir. The primary flavors of ripe cherries and plums were there but the gorgeous tertiary flavors of mushroom, earth, forest floor, & cedar layered with it perfectly. I recall the laughter and loud talking fell silent for a moment as we all took it in and then almost a simultaneous collective giggle as we went from smell to taste. It had long but delicate finish. All of us with a glass in our hand realized it was a special moment not to be found again. How rare. That saved bottle of wine that shows itself for all it was meant to be with the people who were meant to drink it on that night. How often does that happen??
And in that moment, I realized how special these friendships are that were made over wine. It is indeed more than the juice in the glass.
That my friends is what I was drinking......