As I am writing about a wonderful dinner at the restaurant Vertical, it was rather a harbinger of better times in Michigan. It seems that our harridan was caught in yet another “do as I say moment” and it was so flagrant that it was carried not only by the local media (surprise), but also by AP, USA Today and all of the internet news channels. Who would have thought that a “contrite human” actually was going to loosen up the lockdown, but she didn’t have time to announce it, until after her dinner party was revealed in Social Media. I really don’t care, as I have always gone out to get fresh air without a mask, but I did abide by the rules and got my vaccinations, so that we could go originally to see the children and grandchildren. Oh, well, I am glad to know that the restaurant industry will be picking up.
My Bride had a wonderful entrée of Alaskan Shad with crispy skin on a bed of Mushroom Risotto and it was delicious, she even let me try some of it, neither of us had tried it, and when our waiter asked for a preference, my Bride responded that she will leave it to the Chef. As for me, I was having a hard time, but I went with a favorite choice. I had Soy-glazed Beef Short Ribs with Charred Broccolini and an Herbed Salad on a bed of Robuchon Potatoes that I had substituted for Sticky Rice (I know that I am a pain, where ever we go). We both had excellent choices, her dish was more exotic and mine was more comfort.
I wanted to get something a little different for my Bride and I found a wine that sounded very interesting. Domaine Jean-Noel Gagnard Caroline Lestime Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune “Sous Eguisons” 2016. Here was a Chardonnay with a little different terroir, from an appellation where only twenty percent of the wine is white. The wine is named for the “cliff above the vineyard” and a very enjoyable bottle of wine from a well-respected house and there were only three-hundred cases made of this wine. Domaine Jean-Noel Gagnard managed the estate from 1960 to 1989 when his daughter Caroline Lestime took over, with planting new clones and abandoning fertilizers and herbicides. Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune is an appellation that was created in 1961 for red, white and rosé wines from the high slopes of the southern part of the Cote d’Or, the terroir is even different from the lower-level vineyards and this appellation takes longer for the fruit to ripen. It paired very well with the Alaskan Shad. I went to the same region of France and had the Domaine Lignier-Michelot Bourgogne Rouge 2018, and the Domaine has been managed by Virgile Lignier since 2000. Domaine Lignier-Michelot is a Burgundy producer based in Morey-Saint-Denis and the Lignier family has been there since the early 20th Century. Originally, they sold their grapes to negociants each vintage, until 1992 when they began bottling some of their own wines. They own about eight hectares and some of the plots have vines that are fifty years or older, and one of the plots is so small that it only produces one barrel of wine. The winery uses no pesticides or herbicides and they are vigilant in green pruning to maintain low yields. They destem all the fruit and it undergoes five days of cold maceration, and depending on the wine, it may age from twelve to sixteen months in oak. The Bourgogne appellation was created in 1937 and covers wines made from vineyards in the Burgundy region that are not from more location specific, or from plots that may have been declassified due to their youth, or for other reasons determined by the vigneron. There are about three-hundred communes that this appellation can be used for. With my dish of Short Ribs, I could have almost gone with any big red, but I thought that the more feminine qualities of Pinot Noir might be interesting. This wine was very floral in the nose and delivered a very fine quality Pinot Noir belying the modest appellation.