Sunday, March 25, 2018

Marilyn Merlot welcomes grand-daughter Mackenzie Jean

Marilyn Merlot 2014 highlights family dinner celebrating arrival of grand-daughter Mackenzie Jean

Celebrating another family birth of grand-daughter Mackenzie Jean to son Ryan and daughter-in-law Michele, daughter Erin and grand-daughter Lucy were with us for Sunday Brunch after church so I pulled from the cellar this whimsical Marilyn Monroe Merlot. We hold a vertical collection of over a dozen vintages of this label which each year features a historic photograph of the legendary starlet.

The 2014 release is the thirtieth of this wine and label. This year's label features a photo by photographer Bernard Bruno (Bernard of Hollywood). Bernard took the photo of Marilyn in the 1950’s when Marilyn was producing her own movies.  Marilyn is said to have told Bernard, “Remember, Bernie you started it all —you discovered me!” during the photo shoot for this historic photo.

The 2014 release is a blend of  97% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the fruit sourced from Andy Beckstofer’s Napa Valley Missouri Hopper vineyard in the Oakville Appellation.  

This 2014 is dark scarlet colored with hues of purple, medium bodied, concentrated but somewhat subdued black berry and cherry fruit flavors with a firm backbone, tones of spice, dark mocha chocolate, hints of mushrooms, earth and what the winemaker calls 'forest floor', turning to nicely integrated acidity and moderate tannins on the lingering finish.

RM 89 points


Schwa Chicago - a place to experience food as art

Our Pour Boys wine group returned with the girls to dine at Chef Michael Carslon's simple non-descript storefront with the black awning, Schwa Restaurant in Wicker Park, Chicago.

We took a broad diverse flight of fine wines to pair with the nine course artfully crafted haute culinary journey that stimulates all the senses with imaginative dishes that are as artful as they are tasteful.

Schwa provides a perfect BYOB experience as they choreograph an extraordinary culinary course with our extensive wine flight. In retrospect, we learned to bring a more diverse flight of wines rather than three Bordeaux, for example ... A spectacular wine/dine experience in any event. 

Our wine flight:

Fantesca Sonoma County Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009
Sea Smoke Single Barrel One Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
Chateau Pavie Macquin St Emilion Bordeaux 2004
Chateau Troplong Mondot St Emilion Bordeaux 2005
Chateau Leoville Las Cases St Julien Bordeaux 2006
Chateau Suideraut Sauterne Bordeaux 2013
Bricco Luciani Mauro Molino Barolo 2013
Crofts Vintage Port 2003

Friend and colleague Mike S joined us from Conneticut and added a new dimension to our wine group and wine flight with two of his own personally crafted wines - Michael's Amarone 2007 and Michael's Super Tuscan Blend 2007.

The culinary artwork mastery of Schwa ... neither pictures nor words can do justice to the olfactory and sensory experience. The music is loud and the pace is frenetic ... too much so to take in the details and keep up ... Go during the week when there is only one seating so you might have more time. Of course bringing so many wine courses didn't help. The staff do an amazing job parsing through the courses and matching the wines.

Pretzel twig ... shitake mushrooms ...

Peanut butter ... crab medallions ...

Signature dish ... shaved truffel, quail egg filled ravioli ...

Trout Roe ...

Spanish Mackerel ...

Seaweed Sea Smoke ...

Beef braised tip  ... served in incense smoker bowl ...

Foie gras ...

Sorbet ...

For so many wines, one tends to hold to compare each against the previous and following resulting in a wide swatch of glasses ...!