Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd1299/wd122499.html on line 28

Warning: include(http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd1299/wd122499.html on line 28

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/1999/wd1299/wd122499.html on line 28

 

by Fred McMillin
for December 24, 1999

 

Winery of the Week

All About Eve
(Christmas, That Is)

 

'Twas the month after Christmas
And Santa had flit;
Came there tidings for father
Which read: "Please remit!"

...from Paul Dickson's Toasts

Here's a gift that was not followed by "please remit." "Every President finds himself deluged with products from a happy nation at Christmastime. For example, Thomas Jefferson received a thousand-pound cheese which was delivered by horse and wagon clear from Pennsylvania."

...Francois Rysavy's White House Menus

President Jefferson could handle the cheese. In one of his cellars were "three wooded horses" supporting planks for storing large cheeses.


Wine and Cheese

What wines would Jefferson have served with the cheese? During his eight years in office, the third President of the U.S. purchased about 20,000 bottles of European wine. Many were from Bordeaux, where grow Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. So we'll assume some of them accompanied the cheese, and our Winery of the Week must be a California winery that uses these grapes to make Bordeaux-style wines. Here it is.


Renaissance Vineyard and Winery

Renaissance Vineyard and Winery French-trained Gideon Beinstock makes the wines, and says, "We use very gentle methods of extraction, employing procedures COMMON IN BORDEAUX." Are they effective? Let's look at those four varietals that probably accompanied Jefferson's cheese.
Cabernet Sauvignon—Won a GOLD at the prestigious VINEXPO.
Merlot—"Impressive...rich but beautifully restrained." (Norm Roby, Decanter)
Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc—My panel just tasted the dry '97 CUVEE BARRIQUE white blend. Won Best Blanc Blend so far this year.
Rating—EXCELLENT, $17.


Service

I offer both red and white wines, and an assorment of white, blue-veined and yellow cheeses, with crisp water crackers that don't interfere with the other flavors.

For more about Renaissance, (pictured),

  • The 1986 Cab is covered in the Dec. 2, 1997 WineDay. It won Best of Tasting.
  • A Sauvignon Blanc scored in the May 6, 1997 WineDay.
  • For more on the Gideon Bordeaux touch, see the Oct. 14, 1998 WineDay titled, "The Renaissance Man".


    Postscript

    Historian David McCullough tells us Jefferson not only liked wine and cheese, but that in his garden he grew SIXTEEN varieties of PEAS!

     
    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

     
  •  

    WineDay Annex

    More articles by
    Fred McMillin

     

    Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.

     

    12/23/99
    Bet The Ranch On This One

    12/22/99
    Shakepeare In Love

    12/21/99
    Annie, Fanny and Jamie

    12/20/99
    Italy's Greatest Wine??

    12/17/99
    Winery of the Week
    Good News and Bad News

    12/16/99
    Top Gun Ortman

    12/15/99
    A Big Bargain Pinot Vino

    12/14/99
    Nostradamus and Martini

    12/13/99
    Drake and the Grape

    12/10/99
    Winery of the Week
    The Men of Markham

    12/09/99
    The Valid Salad Problem

    12/08/99
    Frescobaldi and Mondavi

    12/07/99
    A Trencher Quencher

    12/06/99
    Charlie's Cheese

    12/03/99
    Winery of the Week
    The Greatest
    Female Vintner

    12/02/99
    Happy Hollandaise

    12/01/99
    Daughter Was A Vintner

    Current WineDay

    January WineDays
    February WineDays
    March WineDays
    April WineDays
    May WineDays
    June WineDays
    Summer Vacation
    September WineDays
    October WineDays
    November WineDays

    1998 WineDays

    1997 WineDays

     
    The Global Gourmet

    Copyright © 1999—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.