by Fred McMillin
for September 14, 1998
Born Sept. 14,1768
Vicomte de Chateaubriand
French Author and Great Gourmet
The Vicomte de Chateaubriand was joined for dinner by another
legendary gourmand, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, at a Parisian
restaurant. The owner announced he had created a new dish,
named for the vicomte himself--in honor of Chateaubriand's
latest novel, La Genie Du Christianisme. It turned
out to be a succulent tenderloin encased between two slices
of flank steak. The outer steaks were seared until black,
then discarded; the tenderloin between them remained juicily
rare. Chateaubriand steak had been born!
...Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets by Betty Wason
The Rest of the Story
So it's the birthday of Vicomte Francois Auguste Chateaubriand.
What wine to serve with the "succulent tenderloin" that
bears his name? We nominate the best-tasting 1994 California
Cabernet sampled so far this year.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mtn., Napa Valley
St. Clement Vineyards, St. Helena, CA.
Production—Only 250 cases
Tasting Notes—My palate agrees with the comments of Winemaker
Dennis John: "This is as big a wine as possile, mouthfilling
and rich, yet with subtle tannins."
Contact—Jennifer Lamb, (707) 963-7221
About that new dish, even French royalty was impressed;
King Louis XVIII, who came to the throne in 1815, was so
pleased with the Chateaubriand steak that he also had cutlets
and chops grilled the same way, between two thin steaks.
Note—For more about the winery, see the 2/25/97 WineDay
Sent St. Clement."
||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
and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the
Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored
Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded
to American wine writers.
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