by Fred McMillin
for November 5, 1998
Happy Birthday, Monsieur Mornay,
Born Nov. 5, 1549
Sauce Mornay was created for French King Henri IV
by his prime minister, Philippe de Mornay--a white
sauce made with fragrant fish broth, enriched
with Parmesan and Gruyere cheese.
...Betty Wason in Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets
The Rest of the Story
Since a stack of stuffed crepes coated with
Mornay Sauce is the most popular dish my wife
teaches, we must toast Philippe's birthday
tonight...but with what wine?
Well, about the time Mornay was born, the Feuillant
monks founded the winery we know today as Chateau
Meyney. The order really went back to the basics,
sleeping on the bare ground and drinking out of
skulls. They ran it for several centuries.
Now we fast forward to 1990. The monks are long
gone and Domaines Cordier is upgrading Meyney.
Critic Oz Clark writes, Meyney "has quietly but
determinely been coming up on the inside rails
for a number of years...the wine is reliably
fine because Cordier ruthlessly select only the
best vats (creating) a big, broad-flavored
1995 Chateau Meyney
Saint-Estephe, Red Bordeaux Wine
Bordeaux Status—The Cordier's accomplishments
were recognized in 1978 when the chateau was
elevated in the Bordeaux classification to
the EXCEPTIONELS status.
U.S.A. Contact—Angela Freire, Seagram Chateau &
Estate Wines, phone (707) 255-7667.
About that Mornay sauce, I'm sure King Henri IV
could fully appreciate it. Ms. Wason writes
that he was "virtually christened a gourmet
when the infant's lips were rubbed with garlic,
followed by a sip of vintage wine!"
||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.
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