Paul and I attended the Burgundy meets Oregon “Winter Dining Series” at the Culinary Institute of America.  This was the last of the season and fans of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay we were excited about the dinner.

The evening began in the Danny Kaye Theatre with a lecture that I thought would be on the two regions similarities and differences of the wine, terror, touch on the winemaking of both regions etc.  I am unclear if the person giving the lecture was with Domaine Drouhin /Maison Drouhlin.  I know he wasn’t from the distributor because he pointed out the people there from the distributor when he said they can tell you where to buy the wine. In any event, it really didn’t matter where he was from because nobody could understand him.  I thought maybe I needed my hearing checked, but other people who I spoke with at the event that were sitting in different areas of the theatre said the same.  Very disappointing.

A little background –  Domaine Drouhin is in the Dundee Hills of Oregon and is owned by Joseph Drouhin of Burgundy. In 1987 they established Domaine Drouhin in Oregon.  They have 225 acres with 105 currently planted.  The winery in Oregon is a gravity flow winery which was designed specifically for the production of Pinot Noir.  Moving on to France, they have 73 hectares throughout Burgundy.   They have 38 hectares in Chablis, 32 hectares in Cote de Nuits & Cote de Beaune and 3 hectares in Chalonnaise.  They are comprised of mostly Premier and Grand Crus planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnary. They are considered one of the largest estates in the region.

My notes the theatre tasting:
2010 Maison Drouhin, Laforet Chardonnay, Bourgogne France – Nose of oak, honeydew and pear.  Palate light with minerality.  A spicy citrus finish.  Retails for $14.99
2010 Maison Drouhin “Reserve de Vaudon” Chablis, France – Aromas of lemon curd and minerals. Palate crisp and fresh with minerality.  Retails for $25
2009 Domaine Drouhin “Arthur” Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, OR.  Fermentation takes place is half barrel and half tank.  Aromas of oak, butterscotch and suntan oil.  Not much going on with the taste, low acidity. Retails for $32.
2009 Maison Drouhin, Laforet Pinot Noir, Bourgogne, France – Fresh aromas blackraspberry Palate light fruit with a hot finish. Some black pepper. Retails for $15-$18.
2009 Domaine Drouhin, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR – This Pinot was more brickish in color compared to the other two above that were more garnet in color. Aromas of oak, vanilla and spice filled the glass.  This wine was nice and silky on the palate and nicely balanced.  Nicest of the three
2009 Maison Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune, Bourgogne, France – Aromas of mushroom and red berry lead way to a plate with red berry fruit, vanilla and a white pepper finish. Retails for $25

Dinner was served and there were two wines served with the Duck Pate that weren’t served during the seminar.  We had a 2009 Mersault, Maison Drouhin and a 2009 Moulin-a-Vent, Maison Drouhin from Bourgogne, France.  Both wines went very well with the Pate.

The Culinary was very accommodation as I am allergic to oysters (although I love them, my body rejects them) I wasn’t able to have the Oyster Soup so they made me a mushroom soup with 5 different mushrooms in it.  It was very good and paired very well with the Chablis.

Dinner was the classic Boeuf Bourguignonne paired with the 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot and the 2009 Cote de Beaune – Villages, Maison Drouhin

Dessert was an Almond & Puff Pastry cake paired with G.E Massenez Creme de Peche.  I found this Peche a tad to syrupy for my taste.  I think Mark Stopkie from Adair Vineyards in New Paltz, NY makes a Peche that is much more to my liking. It’s lighter and not as syrupy.

It is always interesting going to these Winter Dining Series at the Culinary.  The one thing you have to be able to handle is the food hangover you have the next day.  Yes food hangover.  I promise you, you won’t be hungry until dinner time the day after.