DRINKS/ Local Joints

Pedro Loves Laetitia

Saturday night I had the pure unadulterated pleasure of pairing one of my favorite sherry’s, Pedro Ximenez with Laetitia’s brut Cuvee as an aperitif at Lido. It was a match made in heaven.

Magnum Donati's 2006 Claret

Magnum of Donati's 2006 Claret

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me back up to the beginning. On Saturday night, Doug and I met some friends for dinner at new restaurant in town called Alphy’s Basque Chateau. I’m going to let him tell you about the meal but I will tell you about the Magnum of Donati Claret our friend Melane brought, that we drank. Claret is the British name for Bordeaux wines and this particular Claret consists of 45% Cabernet, 36% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. It has a very deep garnet color and leaves the glass inky. The wine is big and well balanced with light tannins, and smells of blackberry and cassis while tasting of licorice spice, and plums with a hint of tobacco. It has a nice silky, viscous feel in the mouth and is fruit forward but not overly fruity.  All in all a rather tasty wine that went well with the meal of Basque soup and Filet Mignon which although was cooked perfectly medium rare was unfortunately luke warm by the time it reached the table.

Collin at Lido restaurant with Laetitia sparkling

Collin at Lido restaurant

Then it was decided that we just HAD to go to Lido for some of their Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee with hazelnut praline, brown butter truffle and cocoa sabayon which is absolutely as decadent and yummy as it sounds. And paired nicely with my sparkling and sherry aperitif that was delightfully presented with flourish by Collin our bartender.

Initially I had just ordered the Pedro Ximenez sherry which has aromas of concentrated dried plum, and medjool dates that also translates to the palate along with sweet, honeyed raisins. It’s a rich, nectarous sherry that is on the lighter side of syrup with a smooth, sensuality that entices the taste buds. After a few sips though and talking about Mel’s champagne cocktail I thought how amazing would an aperitif of Sparkling and Pedro be? At which point I looked over to Collin who was more than delighted to oblige. We started with a taste of half and half  to see how it was and it was delightful but the sherry’s texture was too heavy in the sparkling so, golly gee whiz I had to drink a little more so that when we added the brut Cuvee the bubbles wouldn’t be diminished.

Pedro Ximenez and Laetitia Brut Cuvee

Pedro and Laetitia...love at first sight

By the time we added the sparkling it was more of a 75% Laetitia, 35% Pedro blend that was perfect! The sparkling helped dilute the syrupy characteristics of the sherry which allowed for the bubbles to rise and fill my mouth while the sweetness of the sherry against the dry brut made this pairing crazy good! I’d even say it was love at first sight between Pedro and Laetitia. Pedro adds a richness that rounds out the Laetitia in a way that is so unusual and unexpected it’s a real treat and the marriage creates an aperitif that can stand as a dessert on it’s own. This is one of those rare treats that if you are in a dessert mood but don’t want to splurge on something off the dessert tray, you can satisfy the sweet tooth and feel satiated at the same time.

“Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.”   Honore de Balzac


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  • Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    The blending of the 2 wines sound very interesting. I would suggest trying Schramberg’s Cremant to get the same effect. I was interested in the 5 Bordeaux blend meritage style wine. I remember that claret depicts a style like a dark rose and not a huge inky red. I have had some comments as to some free run juice having a dark rose color and being likened to a claret style regardless of the varietal. Just food for thought.

    • Reply
      April 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      The Schramsberg’s sounds like a fun pairing too. This particular Claret left a lovely ink on the inside of the glass, I might attribute it to the rich color of Petite Verdot and maybe the Syrah. This one was definitely not a rosy color by any stretch, unless by rose you are thinking of one as dark as a Black beauty varietal.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    “cHello. My name is Pedro Ximenez. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

    (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    DELICIOUS combo. I got to try some.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Agreed,agreed on all of th above with one glaring exception that I just can not ignore. 75% & 35%? I know it Monday and all, but I didn’t know we were going as high as 110% these days.
    Sorry Hills, the accountant in me made me do it.

    • Reply
      April 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Mel, you know EVERYTHING I DO IS 110%!!

    • Reply
      April 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      The drink was way better than a mere 100%. Sheesh. 🙂

  • Reply
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