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The Juice Growing season updates, exciting new domaines, or whatever gets us bubbling and fermenting...this is the Becky Wasserman Selection platform for news straight from the source.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

STATE OF THE NATION: LESS CAN BE MORE

STATE OF THE NATION: LESS CAN BE MORE

As a tired, whiskery old dragon, breathing more smoke than flame, I wish to express my profound distaste for serving too many courses with too many wines. An abrupt statement but one inspired by a particularly sumptuous midday feast consisting of spring vegetables, a lovely roast, and six bottles of Musigny. Three bottles of the rare Faiveley Musigny arrived from the States, courtesy of our Colorado importer, a man of few words but a man of great generosity and intelligence who inspired the event. Three bottles arrived straight from Chambolle with Fred and Jocelyn Mugnier. We were seven at table, a civilized number, we were not in a hurry (Sunday), and the wines wanted - and were given - ample time to look around and decide if they were pleased with the guests.

A digression: Burgundies either like you and the setting or they don’t. I am speaking, of course, about natural wines, those that have not been overly protected against all eventualities by excessive fining, filtering, etcetera. I have noted that they are not fond of icy air-conditioning, blood-hot room temperatures, vase-like glassware, noisy dinner parties, Ninnynanny beef rosettes from Rancher John’s Steer Spa with a sauce flavoured by peppercorns handpicked by virgins on the remote island of……

This is not bragadoccio about the wines we drank. I just want to say that the Musignys in all years remained true to their origins and could not have been anything other than Musigny. Different styles, but then again there is more than one fine interpreter of ‘Blue Moon’; the interpreter does not change the composition although we might prefer a torchy version to a wistful one.

I truly had not thought about it before, but had we served more than a single generous dish, the experience could have been blurred. A constant was required. Fred pointed this out, how well the several pounds of roast beef served us in that respect. It was delicious hot, warm, cool. It remained on the table for close to two hours so that we could help ourselves and linger over the Musignys as they continued to expand.

There are occasions for wild abundance, and occasions when less is more. A handful of likeminded friends, beautiful wines, and a fine roast became a simple yet perfect afternoon, which far exceeded our expectations.

Becky

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