Josiah Citrin created an incredible wine pairing dinner for Mr. Devine’s February ROPP, during which he took the group on a extraordinarily fun trip around the world.  Who needs the TSA?  And it is always fun having the world famous wine maker Ms. Ann Colgin as a guest.  And it was double fun having Ms. Wools, too!

Beginning with a gorgeous 2002 Dom Rose (although I prefer my Rose Champs older, this 2002 was quite brilliant), this was a very small –group wise — ROPP, and the vibe was fantastic and we all had a really fun time, and were really “on it” when it came to identifying the wines (as usual, all wines were tasted blind — Mr. Devine knew the wines but not the order).

The first course was an incredible food wine pairing — again, props to Chef Citrin for putting so much thought into this dinner — every course was stunning (see menu below).   This is why I literally count the days when I know we are all going to Melisse — it (along with Providence) is the best grand French dining house in Los Angeles, and one of the best in America.  Mr. Desai and Mr. Wools very quickly identified the wines:  Trimbach Clos St. Hune — both of them have had a lot of experience with his incredible wine (see my dinner at Matsuhisa Samurai Bar).   Mr. Wender named three of the six years (73, 83 and 89) — the years he named were my favorite wines of the flight — the 73, which I had a few months ago at Matsuhisa Samurai Bar with Jay McInerney and Christian Navarro, is one of my favorite white wines of all time, and it was in perfect form last night.

Upon whiffing the next flight, I immediately identified it as Australia — Mr. Devine did not want to give in so fast, but eventually he admitted “yes, Australia.”  Well, there are only two great wines in Australia, Penfolds Grange and Hill Of Grace.  Since I served 59 and 71 grange at my ROPP last month, the group knew this had to be Hill Of Grace.  Now, there are three great wines — the holy trinity — by Hill Of Grace — 89, 90 and 91.  The two best wines of the flight were 90 and 91.  98 was known as a fantastic vintage, but the 90 and the 91 (there was no 89 in the flight) are impossible to beat.  Gorgeous, gorgeous wines.

We went back to France, this time burgundy for a flight of Leroy RSV — it was no surprise that the wine of the flight was 1990.  TIP:  1990 is one of those vintages that is absolutely fantastic EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD:  from France to Australia, from Italy to California — you cannot go wrong with a 1990.  IDEA FOR WINE DINNER:  great 90s from around the world.

The final flight was pure fun.  1997 California Cabs.  We ALL identified the 97 Colgin — Herb Lamb Vineyard — which shows how great the teroir of that wine is.  None of us got the Screaming Eagle (I mistaked it for Maya, because it was so round) — but I have to say (and I am not an Eagle fan) that, along with the Colgin, the Screamer was my favorite wine of the flight.

We finished with a 2001 Dyquem, which Chef Citrin paired with my favorite dessert of all time:  Grand Marnier Souffle.

Props to the best dressed and most vivacious Sommelier in LA, Matthew Luczy — he was with us the entire night (in the private room) and his wine service was impeccable.

What a fun night.  I am very thankful that we have Josiah Citrin and Melisse in Los Angeles.  If you want an incredible fine dining experience, run, don’t walk to Melisse.  And I high recommend the private room for special occasions, and especially wine dinners like our february ROPP.




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