André Tchelistcheff is Alive and Well!

It is quite rare that we are offered the opportunity to taste a wine from our birth year. Tonight I had that privilege, and what an honor it was!

The 1968 Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) Estate Bottled ‘Beaumont’ Pinot Noir from Napa Valley.
For those of you who are new to wine or new to tasting older vintages, wines are truly like people…The great ones really do get better with age!

First of all, this wine is a very rare bottle of BV Pinot Noir from the time when the Latour family still owned the winery and the great André Tchelistcheff still had his hand in the wine-making process; a man whom Robert Mondavi referred to as…”a fascinating man, brilliant, stimulating, creative – a catalyst for the world of wine.”…“I know of no one who has been more helpful to the industry.  His teachings and consultations internationally, without doubt, improved the quality of winemaking in our country. 

When we first opened the wine, I thought…”it’s dead…it’s done…past peak…what a shame”. But we decided to leave it in the glass to see what would happen. Well…she opened up and began to express herself in all her glory!

A truly elegant wine with notes of truffles, dark cherries and licorice. The sweet nose was addictive and the fruit showed surprisingly well for a wine this old. It had all the qualities that you would find in a great Barolo but without the tannic grip.

We enjoyed it with herb-roasted chicken, which always pairs well with older red wines.



Champagne Lallier Premier Cru Rosé Brut NV
Spicy Grilled Shrimp, White Beans & Smoked Bacon
Involtini of Eggplant, Ricotta & Pomodoro
Baked Clams

2004 Bouchard, Meursault Perriers
Fresh Linguine with Seafood, Garlic, Wine & Butter
Seafood Risotto

1968 Beaulieu Vineyard, ‘Beaumont’ Pinot Noir
1999 Luigi Einaudi, ‘Nei Cannubi’ Barolo

1998 Clinet, Pomerol
Herb Roasted Chicken, Rosemary Yukon Gold Potatoes


Herb-Roasted Drumsticks

Talk about a Budget Meal; I bought a package of 15 drumsticks for $4.10!

3 large potatoes
1 bunch of leeks
2 large carrots
1 large red onion
Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage)

Generously season the chicken. I used salt, pepper, paprika, cardamom, oregano, and the fresh herbs.

Add plenty of extra-virgin olive oil and toss together with the potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions.

Place everything on a baking sheet & roast for one hour at 400 degrees, basting the chicken & turning vegetables two or three times. Loosely cover the chicken with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

And you can feed 4 to 6 people for under $10.

Perfect Roast Chicken

The other day I was watching that very popular cooking network with all those famous chefs. One of the chefs mentioned that it was “not” necessary to wash a chicken before roasting and that contact with water would prevent it from becoming crisp.

My mother would be rolling in her grave if she heard that a chicken was not being washed. In fact, my mother used to soak her chicken in a pot with cold running water.

I followed my mother’s advice and took it a step further by adding lots of salt to the water. After soaking, I patted it dry and seasoned it heavily with salt and pepper, inside and out. My mother always placed a lemon and a bay leaf inside the bird with whatever fresh herbs she had in her pantry.

I generously rubbed the bird with herb-butter (the butter aids in crisping and coloring the chicken) and tied and shackled him in a simple fashion.

The roasting is easy.
For a 3 to 4lb chicken, roast it at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour, then remove the bird and give it a happy basting bath. Return the bird to the oven and roast for another 1/2 hour.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes on warm stove top. My mother always covered roasts loosely with some aluminum foil after removing them.

I like to de-glaze the roasting pan with some white wine or sherry, loosening all those tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Season the gravy as desired and serve with the bird.