Aspen 2017 — Team Bravo! at the Food & Wine Classic

Quotes From The Week

“God created cabernets but the devil created Pinot Noir because it’s so hard to grow.”

“Picolit is Italy’s greatest dessert wine.”

“Lady Justice may be blind, but she drinks like a zillionaire.”

“Bobby’s Motto: Always Champagne. The greatest champagnes will have a nuttiness or briocheness like baked bread.”

“The guest is always right, but sometimes they are incorrect.”

“I hate when people say you don’t need alcohol to have fun… you don’t need running shoes to run but it helps!”

“Swirl the wine covered to get the best nose.”

“When someone says the wine is leathery, they mean like a 1960s Italian Jackie O type of leather.”

“Rosé & BBQ Ribs are the perfect marriage.”

“Just call me Smokey.”

“Proseco should be called Prozaco it makes you feel so good.”

“You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”

After traveling to Aspen we needed to fuel up at the Chefs Club. This restaurant has been named one of the 100 Best Restaurants in the country by Time Magazine. As we entered we were surprised to see one of our past employees, Zach Bowersox, bartending at the Chefs Club.

Wednesday we went fly fishing on the Frying Pan River. What an appropriate name for our group. It is important to get some exercise before the Food & Wine Classic begins. This is Jimmy in action and the Bravo! team telling fish stories afterwords.

Golfing down the valley at Ironbridge. They say that the ball travels farther at high altitude and that’s because if you slice or hook the ball it drops 1,000 yards down a cliff.

Dinner at Matsuhisa!!!!! A little Saki, Rock Shrimp, Wagu Beef & Black Cod.

Guess who we ran into outside the tents? Yes, Chef Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef Masters and a Culinary Institute of America alumni.

Saturday morning’s first seminar is Wines for Zillionaires by Mark Oldman. Terry and Don getting ready and a bottle of Jay Z’s Ace Of Spades Champagne.

Hate to brag, but hanging out with Chefs Daniel Boulud and Scott Conant in the morning was a tough way to start the day! Can you say Chopped?

Outside the tasting tents with Aspen Mountain in the background. Inside the tents, and we are up to the task of sampling wines before the next seminar.

Shawn hamming it up with Food & Wine’s top new chef Angie Mar from The Beatrice in New York and with Joe Wagner, winemaker for Belle Glos, who chose the name Belle Glos (pronounced “BELL GLOSS”) to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner. This Pinot Noir rocks so check it out on the Bravo! wine list.

American Raw Milk Cheese Seminar with Laura Werlin

Laura Werlin is a local resident of both Aspen and San Francisco. We have 45 minutes to power eat and drink. Lots of people have wine and cheese parties. Laura has cheese and wine tastings. Always take a first sip of wine then another small sip to calm down your palette.

The first wine is a Rosé from the Willamette Valley in Oregon where the climate is cooler. It is paired with the Twig Farm “Goat Square” cheese, so named for the shape and made by a fine arts major turned cheese farmer. Their goats stay outside all year in Vermont. This cheese was made in March. To be a raw milk cheese in America, it must be aged a minimum of 60 days. Raw milk cheeses have a better flavor because the bacteria are allowed to live for three months.

The Brush Creek Creamery “Maple Mountain Brie” cheese, from Deary, Idaho, is wrapped in a grape leaf and then wrapped in a softened maple bark from the Brush Creek land. It was salty and paired with the Chardonnay which smoothed it out.

The Ancient Heritage Dairy “Isabella” cheese from Portland, Oregon, is named after the owner’s granddaughter and is from an urban creamery with 75–80% cow’s milk and the rest sheep’s milk. It was tasty.

The Benovia Pinot Noir, my favorite, was paired with the Farm at Doe Run “St. Malachi Reserve,” a golden raw cow’s milk cheese. Its color is attributed to the grass the cows fed on and has a little crunch or “crystals.”

The “Cenyth” (which means Zenith) from Sonoma County is a blend of Cabernet Franc + Merlot + Cabernet + Malbec. The winemaker had dreamed of making a bordeaux style in Sonoma. Lighter tannins are more cheese-friendly.

The Red Barn Family Farms “Cupola,” named for the barn toppers, is “gouda meets parmesan.” Laura calls the crystals “cheese crack” because they are so addictive. This cheese has a buttery finish.

Pennyroyal Farm’s “Boont Corners Reserve” looks like Himalayan Salt and has been aged a long time. The mountain air makes it drier. Pair this with the Pinot Noir and the Cenyth.

The Syrah-Grenache was easy sipping and easy pairing. Laura rates pairings in three ways: Switzerland, which is neutral; Titanic, which doesn’t end well; and Nirvana, which makes the angels sing.

The Late Harvest Botrytis Semillon was a delicious Napa dessert wine ending. The winemaker named this wine in honor of his mom. Like all dessert wines, it is a small vintage with only one barrel which equates to 50 cases of ½ bottles.

Lark’s Meadow Farm’s “Alto Valle” is a Portuguese style sheep’s milk cheese that has been washed in brine that makes it creamy and strong.

The Grey Barn “Bluebird” from Martha’s Vineyard has a square shape and is salty but not as pungent as most Bleu cheeses.

The chocolate in the center is made by a new chocolate maker and can be found at the restaurant, Zin. It is made with Mexican cocoa beans and has a salted caramel crunch.

All of the wines are available except the Cenyth.

The cheeses are rare and may be very hard to get, but with these notes, you should be able to get something close from your favorite cheese shop.

Quel Fromage with Laura Werlin and Bobby Stuckey was another seminar about cheese.

“It’s important to taste the wine before tasting food because you want to taste the wine on a clean palette.”

Chalky goat cheese is the inside unripened part of the cheese. The ripened part of cheese next to the rind is creamier.

“If people have a lot of cheeses and are serving only one wine, which wine should they choose? Always champagne. It’s a great leveling agent.

Transhumance — the tradition of taking goats to higher pastures for the summer season and not coming down until fall.

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