All hail Binny’s first 2004 Bordeaux tasting on Monday – it was one of their best. At the Lakeview location were 56 producers from the Pessac-Leognan, Graves, St. Emilion, Pomerol, and even a few (lesser) Medoc producers. The most highly regarded producer there was probably Lynch Bages but there were many other enjoyable wines. I haven’t spent so much time with the right bank and lesser appellations before. New ones I enjoyed a lot included Ch. La Couspaude, St. Emilion Grand Cru; Ch. Ferriere, Margaux; Ch. Giscours, Margaux; Ch. Talbot, St.-Julien; and Mouton’s Ch. D’Armailhac, Pauillac. I wasn’t a fan of Pessac-Leognan but my favorite was Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan.
The most amazing part of the tasting, however, was the people pouring the wine – the owners and viogners. Most complained about the 2004 vintage but some, particularly the left bank, Cabernet-focused producers, said it was a typical year. The difficulty arose because of August rains (Merlot and Petit Verdot are early-ripening grapes). We reminisced about our Bordeaux trip a few months ago with many of the producers and have many invitations to come back soon.
You just can’t find a better way to spend two hours and $35 to understand a wine region. High marks for this tasting. By the way, a similar format for the 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape tasting is scheduled for Feb. 8 (hey, that’s my birthday!). What to join us?

Well, I may not have picked the romping the Republicans got in the mid-term elections, but how prescient was I in my Oct. 16 prediction that the Bears were going all the way. It’s been 21 yrs since we made it to the Big Dance. I’m not nearly as optimistic as I was then but if the D plays the way they did yesterday, we’ve got a good shot to beat Manning and the Colts. It’s all about the line.

Life without glasses: on my third trip to the surgeon, my LASIK eye operation was successful. I miss my glasses still, and have yet to come to terms with life without them. No more shield with which to hide my exhaustion…or the night prior…. Nonetheless, for those who really want to get rid of those glasses (me, somewhat) I recommend the procedure. After flaking during my pre-op at LASIK Plus, I paid the 2.5 times for Dr. Rosenberg at Northwestern. He’s well worth the money. Bedside manner was average but the guy knows what he’s doing and gave me a lot of confidence to come back after my first trip to him wasn’t successful.