People talk about being “home for the holidays,” but it’s a good time not just to be home but also at a “home away from home” which is where I was the other night - at one of my very favorite restaurants, and I’m lucky enough to live only a few minutes away from it. That restaurant is the Country House in Stony Brook, and Bob Willemstyn (the owner of the Country House, and a dear friend of our family) makes each dinner and event special.
|The Country House - Stony Brook, NY|
The other night, Bob had selected the Laurent-Perrier Demi-Sec Champagne to pair with small lobster tails in a wonderful butter sauce. It’s been ages since I’ve had a Demi-Sec style Champagne (while Demi-Sec sounds like it should mean “half-dry,” it’s actually a bit sweet in comparison to Brut style Champagne, with a sugar content between 32 and 50 grams per litre), and Bob had recently mentioned this particular Champagne and had it ready when our family arrived at the restaurant, and I was really excited to try it. It paired excellently with the lobster appetizer. The Champagne is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and a bit of Pinot Meunier, with a golden color and great depth and complexity, including white citrus and orchard fruit, nut, and a bit of a baked characteristic, but the feature that stood out most for me was the sweetness, mostly floral and honeyed. I had been expecting the Champagne to be even sweeter, but in fact the sweetness was relatively subtle and the clean feel and smooth texture made for an elegant, luxurious experience.
|Laurent-Perrier Demi-Sec Champagne|
With dinner (I had duck), I chose the 2006 Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir. I can hardly believe that it was my first time trying a Buena Vista wine but it was, and it certainly lived up to its reputation of being dependable, expressive, and of good quality. Very “Pinot” in color, it’s red with a clear water rim, and characteristics of bright fruit, soft spices, an almost sophisticated earthiness, and lots of smokiness, with nice acidity and good balance, soft tannin and a long finish. The wine is lovely and very food friendly and I’m so happy I finally tried a Pinot from Buena Vista.
|2006 Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir|