Recently I drove down to Baldwyn, MS to lead a wine tasting at the Old Post Office restaurant. Jim Davis, CFO of Stanford Financial Group is a native of Baldwyn and has reinvested in the town by opening this restaurant as well as a design shop across the street. The town itself lies in two counties. The county line runs straight down the center of Main Street. The Old Post Office is on one side of Main and the shop is on the other. One county is dry and one is wet. Obviously, the restaurant is on the wet side.
My friends Patrick and Deni Reilly (who are opening The Majestic Grill in the old Gordon Biersch space in downtown Memphis) brought me down to Baldwyn to lead this tasting. Patrick and I decided it would be fun to theme the tasting "Old World vs New World". We tasted a 2002 Barton & Geustier Loire Valley Vouvray, a 2000 Pine Ridge Napa Chardonnay, a 1996 Chateau Gloria Bordeaux, and a 2001 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot.
The crowd had never really experienced a wine tasting format before and most were very eager to learn and interact with me. I had maps and printouts to show tasters so that they would have a frame of reference of where the wines came from. The food Patrick had prepared really paired well with different wines. I instructed the tasters to try the Shrimp Dill pastries with the Vouvray, the Smoked Salmon toasts or the Baked Brie with the Chardonnay, and the smoked duck with cherries with both the Merlot and the Bordeaux.
All in all everyone had a wonderful time and I can't wait to do it again. Opening up people's minds, and mouths, to new flavors is always so rewarding.
James Beard Foundation President Will Step Down - Susan Ungaro, who helped lead the culinary organization back from a financial scandal, plans to retire at the end of the year.
5 hours ago