Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flights of Fancy

Tonight is the third and final class in the Zack Bruell Wine School: Tour de France series at Cowell & Hubbard. Exploring the Rhone and southern regions, the tasting dinner promises a true French experience: bouillabaisse, braised lamb shoulder, canapes, cheeses and, of course, tiny chocolate mignardises (which means "cute" in Old French). The wines will be served and explained by Bruell's sommelier, Robert LaBuda, while the menu is created by chef de cuisine Andy Dombrowski (along with the chefs at Cowell & Hubbard).

Dombrowski says each class presents at least three courses with three wines each, which allows participants to more fully experience subtle variations in wines within a single region.

That way, he says, guests get to "have some fun and play around with it, as opposed to just saying, 'Here, this is a Bordeaux, and this is what you should taste, and this is what it goes with. Would you like to buy a bottle?'" 

Featured wines will range from run-of-the-mill bottles to higher-end or lesser-known makers for a more robust exploration of the Rhone and Southern regions of France. "We’re showing our guests the difference in taste not only from a quality [perspective], but educating them on the regions," he says. "It’s kind of a neat and different way to do a wine dinner."

(We'll be live Tweeting our thoughts and tastes along the way, so stay tuned, and send us any questions along the way.)

"You don’t have to be bashful about asking questions," promises Dombrowski. "It’s a very welcoming environment ... an open forum, and that’s kind of how we treat our restaurants as well."

If you're already asking, 'When's the next one?" check out the Giro di Italia series focusing on Italian vintners at Chinato in October, or January's New World series at Parallax, which will explore wines from North and South America and the Australian continents. Call 216-298-9080 to make a reservation for the Italian series or 216-583-9999 for the New World. Classes are $90 each or $250 for the entire series. One participant from each series will win dinner with Bruell and a guest.

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