Daniel Johnnes’ second La Paulee event has just taken place in San Francisco – with a who’s who of sommeliers and chefs in attendance.
More than 300 of the western US’s most devoted Burgundy lovers paid US$1,400 a head for a seat at the Westin St Francis hotel in San Francisco last Friday.
Guests made an interesting mix of investment bankers, doctors, lawyers and wine shop owners.
There were celebrated Burgundy importers such as Martine Saunier, restaurateurs like Debbie Zachareas, wine director and co-owner of Bacar restaurant and the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant. Jeff Zacharia from Zachy’s in New York was there.
They were there to share bottles from their personal cellars, alongside library offerings supplied by the likes of Maison Louis Jadot’s Jaques Lardiere, Christophe Roumier of Domaine G Roumier and Pierre-Yves Colin.
Sommelier Daniel Johnnes of Restaurant Daniel in New York was given the idea for the American La Paulee events after going to the annual November harvest dinner celebration of the same name in Meursault.
It has become an annual event in New York, but this was only the second La Paulee in San Francisco – the last one being 2003.
‘It was time we came back,’ said Johnnes. ‘Demand was as great as in New York.’
The rare wines were poured by a who’s who of sommeliers from San Francisco and beyond.
Rajat Parr of Michael Mina Restaurants, Christie Dufault of Quince and Paul Einbund of Coi were backed by star sommeliers like Bernard Sun of Jean-Georges in New York, and Richard Betts of Little Nell in Aspen.
The six-course dinner was prepared by star chefs Daniel Boulud, Michael Mina and Traci Des Jardins of San Francisco, and Regis Marcon of St-Bonnet-le-Froid in France.
An auction netted US$300,000 to benefit the San Francisco and New York branches of charity Meals on Wheels. Magnums of Domaine Clos des Lambrays 1947 and Domaine Rousseau Chambertin 1962 each fetched US$10,000.
As a pointer to the health of the Burgundy market in the US it was instructive. As Wine writer and Decanter contributor Jordan Mackay observed, ‘If they keep having events like this, there won’t be any old Burgundy in five years.’
Written by Tim Teichgraeber in San Francisco