Drastic change from the Willamette Valley’s sunny skies and golden-leaved vineyards, we are in New York City under (once again) rainy skies. We have come to this great city for Wine Spectator’s bi-annual New York Wine Experience located in the heart of New York’s Times Square which we are so proud to be part of.

Pouring wine along with Angelo Gaja, Chateau Margaux, Latour, Beaucastel, Guigal, Dom Perignon, Penfolds and others is thrilling. Seeing friends who I have met over the past few years out on the road selling wine is also a lot of fun: Siduri, Loring, Kosta Browne, Chateau Palmer Elderton and others. We are also here pouring alongside many of our good friends from Oregon who were also invited: Beaux Freres, Domaine Serene, Archery Summmit, Ponzi, Argle and Domaine Drouhin. What a great event!

What I really wanted to share with you was the highlight of this trip: a dinner at Per Se Restaurant (owned by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.) We ate there on the night that we arrived from Oregon and what an experience it was! After a glass of Champagne in the comfortable lounge area we were seated at an amazing table looking out on Columbus Circle with the lit up fountain and Central park as the backdrop. The restaurant informed us that we did not need to order off the menu as the chef was going to prepare a special meal for us.

I had heard great things about Per Se and I must say that our expectations were very high going into this evening. What I wasn’t expecting was that we were about to have our minds and culinary expectations totally blown out of the water by what was by far the greatest dining experience of our lives! We enjoyed over 15 courses that night with highlights such as:

A “Sapayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Iranian Sevruga Caviar

White Truffle infused custard with a “Ragout” of Black Winter Truffles served in an egg-shell.

Risotto with copioius amounts of hand shaved white truffle flown over from Alba Italy

Butter poached Nova Scotia Lobster tail with melted leeks, “Pommes Maxim’s” and red beet essense.

Sauteed Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras with flowering Quince marmalade, confit of chestnuts, spiced shortbread and Roquette leaves with Saporoso Vinaigrette.

The meal was simply divine and redefined for me what a great dining experience can be about. The service was impeccable, the quality of the food was absolutely top notch, the environment was gorgeous and the wine list and wine services was absolutely the best I’ve seen. Bravo!

We were full until about 4pm the next day when we went to a little kosher deli down the street and had a burger and fries…wow, what a let down that burger was.

Well, one more night of pouring our wines and then we are off to Oregon to harvest the last of our Riesling which is currently enjoying a week of beautiful sunny skies with cool nights. Take Care!