Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Better Than France - Ten Thousand Kilometers

We just saved several thousand dollars, ten thousand kilometers of travel, and an infinite amount of jet lag just for a French lunch. Rich and I could have flown to Paris for a lunch of Croque Monsieur, Pate de Campagne, and Calamar accompanied by wines from the Languedoc. Instead we headed to Cafe Campagne in the Pike Place Market where we had an over the top gourmet Croque Monsieur, an exceptional rustique Pate and Calamari Al Limone or Piccata followed by an amazing Tarte Tatin. The calamari tasted like the luxurious Spanish Angullas in an Italian Piccata sauce of lemon and capers - exquisite perfection. The pate consisted of course chunks of liver and meat with all the classic accompaniments of cornichons, mustard, picked onions, and olives. You would never find this in France - bistro food prepared at a three star level.

And the wine! Jake Kasseff, winner of first place in the Chaine des Rotisseurs 2006 Jeunes Sommelier Competition and Directeur du Vin at Campagne and Cafe Campagne put together a mind blowing wine tasting menu of incredible wines from the Southern French Languedoc, home of the infamous "lake of wine," but also home to beautifully made wines true to "terroir." What an accommodating list of glass pours. You can have a 2 oz. "taste "or a "full" glass at 6 oz. I took advantage of the opportunity to taste a "flight" of 2 oz. "tastes." The 2004 Cabardes Chateau de Pennautier was medium bodied and balanced with hints of vanilla and berry fruit. The 2003 Minervois "La Syrah" Villerambert Julien was light, fruity and spicy. The 2001 Minervois "La Reserve de Sirus Chateau La Croix Martelle had a beautiful perfumed cassis nose. The 2003 Corbieres "A" d'Aussieres Domaines de Aussieres seemed a little flat. The 2005 Coteaux de Languedoc Pic Saint Loup Classic Bergerie de l'Horus was bigger than the others and smelled of smoke and tobacco. To cap this tour de force from the Languedoc, we tasted the 2004 Cotes du Rhones Villages from Perrin & Fils which was much better than other wines and vintages from this same producer. This one had a great entry into the mouth followed by good black fruit flavors and a slightly tannic finish. You can tell that Jake had a lot of fun putting this selection together. With the Euro/Dollar exchange rate so favorable to the Europeans, perhaps it makes more sense to fly 10,000 kilometers from Paris to Seattle to experience three star bistro cooking and Jake's meticulously chosen Languedoc wine selections. Kudos!


  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger jeffdav said…

    I've had good experiences here as well. I've only eaten in the Cafe, but I hear the formal restaurant is even better.

  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Thanks for your comment, Jeff. Yes, some of the dishes at Campagne are exceptional, but in fact I prefer the cafe food. Gene


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