The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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A Sommelier Sit-Down PEEK INSIDE AN INTIMATE LUNCH AS L.A.'S TOP SOMMS GET TOGETHER TO BLIND TASTE WINES FROM THE MAISONS MARQUES & DOMAINES PORTFOLIO edited by Rachel Burkons / photos by Susan Sabo A sit-down with some of your city's fellow somms may sound inauspicious, even over a welcoming glass of something as special as Roederer Cristal. But augment this meeting with the likes of Master Sommelier extraordinaire Fred Dame at the head of the table, and it becomes a once-in-a-career moment for many. In mid-November, THE TASTING PANEL and Maisons Marques & Domaines joined forces to make such memories possible, throwing a mini-party for L.A.'s top somms at Neal Fraser's celebrated restaurant BLD. The invitation-only affair brought together wine directors and sommeliers, who we challenged to a blind wine tasting of stunning global wines from the MMD portfolio wines. As each course rolled out, our intrepid somms tasted and tested themselves, discussing varietals and regions, comparing ideas and announcing their guesses, all under Dame's watchful eye. Co-host Xavier Barlier, VP of Marketing for Maisons Marques, was on hand to offer guidance, and explained each wine thoroughly during the "reveal." From France and Italy to Spain and South Africa, Maisons Marques & Domaines' diverse and delightful global portfolio kept our panel on its toes with challenging, unique and unexpected wines. "This is a celebration of the friendship we have for each other," toasted Barlier. "This is not just a job, but a choice of lifestyle with a purpose of providing an epicurean experience for those we encounter." Xavier Barlier, VP of Marketing for Maisons Marques & Domaines, goes into detail during one of the exciting reveals. TP0114_034-65.indd 56 12/19/13 9:28 PM

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