The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Burgers & BeaujolaisPart II C onsider, if you will, the hamburger. At its core, it is a simple sandwich: practi- cal, portable and delicious. Yet when it is dolled up with a slathering of caramelized onions and a stinky cheese, or composed of lamb instead of traditional beef, it can ascend from pedestrian status to a work of culinary art—one that is worthy of being paired with an exquisite glass of wine. Such is the thought behind the Burgers & Beaujolais program, an intriguing concept hatched by Deutsch Family Wines District Manager Jason Hayes as a means to highlight the exquisite versatility of the crus found in the Georges Duboeuf wine catalogue. And con- sidering the program explores the magic that occurs when a fi ne glass of cru Beaujolais gets paired with a kicked-up meat patty, Georges Duboeuf's acclaimed labels, such as Château des Capitans and Domaine Jean Descombes, make for most excellent partners. "The wines to the early days of the city as a budding metropo- lis, the venue certainly serves as an ideal back- ground in which to feature Georges Duboeuf's crus. From its sophisti- cated appearance, the restaurant may look as if it would reject anything served in between a bun, but its staff lapped up Hayes's idea with great zeal. "When Jason Chris Archibald, Wine and Spirits Director of Pacifi c Dining Car. approached us with the concept, the reaction from everybody was along the lines of 'I want to have that right now!'" explains Chris Archibald, Wine and Spirits Director for Pacifi c Dining Car. Armed with such passion, Archibald and Executive Chef Michael Rosen took to the kitchen and created a quartet of special burgers with the wines in mind, utilizing such ingredients as aged Roquefort and pork belly along the way to coax the maximum nuances out of the crus' already welcoming fl avor profi le. The Georges Duboeuf 2010 Morgon is one of the most robust and masculine of the Beaujolais crus, with a peppery nose and fl avors of dark cherry, smoke and briar—in other words, a perfect match for a deluxe burger. are so easy to pair, because of their earthy undertones and fruity, fl oral notes," Hayes explains. "They are ideal for grilled items like burgers because they don't overwhelm—they complement." After a successful East Coast launch last year, Hayes has brought the program west to Pacifi c Dining Car, a legendary Los Angeles restaurant whose original location has stood proudly on the outskirts of the city's downtown area since 1921. (A second location in crosstown Santa Monica also boasts the concept.) Equipped with a Victorian-era ambience that harkens back 70 / the tasting panel / october 2012 All this gastronomic alchemy has resulted in a program that melds the regular and the refi ned rather fl awlessly—one that mirrors the ambience that Pacifi c Dining Car strives to create. "We aim to be the kind of place where a customer in shorts and a guy in a suit can be equally comfortable," Archibald explains. "So serving a glass of wine with a burger feels pretty natural to us." As the program grows, Hayes is poised to introduce more Georges Duboeuf labels into the mix, including the low-yield, high-quality 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau that will be released in November. For now, he is more than satisfi ed with what the concept has produced. "The program is built around burgers and wines," he states. "What's not to like?" HOW TO PLEASE THE WINE LOVER AND THE BURGER SNOB by Rich Manning / photos by Tom Zasadsinski

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