WCC Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blind Dinner
@ The Chef's Table in Café Capriccio,
Albany, NY (10/5/2023)

My Albany group met in the private dining room (aka The Chef's Table) in Café Capriccio to taste Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines were blind to the group, but not to me and one other person who had had organized the flights.

Chef/Owner Jim Rua and his staff prepared a fabulous meal in his open kitchen. Those who know the Capital District dining scene know that Jim Rua has run Café Capriccio as one of the very best restaurants for almost four decades. Dinner started around 7pm and ended around 10pm.

Click on any photo with a border for a larger view of that photo. Some larger photos contain more image as well as much higher resolution and are typically 3-4 MB.

Chef Rua sets up our first course:
Grilled Autumn Vegetables (under foil) and Fregula.
Fregula is a type of pasta from Sardinia.

Flight 0: Mystery Wine
Brought in a brown bag as a mystery wine.
Flight 1: 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
With Grilled Autumn Vegetables over Fregula.
This was so tasty. I had never had fregula before.

The name of another great local chef, Andrew Plummer, came up.
Andrew had one of his first chef's jobs at Café Capriccio.
Jim brought out a painting of he and Andrew working side by side in this same room.

Flight 2: Château Beaucastel
With Risotto with Fresh Porcini Mushrooms and Truffle Cheese.
This was exquisite. The fresh porcini exploded with flavor.

Dishing out the lamb shanks:

Flight 3: Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin
With Lamb Shanks over Mashed Potatoes with Root Vegetables.
One of Jim's classics. It never disappoints.

Flight 4: Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Auguste Favier
With Cheese & Fruit.

Chef Jim shows us the label for the cheese in the middle of the plate above.
Pecorino di Montalcino is a cheese made with an infusion of wine must.
It is made with 100% sheep's milk and the must from grapes on the same farm.
Part of the grape skins are left on top of the crust for decorative purposes.

Here is the label for the other cheese on that plate, Moliterno al Tartufo,
which is a moderately sharp, aged cheese with intense truffle flavor.
It is made of sheep and goat's milk in Sardinia, which is aged and then
injected with black truffles followed by more aging.


Another wonderful dinner with Chef Rua and the WCC gang!

WOTN Voting (3pts each for #1, 2pts for #2, 1pt for #3)

1192005 Janasse Cuvée Chaupin
2162010 Janasse Cuvée Chaupin
392004 Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin
4(tie)72006 Saint Préfert Réserve Auguste Favier
4(tie)72009 Saint Préfert Réserve Auguste Favier
662009 Janasse Cuvée Chaupin
7(tie)22000 Le Clos du Caillou Les Quartz
7(tie)22000 Vieux Télégraphe La Crau
7(tie)22000 Beaucastel
7(tie)22003 Beaucastel

People Pix

My tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.


All original content © Ken Vastola