Corporate Beverage Director and Sommelier – Max Restaurant Group
Working and maintaining organic and biodynamic vineyards and making wine from those vineyards is what Bonterra does, and has done from the very beginning. Nurturing the soil and the biology that lives there is key to making top-level wines while preserving that land for future generations. The farm is viewed as a living organism, not just the vines, and with this, the entire winemaking process and everything involved, including the health of the workers is taken into consideration with these wines. Join us as we welcome the opportunity to pair them with the creative menu by Chef Matt Burrill.
LUNCH CLUB January 22, 2021 – Max’s Oyster Bar, West Hartford Center
The Essence of Oregon – Veteran Winemaking
Featuring A to Z Wineworks, Organic Wines from Oregon
Hosted by Brian Mitchell
Corporate Beverage Director and Sommelier – Max Restaurant Group
Begun is 2002, A to Z Wineworks is the joint venture between Oregon wine industry veterans that had worked at wineries such as Eyrie, Archery Summit, DDO, and Chehalem. Looking to make wines that were truly expressive of what Oregon, dependable quality but also wines that were great values. Today, nearly 30 years on, they have achieved this and then some. One of Oregon’s top-selling wine brands, A to Z consistently delivers outstanding quality wines, made from organically farmed vineyards. It is a pleasure to offer these wines and the opportunity to pair them with the creative menu by Chef Matt Burrill.
With Special Guest Speaker Richard Fiorillo, Regional Director, Heaven Hill Brands
Founded shortly after the end of
Prohibition, Heaven Hill is the largest independent, family-owned and operated
distilled spirits supplier in the country, and the second largest holder of
aging Bourbon Whiskey in the world. With a number of very well recognized
brands under the Heaven Hill Distillery label, this is a company that is
continuously innovating and creating new styles and marks. They are also known
for making tremendous bourbon and other whiskies at very affordable prices. For
this dinner we have selected some of each: great styles, great values and
top-level aged whiskey. These are paired with the cuisine of Chef Bob Peterson.
Thursday | February 6th | 6:30 seating
Oysters & Sterling Caviar
Bourbon-Black Pepper Cream
Cocktail Featuring Evan Williams
Truffled Potato Cream | Crème
Fraiche | Chervil
Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon
and Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon
MICHTER’S DISTILLERY LIMITED PRODUCTION AMERICAN WHISKEYS
Founded in 1753
With Special Guest Speaker Kenny Ng
Regional Director, Michter’s Distillery
The US*1 expressions, so named to honor
Michter’s heritage harkening back to America’s first whiskey company, founded
in 1753, consist of some of the finest single barrel and truly small batch
whiskeys available. We are very pleased to present these wonderful and
extremely limited whiskies in cocktails and straight alongside Chef Peterson’s
Thursday | January 31st | 6:30
Chef Peterson is currently working on the menu, it will be posted as soon as he completes. But here is the basic lay-out and the flow of whiskeys that will be presented to give an idea of what we are talking about.
Cocktails created by Bar Manager Derek Vitale.
Michter’s US*1 Bourbon and US*1 Rye
(straight taste side by side)
Michetr’s Toasted Head Rye –
Michter’s Bourbon 10 year –
(a limited edition offering direct from the source)
Another Michter’s Cocktail (Depends on the dessert)
$90.00 per person
(not including tax or gratuity)
Please call Max’s Oyster Bar in West
Hartford for reservations
“One of the best value food and wine events around, period.”
I am very pleased to announce the dates for our upcoming season of Max Lunch Club events at Max’s Oyster Bar, in West Hartford Center.
For years, we have been presenting great offerings of wine and food combinations in essentially what is a trimmed down wine dinner, but delivered at lunch (and always on a Friday). I try and make sure that we are visited by winery and industry processionals that have an interesting perspective on the topic at hand, and can give our Lunch Club guests some great insight to the wines we are featuring. All of this paired with Chef Bob Peterson’s creations make for a great way to enjoy an afternoon, and a civilized luncheon.
Additionally, I take a lot of professional pleasure and pride in making these selections and pouring the wines that I have hand-selected for each event. Bringing the various guest speakers to our market and introducing them to the Lunch Club members is such a great way to work with wine that I have discovered and enjoy – I hope you agree.
Here is the list of dates that will be filled for the 2019 season, and while all topics have not been filled in quite yet – I am working to get these topics filled shortly, and will be updating as I gets commitments.
As always we ask our guest to arrive at 12:45, and generally plan to start the event at 1pm. We will also be continuing our partnership with the Wise Old Dog wine shop in West Hartford on all of these events.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.
Brian Mitchell, Director of Wine and Beverages for the Max Restaurant Group
January 25th – Rhone Wines through the lens of the Famille Perrin
For this date we venture to the Rhone Valley and taste selections from the Perrin family, owners of Chateau de Beaucastel, perhaps considered to be the premier Chateauneuf-du-Pape estate. The Perrins have been a long-standing favorite of mine, and they continue to develop new wines and regions to show the diversity of the wine regions of southern France. Paul Nerz of Vineyard Brands, the import company responsible for the Perrin wines in the US, will be on hand to present.
February 22 – Thom Horsey of Ste. Michelle Estates
Wine Educator Thom Horsey of Ste Michelle Estates pays us a visit and will be presenting wines from the larger portfolio of this top producer. Stay tuned for the specif wines and menu.
March 25 – TBD
April 12th – Matteo Bolla from Valdo Winery – a Perspective on Prosecco
Prosecco is about the hottest wine category going over the past ten years, only surpassed perhaps by Rose (who would have thought?). The Bolla family has been making exceptional Sparkling wines north of Venice since the 1930s, and the current generation has been working hard to make it event better. Matteo Bolla is an exceptional ambassador for the family winery and the region as a whole. See why Prosecco is not just a note wine, but a diverse region with complex wines.
May 17th – TBD
June 14th – TBD
July 12th – Loire Valley from Sancerre to Saumur
This past year I had the pleasure to travel to the Loire and experience some phenomenal wines from regions that are familiar to some, but less well-known to others. For this lunch I will be presenting a selection of wines from top producers I met on my travels.
August 9th – TBD
September 13th – TBD
October 4th – TBD
October 25th – TBD
November 22nd – 6TH Annual Beaujolais Luncheon
This has become an annual favorite, and a lunch that I personally really enjoy. Each year I present a Beaujolais Nouveau from the current release, which is allowed to be released just the day before to the world. This is followed by a selection of top wines from smaller producers that have contributed to the absolute turn-around in everyone’s view of the Beaujolais region. The leader in authentic and pure wines, this is the new frontier of exceptional value and food-friendly wines from France. Chef usually pairs with some classic French dishes, making this all the better for foodies!
Sancerre is a beautiful hilltop city, surrounded by magnificent vineyards, the soils of which are the driving force behind the beauty of the Sauvignon blanc expressions from this area. For this edition of The Friday Lunch Club, we explore some of the various aspects of Sancerre, through multiple expressions of what the chalky hills can produce. We pair selections from Henri Bourgeois along with the cuisine of Chef Robert Peterson for this engaging mid-summer event.
Loire Valley Wine Specialist
Friday July 13, 2018
Henri Bourgeois Châteaumeillant Gamay Rosé, 2017, Loire
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Côte des Monts Damnés, 2017, Loire
Crispy Lobster Ricotta Mint Stuffed Rosedale Farms Squash Blossoms
Squash Noodle Salad, Garlic Scape Pesto, Tomato Jus
Henri Bourgeois Henri Bourgeois Sancerre d’Antan Silex, 2015, Loire
Baked Lemon Herb Butter Copps Island Oysters
Lardo, Starlight Gardens Baby Greens, Jardinière Vegetables
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Rouge Les Baronnes, 2014, Loire
Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Fingerling Potato Frites, Local Charred Beans, Gribiche
Pâte à Choux House Made Branded Cherry Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Pistachios
$49.00 per person
(not including tax or gratuity)
Please call Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford for reservations
Each year the Max Restaurant Group teams up with Josh Cellars for a month-long promotion, where for every glass, quartino and bottle of Josh sold, a portion of the proceeds is donated to the St Francis Foundation in support of their Women’s Heart Health Program. This is a fabulous program that goes out into the community to provide screenings related to cardio-health, as well providing both preventive and treatment resources to women at risk for heart related health issues.
We are very pleased to announce the 2018 contribution totaled over $7000, and will have a direct impact on the various programs and events that are part of the initiative. Max Restaurant Group would like to thank all of our guests for recognizing the benefits of such a program and making a difference by enjoying a glass or bottle of Josh Cellars wine.
A little bit about the Women’s Heart Health Program
The Women’s Heart Program is offered free to any woman over 18. It is designed to help women take a proactive approach to heart disease through education and increased awareness. Participants register for an education session provided by a cardiologist, registered nurse, a registered dietitian, and an exercise physiologist. The staff of the Women’s Heart Program will assist you in developing individualized goals for reducing your risk of heart disease, making appropriate dietary changes, and beginning a structured exercise program.
What happens at a Women’s Heart event?
It lasts about 1 hour, and is led by our team of healthcare professionals that includes a cardiologist, exercise physiologist, a registered dietitian, and a nurse.
The team evaluates your heart risk by looking at your BMI, weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure. Our team may also assess your diet history, any available labs you may have, your physical activity and any other pertinent medical history.
The Cardiologist and nurse will review the signs and symptoms of heart disease for womens and discuss risk reduction strategies. The dietitian will make heart-healthy recommendations about diet, and the exercise physiologist will make physical activity recommendations to help you meet your goals.
The staff also provides educational lectures to groups looking for a team wellness approach.
Although heart disease is the biggest health threat to women, it is preventable.
For more information about the St Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s Women’s Heart Health Program – please visit their website.
Featuring a Selection of the Hottest Wines for the Season
Rose wine has been around since wine has been around, but only in the past 5-10 years have American wine drinkers really embraced the style, now making it the fastest growing category in the wine industry. Rose is made from many varieties and in every region of the world where wine is made. From light and easy to fuller-bodied, it comes in bottles, cans and kegs. Perfect for Spring and lighter fare – join us as we celebrate everything pink with some Friday afternoon Rosé drinking and a menu by Chef Hunter Morton’s.
COMPLETE MENU TO FOLLOW, BUT HERE IS A PRE-VIEW WITH THE WINE LINE-UP…
Friday May 18, 2018
Menu by Chef Hunter Morton
Juve y Camps Brut Rosé Cava NV (Pinot Noir), Spain
In 1997, working side by side with his father Ron and brother Brent, Chad helped to establish Melville’s Estate vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, a journey that began and continues to endure with tremendous passion and dedication. Since that time, Chad has received great critical acclaim for his wines. Through both his intimate knowledge of the vineyards and his relentless commitment to winemaking practices that honor tradition and the land, Chad understands the magical evolution each bottle of wine undertakes from vine to glass.
“Off-the-charts good… these are some of the greatest values in the world of wine today”
The Wine Advocate
CHAD MELVILLE – HEAD WINEGROWER
“WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN BEING AN ESTATE…
OWNING, FARMING, AND GROWING WINE FROM OUR LAND”
Thursday March 29, 2018
Menu by Chef Hunter Morton
Melville Winery, Chardonnay Estate, Sta. Rita Hills, 2014
Horseradish Panna Cotta, Watercress, Beet Root Gel, Cucumber, Brown Bread
Melville Winery, Pinot Noir Estate, Sta. Rita Hills, 2013
Foie Gras Torchon
Blood Orange Marmalade, Smoked Duck, Pistachio, Brioche, Minus 8 Vinegar
Melville Winery, Pinot Noir Sandy’s Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, 2014
This week we added a few new selections to the wine list at Max’s Oyster Bar. These choices were based on recent tastings I have attended and the strength of the 2015 and 2016 vintages in Burgundy in particular.
The definite standouts for me are from a tasting in New York I attended last week. This showcased a great selection of these top vintages, but in a dramatic side by side fashion, allowing for an easy review of the vintage styles comparatively, and together. The two wines of note are a 2016 1er Cru Chablis from Domaine de Chantemerle, from the famous vineyard Fourchaume. Great core of chalky, wet stone, wrapped around crisp green apple flavor. Perfect or a big plate of raw seafood. The other standout is the 2015 Grand Cru Chablis from Domaine Pinson, this one in particular from the Les Clos vineyard, the biggest of the seven climates in GC Chablis. This wine not only has the great chalky style in the mid-palate, but richness and length rarely met with other Chardonnay. The other thing that stood out for me is the the fact that despite these wines are top sources, the prices are very reasonable and we are able to present on the wine list as comparative values. Perfect styles for our menu.
The third wine I added this week to the list at MOB, is a tasty Chenin Blanc form the Montlouis-sur-Loire appellation. Many people are familiar with Vouvray, which is the area just across the river from Montlouis, but less familiar is that great Chenin Blanc also comes from this side of the river. I tasted this wine with the staff and they were all in love with the chalky, green apple and brioche flavors of this wine. A perfect wine to have as an alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. delicious and balabced and relative bargain on our selections.
On Thursday July 20, 2017, Max’s Oyster Bar hosted the Soter Vineyards Wine Dinner featuring the wine maker himself James Cahill. The dinner featured the work of Chef Hunter Morton and consisted of a five course meal with a reception.
Reception consisted of Fried Green Tomatoes paired with Soter Vineyards Brut Rose Mineral Springs Ranch, Nv, Yambill-Carlton.
The first course consisted of Heirloom Melons served with fig, prosciutto, ricotta, mint and almonds.
The second course consisted of Vadouvan Grilled Shrimp served with Local lemon cucumbers, watermelon, green goddess and pickled mustard seeds.
The third course consisted of Seed Crusted Local Striped Bass served with local squash and roasted tomato bread stew.
The fourth course consisted of Licorice Spiced Hudson Valley Duck Breast served with charred cornbread dressing and cherry lavender jus.
The fifth course consisted of Fried Belltown Hill Orchards Blueberry Ice Cream served with blueberry sauce.
(Published and Produce by Marketing and Communications Intern David Zambuto)