Jackson Hole, WY - When Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn celebrated their birthdays this month with a private wine dinner in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Chateau Julien was there. The five-course, six-wine dinner for eighteen – held in a private home and attended by close friends of the Cheneys – was conducted by wine educator and sommelier Nicole Darracq, who was given free rein to select the wines. With the whole world of wine to choose from, Darracq selected only wines from family-owned boutique California wineries, across a range of appellations. Her Central Coast pick? Chateau Julien.
“I had worked with Bill Anderson’s wines before,” Darracq says. Anderson has been Chateau Julien’s winemaker since the company’s founding. “I needed a crisp Chardonnay for the pairing, with great fruit. Monterey County Chardonnay has such great tropical fruit.” Anderson, asked to select his best wine for the Vice President, chose the 2004 Chateau Julien Monterey County Chardonnay.
The wine was paired with the evening’s salad course, a confection of apples, walnuts, bleu cheese and pink grapefruit on organic greens with citrus-infused olive oil. In her presentation, Darracq spoke briefly about Monterey County’s wine industry, the tricky chemistry of pairing wine with salads and Anderson’s multiple honors as a winemaker. “The pairing was one of the most educational of the evening,” says Darracq. “The guests were delighted to learn that you can definitely pour fine wines with a salad – which is something most people don’t expect.”