Thursday, February 19, 2009
Mouton Rothschild Luncheon @ The Wolfsonian
If you've been keeping up with things here at APD you already know that The Wolfsonian is hosting two gala dinners this weekend in honor of their new exhibit "Mouton Rothschild: Paintings for the Labels" opening this weekend (the first dinner is sold out, but the second dinner, on Sunday, is still available). I was lucky enough to get invited to the press preview today and spent the afternoon kicking off the Dionysian weekend to come with some very classy folk, the classiest of which was the lady of the hour, the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the current doyenne of the Château, and a rock star of the wine world.
Before lunch we were escorted to the 7th floor gallery where we sipped Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2006 and perused the exhibition which consists of original paintings commissioned to illustrate the labels of vintages of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1945-2006. Madame Rothschild unveiled the 2006 label designed by Lucien Freud that whimsically features a palm tree and a zebra, sort of appropriate for Miami. You can tell the Baroness is a true patron of the arts and loves to unite her wine with their work. I asked her if she gives the artists free reign when designing the labels and she said of course. The only issue they had was when certain designs came back with naked ladies, "In those cases, we ask them to change it, because you know, we can't be selling wine with nude paintings on the labels." The exhibit features work from Kandinsky, Jean Cocteau, Picasso and my personal favorite, Chagall.
Lunch was catererd by Lyon and Lyon, helmed by chef Ken Lyon of Fratelli Lyon and it was an elegant midday meal. First course was roasted cod with thyme-cured tomatoes over a salt cod and potato puree with ratatouille. This was paired with the Chateau's white Aile d'Argent 2004, cool and refreshing, with citrus hints that balanced well with the fish.
Moving on to duck breast dressed with a green peppercorn sauce, frisee salad and a petite toast point with creamy foie gras and sage. This was paired with the Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2001 (label designed by Robert Wilson), a wine that sells for $250-$400 and tasted like a million bucks. Seriously, it was easily one of the most complex wines I've ever tasted, wafting aromas of jammy fruit, pepper and vanilla.
Things took on a downright decadent tone with the next course in which we paired the wine (which was free-flowing) with a selection of cheeses. My tablemates were loving life at this point. "The Baroness is such a wonderful, generous woman!" the exuberant French woman to my right exclaimed. Indeed, one couldn't help but fall in love a bit with the whole thing.
The exhibit will be open through March 8, so you've got some time to check it out. Tickets for Sunday's dinner on February 22nd are still available at 305-535-2631. The $600 ticket price goes entirely to the Wolfsonian and Daniel Boulud is cooking. Yes it's steep but you only live once, right?