La Paulée is an American homage to La Paulée de Meursault, a Burgundian celebration held at the end of the grape harvest, attended by winemakers and connoisseurs—some call it 'the world's classiest BYOB party,' as special wines are shared among attendees of the gala, with something of a competitive spirit. The first NY La Paulée took place in 2000, and Daniel Johnnes (Wine Director for Daniel Boulud's Dinex Group) has since coordinated celebrations in San Francisco and Aspen as well. The celebrations include panel discussions, rare wine dinners, epic vertical tastings, and grand galas.
Many of these events are pretty pricey, but one upcoming tasting in San Francisco caught my eye. On Wednesday, November 6 from 4 to 7 pm, La Paulée and American Express are hosting a San Francisco kickoff event featuring Burgundy's hidden gems. Tickets are $75, and allow you to taste around 75 different bottles of Burgundy, selected by some of San Francisco's top sommeliers. (At this price, those tickets likely to sell out fast.) The wines include offerings from up-and-coming winemakers and particularly good values in wine from Mâcon to Chablis.
Daniel Johnnes says that "the stars of this show are the sommeliers who have each curated their own selection of wines (with a little input on my part)." Those somms include Ian Burrows (Atelier Crenn), Chris Gaither (Gary Danko), John Vuong (Ame), Casey Doolin (Park Tavern), Josiah Baldivino (Michael Mina), Josh Thomas (Prospect), Patrick Cappiello (Pearl & Ash, NYC), and Stevie Stacionis (who you might recognize from her 'Weird Wine Grapes' series on Serious Eats!) The tentative wine list includes producers such as Domaine Lorenzon, Michel Gros, Marc Colin, Charly Thevenet, Régis Bouvier, and many more.
Chatting with Stevie got me even more excited about the event. She said: "Burgundy is THE hot wine region right now, clamored after by collectors and fawned over by wine lovers the world over. Unfortunately, that also means that the wines have become very expensive. This Hidden Gems tasting is an amazing chance to get 'back to Burgundy's roots'... to taste some of the more 'everyday'—yet still incredible!—bottles that many more of us can actually afford," she explained. "These are, honestly, the wines that sommeliers actually drink after a long day at work because they offer amazing examples of what makes the region so famous, yet they come without the designer label and associated price tag."
More event information here.
Ticket sales are by phone: 1-800-445-7374, and you must use an American Express card to purchase.
Event location: Bluxome Street Winery, 53 Bluxome Street, San Francisco, CA (map)