Ever been to a winemaker’s dinner? Wine and food are made for each other, right? Not so fast. The latest trend is Scotch and Bourbon dinners and famed chefs are finding ways to pair their fine cuisine with brown spirits, both in the glass and in the sauces, marinades and desserts. Even the famed French Laundry of Yountville (in the Napa Valley) is in on the craze with a dinner last year featuring The Macallan Scotch Whisky that included their Fine and Rare from 1989 that retails for $3,500 a bottle! The occasion marked the introduction of spirits at the French Laundry and like everything that Chef Thomas Keller offers, the selection is extraordinary and exceptional. The old saying “if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it” really does apply here.
As you’d expect, Bourbon dinners are mainstays in Louisville and other southerly bastions of Bourbon, but now they feature regularly in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and other areas of the country. The trend reflects the growing popularity of whisk(e)y, both domestic and imported.