Some former residents were in town Saturday, and a mutual friend invited usto a dinner party for them, Snow had stopped, and we went over for a nice meal with lively conversation. There was an unusual appetizer of endherkate(pate inside a gherkin inside endive -ok, I made up name),. then dinner was Indian influenced- lamb, dhal, several chutneys, rice, etc. We sampled a bubbly and a couple reds

NV Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut
I don't know if it's due to different lots (co-op with huge production), storage or shipping issues, or just time since release, but I get a lot of variability in these. This seemed fresh, but short on finish. B-

2007 Les Valentines (Cotes de Provence)
Ripe and fruit forward, but with enough structure to sustain. Spice, pepper, good length. B

2009 Deux Montille Bourgogne Rouge
Ripe and fat but not flabby, cranberries and raspberries, seems a bit simple. B/B-

2009 Deux Montille Bourgogne Blanc went well with roast chicken with root vegetables, a balanced and easy to drink white Burg with citrus, pear, and floral aromas. Full and long for a regional wine. B+

2009 Colin-Morey " Chateniere" Saint-Aubin 1er Cru
I'm not the most oakphobic guy around, but I found this oppressive, just a hunk of sawdust and vanilla. Big wine underneath, but this ended up being my cooking wine for a couple days. C+

2009 JP Brun "Grille Midi" Fleurie was served with pork chops, broccoli, and a lentil/feta salad. I'm a big fan of Brun/Terres Dorees, but this left me a little cold. Dark fruit hiding in the background, this seems shutdown and not very Fleurie-like to me. Probably just a phase, but for me right nowa B-/C+

I've had a bottle of the 2010 Hart Cellars Medium-Sweet Riesling (Niagara)since Howie Hart have to me last year. Howie is an amateur, but a serious amateur. Not been sure how sweet medium sweet is, and therefore never was sure when to open. Last night said "time to find out." Actually doesn't comeacross as that sweet, these days plenty of Mosel Kabinetts are this sweet.Bracing acidity, apples and ginger, refreshing and lively. Went well with salmon with Asian flavors, red beans and rice, and salad. Thanks Howie. B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.