FIAF > Cultural Events > Art de Vivre


Art de Vivre
A Wine Tour de France
Discovering French Cépages

February—June 2010
Le Skyroom

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Series of Six Tastings
Burgundy, February 1
Rhône Valley, February 22
Bordeaux, March 29
Alsace, April 19
Loire Valley, May 10
Champagne, June 7

This year’s series of wine tasting events will focus on cépages—the grape varieties from which wine is made—and their extraordinary diversity throughout regions of France. For six evenings, attendees will taste wines of each region, discovering how each grape variety’s essential characteristics translate into delicious wines.

Each tasting will be led by Michael Madrigale, Chef Sommelier at Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud, known for its excellent service and extensive wine cellar. Guests will also sample some of France’s cheeses and charcuterie, learning how to use specific varieties to pair wines with food. With the help of Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, Mr. Madrigale will lead wine lovers on an unforgettable journey.

Complimentary Tasting for Series Subscribers
Bordeaux, May 24
This year, FIAF adds a special seventh tasting of Château Smith Haut Lafitte at Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa® at The Plaza, free to those who purchase the full six-tasting series!

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Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

In this first of the 2010 tasting sessions, Mr. Madrigale will focus on Burgundy reds and whites, where the traditional variety is of paramount importance. Unlike Bordeaux, Burgundy wines are un-blended, vinified exclusively from Pinot Noir for the reds and Chardonnay for the whites. Join Mr. Madrigale as he presents a selection of the most enjoyable Burgundy reds and whites from selected appellations in both the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.

Wine List
J. Moreau & Fils, Chablis 2006
Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Meursault 2006
Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin 2005
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Savigny-Lès-Beaune “ Les Marconnets” 2005, Premier Cru
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Pommard “ Les Petits Noizons” 2005
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Nuits-Saint-Georges “Les Corvées Pagets ” 2005, Premier Cru

Wines provided by Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Domaine de la Vougeraie, and J. Moreau & Fils.

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Rhône Valley
Syrah and Grenache
Monday, February 22, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Given its diverse geography and climate, the Rhône Valley holds an assorted mix of vineyards and a great range of noble red and white grape varieties. The North is dominated by Syrah, while the South produces Grenache-dominated wines. In this second tasting, Michael Madrigale will discuss the wide range of wines from the Rhône Valley region, focusing on grape types and the importance of each vineyard’s location within this expansive region.

Wine List
Perrin Côtes du Rhône White 2008
Perrin Côtes du Rhône Red 2007
Perrin Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007
Perrin Vacqueyras "Les Christins" 2006
Perrin Gigondas "La Gille" 2006
Perrin Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Les Sinards" 2006

Wine provided by Perrin & Fils.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Bordeaux is the largest fine wine region on earth producing majestic wines of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Michael Madrigale

Bordeaux is among the most recognized French wine regions worldwide with more than 7,000 châteaux. Dominated by the noble Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties, Bordeaux wines can also include Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec depending on each terroir and château. Join Mr. Madrigale as he presents a selection of wines from one of Bordeaux’s most interesting appellation, Pessac-Léognan, and comments on the classic refinement and delicate art of blending grape varieties.

Wine List
Clarendelle Rouge 2005
Clarendelle Blanc 2006
Clarendelle Rosé 2007
Domaine Coucheroy Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, 2007
Château La Louvière Rouge, Pessac-Léognan, 2006
Château Les Ormes de Pez, Saint-Estèphe, 2004

Wine provided by Clarendelle, from Château Haut-Brion.

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Riesling, Gewürztraminer,
and Pinot Blanc

Monday, April 19, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

"German grapes made with French savoir-faire: some of the greatest white wines in the world."
– Michael Madrigale, Bar Boulud

For many people, Alsatian wine comes as a revelation.
– Eric Asimov, The New York Times

Known for its seductive white wines made from the Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Blanc noble grape varieties, Alsatian wines are fantastic as an apéritif and complement a range of cuisines from the region’s classic choucroute garnie to Japanese, Thai, or Mediterranean. This evening’s tasting is a wonderful opportunity to discover the delicious and affordable wines of Alsace—the only region of France where the variety gives its name to the wine.

Wine provided by Pierre Sparr and Léon Beyer.

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Loire Valley
Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc,
Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Home to some of the country’s most romantic royal châteaux, the Loire Valley boasts a fantastic range of red, white, and rosé wines. Made from a host of noble varieties—Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir, among others—the region’s wines offer great pleasure as well as tremendous value. Taste the crisp and fruity flavors of these classic wines!

Wine provided by Maison Sauvion.

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Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,
and Pinot Meunier

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 7pm
Le Skyroom

Champagne: Without a doubt the world’s greatest sparkling wine.
Perhaps also the world’s greatest wine.
" – Michael Madrigale, Bar Boulud

Dive into the ever effervescent pleasures of Champagne. Learn all about the highly regulated méthode Champenoise system, which only permits the use of three noble varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir. This evening’s session will present a thorough sampling of some of the best cuvées from the famed cellars of one of the most esteemed and well-known Champagne producers in the world. Treat yourself to a bubbly journey!

Champagnes are provided by G.H. Mumm, Perrier-Jouët, and Piper-Heidsieck.

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Le Skyroom

22 East 60th Street

In English

Must be 21 or over

Series Price

Six-Tasting Series*
FIAF Member $500
Non-Member $600**

*Includes complimentary Bordeaux Tasting at The Plaza
Includes one-year FIAF Membership

Ticket Prices

Single Tasting
FIAF Member $95
Non-Member $115

Any Three Tastings***
FIAF Member $250
Non-Member $300

***Must reserve three specific sessions at time of purchase


Président Cheese - Lactalis USA

A Wine Tour de France is presented by FIAF (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization) in partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., which has made a generous commitment to make a charitable donation of all the fine French wines & Champagnes to be enjoyed responsibly during the six-part 2010 program.

The 2009-2010 Art de Vivre series is presented by Nespresso.

Food provided by Bridor from France, D’Artagnan, and Lactalis USA.

FIAF's Winter 2010 Season Sponsors: American Airlines, the official airline of FIAF; the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Culturesfrance; the Florence Gould Foundation; New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs; and New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency

Image © Jean-Marie LECOMTE - Collection CIVC

© French Institute Alliance Française. All Rights Reserved.