Dinner With Ansley

Since Germain Robin dug into their vast library of brandies last year and dropped a cast of very old selections into the marketplace, I've been dying to do a dinner event featuring some of these rare expressions. Not just any old event, mind you, but rather a personal, private event with Ansley Coale himself. Luckily, the co-founder of Germain-Robin was in the Bay Area last night and thought it might be fun to gather a few customers together to eat, drink, and be merry. All while drinking rare California brandy, of course.

As I played server, about twenty lucky K&L guests sat and chatted, while Ansley intermittently stood up to talk about the history behind each selection, and how they ultimately came to be. He spoke of forgotten vineyards, working with the local farmers, and eating nothing but cabbage salad every night while he and Hubert struggled for money in the early 80s. It was a fascinating slice of California booze history, curated by the man who lived it.

Later on that evening, Ansley even added his own personal treasure to the tasting menu. A single barrel of thirty year old Chenin Blanc brandy that he had pulled from cask that morning. Most of us just sat there stupefied.

I was very pleased with how the guests were able to interact with Ansley over the course of the evening; able to ask questions and get answers about the most minute of details right there on the spot. I also love that we're able to pull little shin-digs like this together on the fly. It's my favorite part about doing this job.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll