Tangley Oaks

Terlato Wines International

Monday, June 14, 2010

Professional de Vin Tony Terlato* Hosts, Dinner by Vice-Conseiller Culinaire David Danielson*



By Ethel Gofen, Officier Dame de la Chaîne

A rare opportunity to dine at Tangley Oaks in the English Tudor mansion built by Philip Armour III in 1916 and lovingly restored by Professionnel de Vin Anthony Terlato for his luxury wine company brought 35 members of the Chicago Bailliage to suburban Lake Bluff for an elegant feast prepared by Vice-Conseiller Culinaire David Danielson and his team from Behind the Scenes Catering. The menu was built around wines personally selected by Tony, and the printed menus we received at dinner did not identify them, so that we tasted and discussed and guessed before finally seeing the labels on these spectacular whites and reds produced and imported by Terlato Wines International.

At the reception in a stunning hall with original period furniture and oriental carpets, we enjoyed house-cured salmon with creamed ramps and caviar, figs with country ham, a duck confit tartelette with red onion jam and crème fraîche, and bison tenderloin on garlic crostini with ginger béarnaise. Two wonderful bubblies were offered:  Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée NV and Langlois-Château Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé NV.

Proceeding to the dining room, we admired the historic chandeliers, intricately carved doors, tapestries, portraits, and other architectural details that illustrate why Tangley Oaks is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as approved by the British National Trust for Historic Properties. Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique Deborah Gross had created stunning table and place settings and had constructed fantastic centerpieces from driftwood, votive candles and orchids, with more petite orchids scattered across the lovely tablecloths.

Bailli Jane Tracy welcomed us to this exceptional property and thanked Professionnel de Vin/Officier Commandeur Tony Terlato for his generous hospitality as well as thanks to Maître Hôtelier Russell Menkes, General Manager of The Drake Hotel, who had kindly loaned the Chapter the Gold Coast Room’s ornate, golden chairs that surrounded three large tables.  She noted that Vice-Chancelier/Argentier Simeon Y. Roldan “pursued a perfectionist path” working with David Danielson to match the dishes to the Terlato wines, working in a kitchen redesigned by our own Maître Rôtisseur Honoraire Jean Joho. “It is a true honor to be here and culminates another season of our gustatory exploits,” Jane declared. A sumptuous array of empty wine bottles representing many of the greatest vintages, signed by those who had enjoyed those wines, decorated the dining hall.

Tony Terlato spoke to us of the history of his international wine business, a merging of two wine family companies—-Pacific and Paterno—and now a multi-generation business of winery ownership, vintage ownership, importing and management of hundreds of wines in the Terlato portfolio.  In honor of his 30 years of uninterrupted membership in our Bailliage, he was elevated to the new rank of Officier Commandeur by Conseiller Gastronomique des Etats Unis Honoraire Roger Tracy. With this rank came a new pin, and as a Professionnel de Vin, Tony also received a new ribbon.  Roger then proposed a toast to Tony, to Terlato Wines and to our wonderful Chaîne. He urged the diners to sharpen their taste IQs by tasting the ensuing superb and as yet unidentified wines.

First, a creamy homemade ricotta stuffed heirloom tomato was accompanied by Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc Napa Valley 2007.  At a journalists’ blind tasting, this was called the “most interesting blend of white wines from California,” and it was divine. A jumbo lump crab salad was paired with Gaja Alteni di Brassica Langhe 2007. This sauvignon blanc from the Piedmont region of Italy, part of the sixth generation of Gaja wines, comes from “a master, Angelo Gaja,” said Terlato. “All tonight’s wines are masterpieces.” We happily agreed. Monkfish with pea purée and grapefruit basil sauce was paired with Chanson Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru 2005.  The procession of three whites in a row enabled us to focus on each pairing with special appreciation.

The red wine accompanying the delicious gnocchi and braised lamb with marcona almonds and mint gremolata brought forth a fascinating story.  Tony had recognized the wine-cultivating genius of Michel Chapoutier - who was then in his twenties - and invested in him early on, resulting in this marvelous Terlato & Chapoutier lieu dit Malakoff Shiraz Central Victoria 2006 from Australia.  The exquisite squab with morel ragout, carrots, fava beans and marscapone polenta, matched with Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2004 to perfection.

Two unique cheeses—-Ursinus aged sheep’s milk cheese and Rivers Edge Full Moon goat camembert served with a dried fruit compote—-were paired with a classic Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac 1985 from our cellar. A beautifully plated Meyer lemon and meringue ice cream with fresh raspberries and pulled sugar decoration was accompanied by Two Hands Brilliant Disguise Muscat Barossa Valley 2009. Chocolate mignardises added sweetness to the praise Jane offered to our Culinaire David Danielson, both chef and narrator of the cuisine, and he in turn then thanked his new and longtime colleagues and sous chefs.  Commemorative Chaine plates were presented, together with a bottle of Chimney Rock wine that had been signed by everyone at this unforgettable dinner. 


A black tie dinner in the elegant English manor home of the Terlato Wine Group headquarters, culminates our 2009/2010 season of dinners.

This is a most distinctive opportunity for our Chapter and offers the uniqueness that Chicago Chaîne membership brings - a culinary evening in the private corporate mansion of an iconic American and internationally renowned family wine company who produce and market luxury wines. This Tudor Gothic mansion was originally built by Philip D Armour, III in 1916 and was restored by the Terlato family. It includes the original period furniture and oriental rugs and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior as well as being approved by the British National Trust for Historic Properties.

Friend of the Chicago Chaîne, Maître Rôtisseur Jean Joho of Everest, designed the state-of-the-art kitchen reinforcing the connectedness of our society.

The kitchen will be in full use by our Vice-Conseiller Culinaire David Danielson and his team who is designing a menu around wines selected personally by Tony Terlato from some of his worldwide wineries and partners. We can expect a culinary and oenological experience commensurate with the Chicago Chaîne’s reputation and standards.

Professional de Vin Tony Terlato has been a member of the Chicago Chapter for thirty years of uninterrupted membership. What a wonderful way to celebrate!

Space is limited to 35 guests. This dinner is for members only and one guest.