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Paolo's visited by champagne royalty

By Joe Mangelli

'THE FIRST TIME EVER IN SAN JOSE that a producer from France has come to a restaurant here--the first time," said the knowledgeable maitre d' of Paolo's, Jalil Samavarchian, when asked about the afternoon champagne tasting held in his banquet room recently. The invitation-only event was hosted by Caroline Krug of the prestigous French wine dynasty. A fifth-generation winemaker, she featured four of Krug's finest: Grand Cuvee (a blend of nearly 50 different wines), Champagne Krug 1988 (every bit as splendid as the '81, '69 and '55 vintages, she assured) and Champagne Krug Rose. All three are a secret blend, not written down but re-created directly by family members, of the finest pinot noir, meunier and Chardonnay grapes in France. The afternoon finished with Krug Clos du Mesnil, 100 percent Chardonnay grapes. To enhance the subtle flavors, Samavarchian offered foie gras, Reggiano parmigiano and spring rolls. Paolo's is to be applauded for being chosen for such an honor. Like the fine champagne it featured, it just gets better with age.

If you are not a wine critic, restaurateur or VIP and thus not invited to this event, take heart. Sampling fine wines and fine foods can be easily arranged by dialing up Taster's Guild International. The guild creates gourmet evenings regularly throughout the year at fine restaurants like Emile's and Viaggio. The next tasting will be held at Eight Forty North First on Tuesday, Nov. 10 ($75 per person, or $65 for members who reserve by Oct. 30). Guests will be privy to the wines of Gundlach Bundschu. Though not quite as old as Krug (1843), the 400-acre Rhinefarm Vineyard has also been family-run since 1858. For details, contact Jim Beffa at 831.338.1782 or send email to [email protected]

Landmarks and Milestones

The holidays are approaching and nothing helps more to boost the spirits than reacquainting with old friends. One such amigo worth dropping in on is located in the shadow of the Santa Cruz foothills. The new Steamer's, still under the tutelage of the Matulich family after all these years, has moved from Old Town, which doesn't look very old anymore, and settled in across the street at 31 University Ave., Los Gatos (408.395.2722). Just knowing they're still in town is enough to make one smile.

Congratulations are in order for the folks at Beau Sejour, celebrating their 13th year serving elegant French cuisine in Los Altos (170 State St., 650.948.1382). Kudos also for Faz Restaurant, located in the Sunnyvale Sheraton (1108 N. Mathilda, Sunnyvale, 408.752.8000). This popular restaurant with the Persian touch just celebrated its fourth anniversary.

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From the October 28-November 3, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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