Drinking with friends – A sort of “WAKE”


First Shaul Evron, a great connoisseur of Champagnes and Bourgogne wines died (quite suddenly) and if that was not enough than in a most abrupt manner, in fact over night! From here to nowonly a few months after “we” all “promised” to keep the legacy going, Yoezer (Shauls restaurant) and my favorite local bistro closed down. A short notice that said it all appeared on the Yoezer Internet site: http://yoezer.com/ : We were, and now No More, apologies for the abrupt farewell. Thanking all who loved us for almost 18 years, but now we all must GO…” The Yoezer team. Feb. 20th 2013.

shaul-dana-meirzon-walla-sbYou may find it hard to believe (at least I did) that the dissolving Yoezer in its last few hours was rampaged and looted by evil forces of debtors who took anything in sight including of course private wines belonging to customers some of which substantial wines and most of which were privately owned and collected by Shaul throughout the years.

On the 30th day of the surprise closure of Yoezer 20th March 2013, (as is customary in the Jewish tradition) we arranged a meeting to commemorate our “loss” but unlike the somber Jewish tradition this was intended and indeed was, a celebration, a party rather than a mourning gather very much like an Irish “wake”.(a “wake” for the dead derives from the word “watch” or “guard” and is contrary to the thought that people at a wake are waiting in case the deceased should “wake up.”)

The popular 19th century song “The Night Paddy Murphy Died” by Newfoundlander balladeer Johnny Burke is a humorous send-up of the drinking associated with an Irish wake, Here the “Great Big Sea” version:[press play for song]

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget

Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain’t got sober yet;

As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay

O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play


That’s how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy

That’s how they showed their honour and their pride;

They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another

And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died

SAMSUNGSome might say this is a sad occasion how can you celebrate but we thought that it calls for a get together over some glasses of good in fact, excellent wines with friends Ben Tidhar , the legendary Yoezer’s chef, and Shlomit Herling , sommelier and Restaurant manager for almost all of it’ s days the “main pillars” of the bistro, Yair Varda and myself (of the restaurant’s devoted followers) at the Chamara bar of Raphael restaurant in Tel-Aviv, a most becoming venue for our needs: eat drink and smoke (legally). http://raphaeltlv.co.il/

selsse oisters

We started with a toast on the most delicious and rare Champagne Brut Jacques Selosse Rosé NV accompanied withJ Selosse rose gold in bot fresh oysters which complemented one another perfectly, Yair said: “a rare gem to announce a very promising night. Can’t be put better, and so I sipped on this complex 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. Oger Chardonnay blended with a small percentage of Ambonnay Pinot Noir, expressing in a simple yet hard to Anselmachieve manner Anselme Selosse’s unique style that sets what he does apart from all other champagne producers. What a joy! And the colour a golden peach blush in a bottle. Pitty the Chamara light is so dim but this is the way of most wine bars.  A highly appropriate offering from Yair’s collection.

Champagne Selosse Rosé NV Selosse Rose is not just great Champagne; it is a great wine by all counts. You dip into the very essence a great wine can lead you to. It is a sparkling Bourgogne great, revealing new aspects of complexity and freshness with every sip this is not a wine, it is an essence of Oger and Ambonnay soil the taste of the earth and it’s minerality…(this one is at least 10 years in storage) I guess It is beyond the need to verbally describe further, you’re either lucky to taste it or you can just envy me (I guess most of you are envious)

We left some of the Rose aside for our farewell toast and opened the next offering this is from the Yoezer salvaged collection:

auxy dur  auxy 2000             auxey lable

Domaine d’Auvenay Auxey Duresses Blanc Les Boutonniers  2000

A wine from the private Domain of Madam Lalou Bize Leroy, considered as one of the most elegant Bourgogne whites, with amazing complexity or as Yair summed it up: Ocean in a bottle! and how well it complemented the Oysters or vice versa. It also accompanied the “blue crab open ravioli” and the fresh shrimp pasta both of which was excellent.

For the Lamb chops and a bite of the Foie Gras we opened the:

Grivot nuitDomaine Jean Grivot , Nuits Saint Georges Les Roncieres, 2002

Thank god Parker Jr. started it out by giving it a relatively low score 88 (another miss scored wine) and that after stating it was: “fresh wine of outstanding depth… ” never mind all that after all wine is a matter of personal preferences at least in my case.

My offering for the “party” was a Shaul’s favorite Berthaut’s EPOISSES de Bourgogne.

We could not depart before the Rosé nectar laid yet again upon our tongue and palate, sending us home with it’s long finish, elated. good food, great company, Great wines, what else should we aspire to from a reunion? (I was content)

If Shaul would have participated in this gathering I assume the 3 above bottles consumed (by 5 of us) would prove insufficient in quantity but this is an example to the saying that less is more. Three perfect bottles are more than enough for one perfect get together.

happy gather

And as the Irish song goes: “That’s how we showed our respect for Shaul and Yoezer, That’s how we showed our honour and our pride”

There are still some salvaged bottles, about 15 such wine bottles which were saved by the devoted Shlomit and Ben, into an old Sassicaia wooden wine box that always laid (empty) on the bar top shelve. Those are left for now (with Ben) I guess Shaul would say they are resting in the right hands. I think I should propose to keep them in my cellar (better storage conditions) for future meetings, each and everyone a celebration of Shaul and Yoezer taste that lingers on in my memories.

 By the way, my Salvaged wines (the 2 bottles from the case that I claimed as mine… were brought to the occasion, both too young to drink and will improve immensely, in my humble cellar, with time, were:

salvaged  chapelle Ponsot 2004      krug 1996

Chapelle Chambertin  2004 Domaine Jean-Marie (Laurent) Ponsot, Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France.

Krug Champagne Brut 1996

The Chapelle-Chambertin 2004 comes from a 0.7 hectares lot of 18 year-old vines, whose first bottling was in 1970. The vines are relatively young, and produce a wine of structure that needs some bottle age, by “order” of the domain and we will comply!

IMG_0207Krug Champagne Brut 1996 an almost perfect wine (I had it once before) and will not tempt to open it for quitw some time the seductive roasted almond and hazelnuts yeasty flavour with peach and apricot notes never leaning to the sweet side, remaining brut and fresh with multilayered aromas, engulf you after a 20 minutes breathing in the glass (use a large flute!) than you will be very close to perfection which is what this wine will achieve in due course.

I will leave you with the last verse of the wake song The Night Pat Murphy Died.

 Irish bagpipers

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget

Some of the boys got loaded drunk and they ain’t been sober yet;

As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay

O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

Till next,

Sweet dreams…


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