Ouled Thaleb: Dinner Recap
A month ago The Wine House hosted a dinner at Mourad – Mourad Lalou’s swanky Financial District restaurant inside the newly renovated Pacific Telephone Building. The dinner was organized to introduce and feature the wines of Ouled Thaleb, Morocco’s oldest working winery. Though The Wine House has been stocking Ouled Thaleb wines ever since they became available in California, the wines are still relatively unknown to the larger wine market.
In a private room, seated around a gorgeous handmade wood table, diners were treated to a delicious multi-course meal accompanied by the wines of Ouled Thaleb. The energetic and charismatic importer of Ouled Thaleb, Didier Pariente, kept our attention focused on the wines, giving us quick tutorials for each one. Throughout the evening Didier shared stories and insights on the food, wine and culture of Morocco. He emphasized the relevance and importance of Morocco as a wine region and encouraged us to travel there.
I enjoyed tasting through Ouled Thaleb’s portfolio of wines in their proper context – with food. The cuisine at Mourad is inspired by the flavors of Morocco, transformed through a skilled chef to create a culinary language all his own. This is elevated food, and the wine kept in step. Three years ago I answered the phone and was greeted by a polite, French-accented man who asked me if anyone there would be interested in tasting wines from Morocco. I normally try to avoid biting on a cold call, but I was intrigued. I had an opening in my tasting calendar, so I said “Sure, come on over”. This is how I met Didier. I tasted the wines and felt them to be interesting and of merit on their own terms, not just a novelty. In other words, if the wines weren’t any good, there was no reason to buy them for the store. I continue to find Ouled Thaleb wines delicious and carry them vintage to vintage. They have a steady following among ex-pats, adventure seekers and wine drinkers looking to expand their tasting horizons.
Listed below are Ouled Thaleb wines that are in stock, along with some brief tasting notes. For the future, if anyone reading this would like to be notified of upcoming wine dinners, please send in your request to info@wineSF.com and we’ll add you to our list.