Sonoma resident Vance Rose's fascination with food and wine started when he was 18 years old.
After the Texas native was asked to pick a wine for dinner, he went into his father's cellar and chose a French Burgundy from his birthday year, 1959.
"Back then, I thought there were four kinds of wine -#8212; white, red, pink and bubbly," he recalled. "This wine was amazing. I had never tasted anything like it."
When he got to college, Rose wanted to enjoy his wine with food, but in 1978 in Texas, BYOB wasn't allowed in restaurants. So he called his mom and asked for advice.
"She told me to buy 'The Joy of Cooking,'" he recalled, and eat at home. "I found a used copy for $1.51, and I cooked out of it for eight days in a row... After eight days, I was dangerous."
During college, the self-taught chef began to throw elaborate dinner parties on New Year's Eve to celebrate his birthday. Then, after he married his wife, Kelly, he began to cook in earnest, spending entire weekends creating multi-course dinners, paired with wine, for friends.
About four years ago, the idea of hosting an underground restaurant -#8212; also known as a supper club or "guestaurant" -#8212; took root.
"A dear college friend told me, 'You need to start charging for this,'" he said. "She said to call it underground dining."
So Rose came up with a website, got the word out and launched Du Jour Dining, a pop-up dinner he throws about 30 times a year in his home and other private venues.
"Somehow, people came, and they keep coming," he said. "In the foodie world, people want to be on the cutting edge. I can provide a unique experience. You can sit at the table for the entire night, talk to me, and find out as much as you want."
For each nine-course, seven-wine menu -#8212; inspired by international cuisine, sourced within a 125-mile radius, and created with modern cuisine's tools and techniques -#8212; Rose puts in about 35hours.
That's on top of his two day jobs, as director of sales and marketing for Amorim, the largest cork company in the world; and as a partner in a wine company that makes Grieve Sauvignon Blanc and Double Eagle, a red Bordeaux.
"Our first vintage was 2006," he said. "The food and wine jobs are amazingly similar... but they also diverge."
While Rose manages the vineyard and sells the wine year-round, he only makes wine once a year. With cooking, he is able to practice his craft every day.
"There is artistry and chemistry on both sides," he said. "Knowing how to make wine helps me to cook. They both feed into each other."
While the underground restaurant doesn't make a profit, it provides Rose with a showcase for all the recipe ideas that flow through his head.
"I do it as a creative outlet," he said. "It's a lot of work, but it's my passion."
Rose charges about $125 to $150 for each dinner, which he figures covers what it would cost his guests to buy the international wines at retail.
"A lot of the wines have a little age on them," he said. "And most of the wines, you're not going to find here."
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