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Food Wine & Friends Page 69

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION FOR
SANDY OBESTER
December 5, 2004

Alexia and Henry Moore hosted the annual December birthday bash for Sandy Obester.


Henry opened the first bottle of Charles Heidsieck Champagne, the 1995 "Mis en Cave," a wine made predominantly from the 1994 harvest.

Alexia, meanwhile, was busy with dinner preparations.  She started us off with some vegetable fritters.


And then a toast to Sandy, the birthday girl.

Sandy Obester and Lucy Tolmach.



Bob Gorman and Paul Obester.
We then had the 1995 Vintage Brut of Charles Heidsieck, also very nicely toasty and complex.

Alexia prepared a really nice "salad" of Wild Rice.



There's a bit of smoked turkey in the 'salad'.

Two 2000 vintage Chardonnays were magnificent with this plate.

Keller Estate was smoky, toasty and just was we remembered it from its youth.  Chasseur's 2000 was also quite good, perhaps a tad richer and fatter.


Jonathan Tolmach and Bob Gorman.



The Chef.

I decanted the two 1981 Bordeaux.

Both had been standing upright for a while, so they decanted cleanly and with ease.


A white bean pure...

The grill-meister then plated the lamb chops.



Henry is an avid mushroom hunter and the sauce is based on Porcini he "caught."

The two Bordeaux were excellent.
Pichon Lalande, as always, has been a beautifully-balanced, red fruit Cabernet-based Pauillac.  It is smooth and supple, but still has a lot of life.
The Leoville Las Cases is a bit firmer and bigger.  It can probably go another decade without a problem.

A couple of platters of cheese made the rounds next.

Bob dove in immediately.


The 1986 vintage is unheralded, as quality is described by wine critics as "variable."  (So what else is news?  Every vintage is, frankly, variable.)
The Comte Georges de Voge Bonnes-Mares was a delightful and still youthful red.  Sweet cherry and sour cherry fruit dominate the nose and palate.  The Meo-Camuzet 1986 Nuits-Saint-Georges "Aux Murgers" was a shade lighter, but still rather youthful and showing nice fruit and a bit of wood.


Jonathan Tolmach provided some home-baked breads which were outstanding with Alexia's cheese selections.



Alexia's homemade Peach Frangipane was peachy with the 1979 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes.



Henry Moore, a hobbyist race car driver, shows off a recent of him piloting one of his little vehicles on the Laguna Seca track.



The peaches were still crisp and not over-cooked, so they really had a nice flavor.  The Suduiraut actually was crisp and showed a bit of wood.  Very nice.  Ready but not in danger of going over the hill!

It was then time to open a few birthday gifts...Sandy was ready!



Amongst the various gifts was a "Galileo's Thermometer" which totally enthralled Henry, Paul and Jonathan.


A big thanks to Henry and Alexia for hosting such a lovely event!


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