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Food, Wine & Friends Page 146


April 2008


I hosted what turned into a wine & food marathon on a breezy Sunday afternoon in April.


Amy helped distribute the flutes of Bruno Paillard Champagne.   This was especially fine, crisp and mildly yeasty.


Jesper was happy to see Pierre's mom, Giselle.

We had a toast to both birthday boys.

We had a nice platter of prosciutto & melon...


A platter of dolmas also made the rounds...

The magnum of Champagne was drained quickly!

Tout le monde a table!


We began with a potato cake and smoked Alaskan salmon with caper berries...And the first of three different Vermentino wines.  This Poggio al Tesoro comes from Tuscany and it's perfectly nice, but not worthy of its lofty price tag (I think it's around $33).


The next course featured a Vermentino from Liguria, Durin, and one from Sardegna, Pala.   The Pala was the best of the three we tasted in this enological exploration and it was the least costly of the trio!

I prepared a salad of fresh green and white asparagus on a bed of baby arugula with little bits of pancetta...something I had enjoyed in the Trentino area a few weeks earlier.

The next plate was a bowl of Tri-Colore Fusili with a mushroom sauce.  The key to this plate was the little jar of Truffle Salt we passed around.

A couple of Italian reds were quite nice with this...we had a Tua Rita "Perlato" and a La Spinetta "Pin."  I think the Pin was the more interesting of the two, but both were really nice.

Giselle adds some of the truffle salt to the pasta...

We then had a granit of an Italian red wine...a Lacrima di Morro d'Alba.


Aviva enjoyed the Pin.

I think Amy experienced a brain freeze.

We roasted a couple of pieces of pork loin...rubbed with thyme, sage and Tuscan seasonings.

We also had some grilled "wild boar" sausages...


Tiny Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Chestnuts...


We had two wines of Marques de Murrieta...I preferred the 2004 Reserva to their 2000 Gran Reserva.  The wine is beautifully balanced, has nice oak and fruit and is drinkable now.

 

There was a good video playing in the other room and things were unusually tranquil.

 

We followed this with a small cheese course and a couple of 2005 vintage red Burgundies...

I have no idea what was going on at the other end of the table at this stage...


Amy tried hard not to notice...

Giselle hoists a glass to toast the birthday boys...


The Burgundies were both nice...a Mazilly Pommard was good while Chanson's Beaune Premier Cru "Clos des Mouches" was excellent.

Dessert featured a bottle of 1955 Cockburn Vintage Porto...


The cork came out in stages, having dried out a bit...but I was able to decant the wine and it was rather clear.


It had lost a bit of color, being more a light ruby with tawny edges.
The fruit was good, though and the wine was smooth and substantial on the palate.  If you have a bottle of this, consider drinking it now through 2015, or so.


Since we had two birthdays to celebrate, we had two cakes!

These two creatures were thrilled to see TWO CAKES.

Make a wish!

Jesper wished Dane would be more quiet during the festivities.

Pierre, meanwhile, had all kinds of assistance in blowing out his little candle.


Mmmm...cake!!!

Dad had help from Dane in opening presents...


Pierre looks forward to his next "tubby" and his Mom remembers when he had his last "tubby time."


Soon Dane was in the picture...
...and his Mom was out of the picture, so-to-speak.

 

Deirdre was still alive and kickin!


"What happened to Mom?"

Meanwhile, Clementine and Felix were horsing around...

 

 

The marathon finished around 9:30 and everyone left well-fed and happy...

Thanks for coming, all y'all!

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