Food, Wine & Friends Page 156
We celebrated the arrival of the new year with our friends
out on the "edge" of California...
Here's the menu:
Uncle Gerald brought some knick-knacks for the youngest of
the party revelers...
Dane ( Squirticus is his Latin name ) and Alanna.
Out in the Lunariam (it's a solarium when there's daylight), we had some nibbles
ready to pair with the Champagne...
One of the best Champagnes we tasted all year was a 1996 Delamotte Blanc de
Blancs and we acquired a magnum for New Years...
Henry! opened this bottle and poured...
Paul Obester made a Sfogliata, a multi-layered bread with
anchovies and oregano...
Our hostess and host...
Sandy and Paul Obester.
After decimating the appetizers, we herded Bob into the kitchen so he could whip
up his Caesar Salad.
Bob insists upon the classic "coddled" egg.
The Villa Russiz was a 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and this bottling is called
"De La Tour." It's very aromatic and has herbal, pungent
fragrances of the Sauvignon from Italy's Friuli region.
Colterenzio makes a stellar Alto Adige Sauvignon under its "Lafoa"
label. This wine was from the 2006 vintage and there's a nice hint of oak
along with the intense Sauvignon notes.
Both were very fine, intense dry whites.
Jesper and Alexia.
All "hailed" Bob as a great Caesar...
Following the salad, Bob sautéed some apples in
preparation for Foie Gras mania.
These were given a good Calvadosage.
The bread was sliced and toasted...
Next, a "flash in the pan" for the foie...
Bob heats the frying pans and these are dry...then the foie gets a quick 30-45
seconds per side...
And then it's transferred to a piece of toasted French bread...
The combination of the apples, essence of Calvados and the
crisp, zingy acidity of the Riesling made for a perfect pairing of wine and
Though we hear about the excessive heat of the 2003 vintage, J.J. Prüm's
Auslese was remarkably well-balanced, with pronounced acidity and bright fruit.
I prepared a sorbetto di Rubico, a wine-based ice made of Marotti Campi's
exceptional red wine of the Lacrima di Moro d'Alba grape.
Amy was delighted not only by the wine sorbet, but the fact that her kids
were not registering on the Richter Scale.
Henry got busy and decanted the two bottles of Bordeaux...
The Obester's made some pasta to go with their
"Mothers of All Lamb Shanks."
The lamb was stewing atop the stove...
Henry, meanwhile, poured the wines back into their
original, cleaned out, bottles.
Back in the kitchen, Sandy and Paul were plating the main
Paul adds the finishing touches to each plate.
The Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1978 was deep, dark and still had a bit of tannin.
The fragrances were nicely evolved, still showing dark fruits and a bit of a
leathery, woodsy tone.
The 1979 Domaine de Chevalier displayed a bit more cedar and a hint of cigar
box...it was elegant, refined and still vigorous.
Both were outstanding and elegant.
Cheeses followed the main course and Alexia brought two bottles of stellar
Both Burgundies were exceptional!
The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echézeaux was beautifully sweet in its
perfumes...fruity, nicely oaked, mildly tannic and with a long finish.
The Méo-Camuzet Nuits Saint Georges was nicely oaked, too and showing
beautiful, cherryish Pinot Noir. This bottle, too, had a lot of life left
Dessert was an Obester Ovens creation: A Crostata of
Apples, Pears and Quince.
We had a bottle of a young Sauternes for this...
2005. A wine of great potential and while enjoyable now, we could see
this will be a magnificent wine in a decade, or so.
Still, we toughed it out.
Meanwhile, Paul built a nice fire in the fireplace...
And then we opened a bottle of Calvados...
This was spectacular.
We fell into bed around an hour and a half into the new year...and awoke a few
Jesper was busy baking croissants for breakfast...
Our friends, The Pendletons of Redwood City, had given me
two jars of jams this past summer...Ollalieberry and Plum. Both were
stellar with the croissants!
Dane was busy keeping an eye out for pirate ships off the
Alanna was busy trying to get the cobwebs out...
Then Jesper brought out another tray of croissants...
And soon it was time to hit the road and head back to
And so we bid everyone a fond "adieu" and motored back over the
hills to Burlingame...
Thanks to Sandy and Paul, Amy & Jesper, Alexia and Henry! and Bob for such a
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