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Food, Wine & Friends Page 163

MARCH BIRTHDAYS

Hosted by Alexia & Henry

March 2009


Henry opened a bottle of Laurent Perrier's outstanding "Grand Siecle" Champagne to begin the festivities.

We toasted the birthdays of Bob and me...both March babies!

Lucy and Bob.




Sandy Obester prepared a platter of Mushroom Strudel.

Alexia offered her excellent caponata...

Having quickly drained the Grand Siecle, we moved on to the 1997 Laurent Perrier...a Champagne of remarkable finesse.

Henry then displayed his "catch" of Black Trumpet Mushrooms to Jonathan...

It was not a bountiful harvest...

The table was set and waiting...

Lucy and Jonathan took care of the starter...a salad of Beet Greens and Oranges, inspired by Giulia Masi from Tuscany.

Meanwhile, Alexia showed everyone how to fasten their seat harnesses, much like a flight attendant instructs the passengers how to operate a seat belt.

We then proceeded to the salad...


We had two Viogniers with the salad, which was topped by a shredding of fresh fennel bulbs.
Michael Martella's 2007 from the Santa Cruz Mountains was a fair intense dry white, while Preston's Dry Creek Viognier was fruitier and more peach-like.

Next, Henry had roasted some lamb...

And there was a pot of mushroom sauce on the stove to serve atop the lamb...

Two mature Cabernet wines accompanied the main course...

There was a 1970 Château Giscours from Margaux...this is probably Giscours' best wine of the past 40 years.  It's still remarkably good, full of fruit and showing some floral and tobacco notes.  The tannins have resolved themselves and the wine was supple on the palate with the lamb.

The 1975 Heitz Martha's Vineyard was a classic!  Still fruity and with the minty perfume typical of this vaunted wine, the 1975 vintage is still youthful, still delicious and remarkably complex and elegant.  What a pleasure to contrast these two classically-styled wines!

After the main plate we had some of Jonathan's outstanding breads and a range of cheeses.

Sandy practically slept through the cheese course...

With the cheese course, we had two 1999 vintage Burgundies from Charlopin.

These are maturing nicely...the Gevrey Chambertin showed a mild cherry fruit and a touch of a smoky element, while the Chambolle Musigny was lighter and had a bit more finesse.  Both were delicious!

 


Henry shows off the dessert, an Apple Frangipane which paired nicely with the 1978 Château Rieussec Sauternes.

Then it was time for some birthday gifts...


Bob was delighted to see a birthday card attached to his gift...

 

 


Everyone had a good laugh at seeing this card...

We had a good laugh at some other cards, too...and the birthday gifts were grand!

Many thanks to one and all...


Bob is still recovering from three weeks in France, nodded off as visions of Paris danced in his head...


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