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Food, Wine & Friends Page 201--The Birthday Boys-2011

HENRY & PAUL CELEBRATE 140 !!!

Alexia prepared a nice little feast for the gang to honor the 140 birthdays of Henry! and Paul.

The table was set and we all gathered on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate.

Alexia prepared some nice nibbles to pair with the Ayala Champagne...


Paul & Jonathan



Sandy, Lucy and Brian


Henry! & Bob


Sandy

As the Champagne bottles were emptied, Alexia and Henry! took care of flexing and cleaning their mussels.

Jonathan had brought along some of his fabulous home-baked bread.

And, having been served, everyone hoisted a glass to toast Henry!, Paul and Chef Alexia.


We had two great Rieslings with the Thai-styled Mussels...

From Germany there was a Von Simmern 2007 Kabinett Trocken Riesling of the Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen appellation...very aromatic and floral.
For contrast there was Domaines Schlumberger 2006 Grand Cru Riesling from the Saering cru...more minerally and stony with laser-sharp acidity.
And the mussels were outstanding and beautifully spicy!

Next we needed to decant the two bottles of Bordeaux...

A 1968 and a 1964 from Mouton Rothschild.

We cut the top foil and found these in normal condition...that is, we needed to clean the tops of the bottles with a paper towel and some warm water...

Dealing with the public at the shop, periodically some neophyte is totally repulsed to find some scuzzy, moldy material on the cork, under the foil capsule.  This is not that

 unusual and it's harmless.


The light allows one to view the clarity of the wine being decanted, so you can stop the process when sediment begins to trail out.


Brian was surprised to see a bottle of such old wine and wondered how anyone could make wine when they had yet to invent the fax machine or I-Phone.


The 1964 Mouton still had a spark of life to it.  There was some tobacco-like aromatics and the wine was medium-bodied and fairly smooth.  The herbal elements stood up nicely to the tender lamb shanks and beans.

The 1968 Mouton was from a very difficult year and it had not weathered the past 40+ years very well.  Still, it was interesting to taste a 1968 Bordeaux since these are exceedingly rare.

We then set about the task of hoisting a glass and toasting the Birthday Boys and Chef Alexia.

The next course featured some cheeses which Bob had procured.


And we had some fabulous bread that Jonathan had baked...


Alexia pulled out a couple of 1996s to pair with the cheeses.

The Fery Meunier Morey-Saint-Denis was still a bit tight and a little bit reserved.  It showed light Pinot fruit and some earthy elements.
The Dehlinger, meanwhile, was wonderfully expressive and cherry-like.  It was intensely fruity and simply beautiful.



Next Alexia opened a bottle of a rare Tawny Port...


This is a bottling from the CONFRARIA DO VINHO DO PORTO members, a Porto promotional organization.  It's a 20 year Tawny, nicely nutty and moderately sweet.

It paired nicely with Sandy's Spice Cake.


As there's no time like the present, it was time for some gifts and their unwrapping.

Friends of Henry! & Paul are all mental cases, apparently, judging by the birthday cards accompanying the various gifts.


..."And that, Jimmy,, is the tale of my very first colonoscopy."

Meanwhile, Henry! is a very regular fellow and he'll be even more "regular" as a result of someone's gift...

Paul was given a little gift box...

And so we concluded a perfectly nice evening with the gang.



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