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Food, Wine & Friends Page 219

Connie and Mark were the owners of a brand new dinner table and were looking forward to inaugurating it by hosting dinner at Chateau O'Poon.

Chewie greeted all the guests as they arrived.

There was some bread being sliced in the kitchen when I peeked in...

And the kitchen was filled with all sorts of interesting pieces to the evening's gastronomical jigsaw puzzle.


We had a bottle of a Sparkling wine from France's Savoie region, so Kareasa took care of pouring that.


Mark was working on the asparagus.

Here's the bottle of Quenard bubbly from the Savoie...

Nice and dry...light...simple, but satisfying.

And soon it was time to sit down...so Connie and Mark were serving their Springtime Risotto.


We had a bottle of 2008 Albert Seltz "Sono Contento" Sylvaner from France's Alsace region.
It's a "Vieilles Vignes" bottling and these are reputed to age quite nicely.
This was a good example of Sylvaner, with a mildly minerally, stony character and a bit of a floral, fruity element.  The wine worked nicely with the risotto, so we were mildly happy with this Sylvaner.


Brian took care of opening a bottle of Vocoret Chablis.


We had a marvelous version of Cioppino, with some sort of fish filets, mussels, scallops, prawns and, of course, crab.
The Vocoret Chablis was a perfectly pleasant bottle of wine, though not anything hugely special.


A translation app on the I-Phone offers help in many languages.
"Delicious," however, is universal.

 

This little fellow was fishing around, hoping to be fed some Cioppino.

A nice little refreshing salad was on the menu next...


Grapefruit, Avocado, Fennel and some greens...very nice!

 

Mark roasted some racks of lamb for the main plate, as though we needed more food!


Lamb, chopped!

Kareasa was smitten by the the sight of the lamb and was not at all sheepish in making this admission.


We had two vintages of Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino.

The 1999 was showing magnificently, a wine which was totally evolved and fairly smooth.  The bouquet was exceptional, showing nice red fruits and a woodsy undertone.
The 2001 was still a bit astringent and showing a youthful side.  It still needs some time to soften.


Ralph enjoyed this course, saying he had "two bones to pick: One with the Raiders and this one!"

The lamb was cooked to perfection and a great match with the Brunello wines...

And then:


Kareasa had been busy baking and brought two items...

Here you see her showing off a chocolate cake.


And she also brought a Buttermilk Pie!


It turns out we were celebrating some birthdays!

And so some of the birthday kids made a wish and blew out the candles.


Luckily both these old timers were full of hot air on this occasion.


This guy was enjoying every minute of the party.

Connie then brought out some Clear Creek bottles...

These are very fine.  The Framboise had a really intense raspberry fragrance and you could easily detect the yellow plum perfumes of the Mirabelle.  The Apple Brandy gives good Calvados a run for the money, too.

Ralph, meanwhile, is more capable than a Raider's Quarterback in passing.


This was amusing to Kareasa, apparently.

But then Kareasa began serenading us with her rendition of "Feelings."


Everyone began eyeing their watches so a quick look at the clock at this point and Ralph & Kareasa realized their train was due at the nearby station in 4 minutes (and it was the last one of the evening!).
Can you imagine Caltrain's final Sunday train back from The City departs at 9:15 in San Francisco!

They made it to the station just a few seconds before the arrival of the Caltrain and everyone took off for a nice little slumber.

Thanks to Connie, Mark and Chewie for hosting such a marvelous evening.


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