Food, Wine & Friends Page 231
We celebrated the birthdays of Clementine and Alanna...Number 14!
I asked them what they wanted as a main course for dinner and the immediate
response was "Yorkshire Pudding and Prime Rib!"
Pierre poured the Ayala "Zero Dosage" Champagne, a nicely dry, crisp
bubbly which was perfect for such a warm day!
Jesper brought some Sushi Rolls featuring Quinoa and Salmon.
Clementine and Alanna...the "Birthday Babes."
We assembled some salads to start the dinner table festivities...
Butter Lettuce, Hearts of Palm, Cucumber, Tomatoes and some Poached Shrimp.
We opened two bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with this from the new
winery called Greywacke (named after a ubiquitous rock found all over New
This winery is the work of Kevin Judd, who spent 25 years making Cloudy Bay
On the right was the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc...a beautifully citrusy wine with
notes of grapefruit and lime...perhaps a zesty melon note here, too. Dry,
fresh and thoroughly engaging!
The 2010 "Wild Sauvignon" displayed a honey-like quality, being a bit
bigger and richer, too.
Dane scarfed up the shrimps in an instant...
And Dane's Dad hoisted a glass to toast both Birthday Girls.
We next had a little pasta course and opened a couple of wines from favorite
Luciano Sandrone's 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba "Valmaggiore" was really
fine. Very charming and polished...a beautiful young Nebbiolo of unusual
The 2008 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico was quite good. I've not been
enchanted by many of the 2008s and yet this showed good intensity, beautiful
balance and was delightful at such an early stage. Usually these take 5 or
10 years to blossom and yet this wine was marvelous!
The pasta was fresh and accompanied by Portabella mushroom, Crimini Mushrooms,
Pancetta and fresh peas...very good and devoured by everyone!
Two Pasta-Eating Machines!
Here's another version of a Pasta-Eating Machine:
After the pasta, we had a mildly soupy granite of Grenache...
The Prime Rib was nicely roasted...
Pierre opened the two bottles of Norman Hardie wines from Canada...
The Yorkshire Pudding of Clementine's Dreams!
So Alanna and Clementeen decided to check on the oven
And soon we were ready to bring the main course to the
Oven Roasted Potatoes with Herbes de Provence and Garlic.
Braised Green Beans from Sunday's Fresh Market in Burlingame.
And the Prime Rib, nicely carved by Jesper...
The Yorkshire Pudding...
The 2009 Norman Hardie Pinot Noir from Niagara was, at least, identifiable as
Pinot Noir. It was medium-bodied and lightly cherryish with a touch of
sweet oak. Not a profound or complex wine, but a rather pleasant,
"good" red wine.
The 2009 Norman Hardie Cabernet Franc from Prince Edward County was a very
modest red...it was sharp and a bit shrill, showing plenty of acidity and low
alcohol. I asked if the label was 11.5 to 12% alcohol, as the wine was a
bit sharp and, sure enough, it was in that neighborhood!
We decanted two half bottles of 1987 Guigal Hermitage.
Now we're talkin'!!!
Nice, old Syrah...very good, medium-bodied, well-aged Syrah...
Clementine went back for "seconds" on the Yorkshire Pudding.
After the main course, we opened a couple of Burgundies from Domaine de
Both Nuits-Saint-Georges and both Premier Cru level wines on the label.
I didn't think either was quite Premier Cru level in the glass, though.
The 2007 from the Clos de L'Arlot was a bit tired and herbal...not really ripe
and not well-balanced.
The 2008 Clos des Forets Saint Georges came closer to hinting at Burgundy, but
it was a rather simple, straightforward wine showing a touch of wood and light
The Clos des Forets was slightly more charming and a better match for the small
assortment of cheeses.
I LOVE Cheese!
And soon it was time for birthday cake...
I'd left messages for the Birthday Princesses a few days earlier saying the
bakery had the "usual chocolate cake, but some unusual combinations,
too. Should I get the Prune and Anchovy Cake or perhaps the one made of
Tuna with Garlic?"
As usual, they both thought their Uncle Gerald was out of his mind.
Banyuls for dessert wine with the cake...
And then we opened some birthday cards and gifts...
And Dane suddenly had Dreadlocks (and Nutella Gelato)!!
"Hey Mon, this is good!"
And soon it was time to go...
What a nice evening!
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