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Food, Wine & Friends Page 237

On a warm, Summer day in January(!) we celebrated Amy Fitzpatrick's 29th Birthday.

With a somewhat Catalonian theme, we began we some nibbles, including some cherry tomatoes stuffed with Tapenade...


And some Marcona Almonds and a spread of red pepper and chopped artichokes...

Breaking out of the Spanish theme, though, we opened a bottle of 2002 Pol Roger Vintage Brut Champagne.




This was damned good Champagne, by the way...beautifully crisp, mildly toasty and quite dry.


Alanna.

We then put together a version of a Catalonian salad as a starter, though the two wines we paired with it were of the grape Godello and from western Spain.


The Avanthia 2011 Godello is a stylish wine, sporting a bit of oak.  I suppose this will appeal to fans of California Chardonnays, as it has a mildly woodsy note to it on the nose and palate.
The Sabrego was seemingly non-wooded and it showed a nicely crisp, tangy acidity which worked beautifully with the savory salad.
The orange colored 'sauce' in the middle of the plate is a Romesco sauce featuring toasted almonds, garlic, roasted red peppers along with oil and vinegar.

I was actually stunned when Alanna asked to have more of the Romesco sauce for her salad...

Apparently she is developing an adult palate for food...


We then opened a magnum of Castillo Ygay 2000 vintage Gran Reserva Especial from the Rioja...




We built two paellas...One without chicken, ham and Chorizo and one with...

Here's the "With"...

We actually did have enough food to feed a small army...

The wine, however...that was a different story!

 

Pierre took care of serving.




The wine was quite good.  It showed a nice amount of 'age', having been in the bottle for a number of years. The woodsy, oak had meshed nicely with the fruit and this was a delightful, medium-bodied red and it paired handsomely with the Paella.


Dane and his shadow sat at the head of the table.




 

Soon it was time for a bit of birthday cake...


"Maybe I'll have a second piece since Felix isn't here..."


"Maybe I'll have a second piece of cake since Felix isn't here..."


Dane serenaded one and all and finally I threw a dollar bill at him so he'd stop.


"Poor Felix...he doesn't know what he's missing!"


"Hot Flashes are God's Little Way of Preparing You for Hell."

After all that Chocolate Birthday Cake...we needed something to refresh the palate...

So I brought out some Cinnamon Orange Sorbet.


On such a warm evening, this really hit the spot!





And at this point, I was spent!

Everyone helped clean up and we got the dishes taken care of and the assembled multitudes made their way back home to Santa Clara!

Happy Birthday to Amy!

 

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