Food, Wine & Friends Page 269
It was Thanksgiving weekend and somehow, spur-of-the-moment (a
trip to the Farmer's Market, actually), Connie, Mark and Chewie put together a
nice little repast!
Connie even managed to print a menu!
Ralph had come over early and helped shuck a massive amount of
And the table was set...
James took care of opening and pouring the first bottle of
CLOS DU CHATEAU DE BLIGNY...
This bottle is their 6 Cepages, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot
Meunier, Petit Meslier, Arbane and Pinot Blanc in equal proportions.
I found the wine to be of good quality...nicely toasty and medium-bodied.
It's perhaps less 'noble' than top, top Champagnes, but it was still good and
paired nicely with the oysters.
The wine showed a ripe pear sort of character and a bit of
brioche/yeastiness. I found it nicely dry and reasonably crisp, but not
laser-sharp and acidic.
Mark and Mai.
The Hostess with The Mostess.
This little fellow wasn't much interested in Champagne ("unless it tastes
like meat!" he told me).
"And I mean steak, lamb, duck, pork..."
Connie showed off the oyster platters...
...and then showed off her special oyster-shucking knife.
Soon we all got busy and began devouring the oysters.
Oysters and Champagne!
What a great pairing...
Connie brought out the second bottle of Champagne...
A Deutz Brut Rose.
This was nicely berryish, really crisp and dry...a bit more polished, let's say,
than the Bligny.
Mark brought the roast out of the oven and was intent upon removing its 'salt
After the unveiling of the roast, there was the Traditional
Ceremonial "Dance of the Prime Rib."
These two don't dance for some reason.
Ralph was more interested in trying the two Spanish white wines.
Connie told us this bread was a "pain," but we found it to be quite
Oh...Pain au Levain!
Then Mark and Connie got busy with their steamed Mussels.
Naturally, this called for a toast...
Both wines paired nicely with the mussels. The
Capellania's lightly nutty character interacted nicely with the mildly spicy
character of the mussels.
But the more remarkable wine was the Vina Tondonia 1998, a recent arrival.
You might expect a wine that's spent 6 years in small oak barrels to be nutty
and Sherry-like with oxidization a main theme, but then you'd be wrong!
This wine was lightly golden in color, but it shows marvelous fruit despite the
wood aging. It's dry and has a really complex fragrance and flavor.
The timer sounded in the kitchen and Mark brought out the pan full of Yorkshire
Puddings which had been rising to the occasion (in the oven)...
Mark showed off the pan "a la Bob."
Connie put them on a plate and served them...
Then she went back into the kitchen to work on the Mashed
She had the "Mont Blanc" of Mashed Potatoes.
Yes...the Traditional O'Poon Birthday Mashers!
Rachel was impressed and made a wish before extinguishing the candle.
Mark then began carving the Prime Rib.
We pulled the corks on a couple of young Bordeaux...
And these were young!
They both show good potential, but neither had the complexity they will have if
cellared for 5 or 10 more years.
Mark shows off the platter of Prime Rib, "a la Bob."
As the platters and serving bowls were making the rounds, I
decanted an older bottle...
1970 Freemark Abbey Cabernet from Napa.
Can you imagine: 11.9% Alcohol!?!?!
The wine had been stored in a very cold cellar for many
years. This probably retarded the development of the wine and while it was
not "young," it was not old, either!
But it was an interesting taste of Napa Valley wine from an era before all the
mania over ratings, scores and the need for bigger, riper wines.
The rootstock was different in those days and vineyards had difficulty producing
grapes with super high levels of sugar (as is common today, given the mantra
that "bigger is better").
We enjoyed this bottle, though and it's a wine older than most of the
whippersnappers at the dinner table on this occasion.
I prepared some cardoons to have with the roast...
And we had Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding and the Prime
And so another toast was in order!
And for dessert, we had a 2007 Schloss Vollrads Spatlese
Riesling...Kareasa opened that bottle.
Kareasa shows off her Pumpkin Cream Tiramisu.
James shows off his Chocolate Killer Brownies.
Delord's 25 Year Old Armagnac was a touch sweet, but a nice digestif.
All the festivities and excitement wore out more than one party animal!
And with that we adjourned the meeting and made tracks for a snooze of our own.
Many thanks to everyone for contributing to such a great evening.
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