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Food Wine & Friends Page 285

On a lazy, warm Sunday afternoon we gathered in San Bruno to be hosted by Chewie.

The table was set and ready for dinner.

Chewie wanted help in selecting an appropriate Memorial Day toy to play with...

Mark had fired up the "pizza oven."

Chewie asked if we could play.

Kareasa had been very busy preparing some victuals.

And the Chocolate Cake Lady arrived with a work of art.

Rachel Candelaria.


Connie then flexed her mussels.

And Ralph wrestled with some Foie Gras, finally opening the can.

Chewie's ears perked up when he heard the words "Foie Gras."

Chewie was less interested in the Champagne than he was the Foie Gras.

 

The Somm took care of opening and pouring the Delamotte.


Imbibing.

Connie was a bit steamed by this point...

...and so were the mussels.

It turns out Rachel has Asbestos Hands and was able to pour the hot broth onto the mussels.

 

Somebody was waiting for food to be served at the table.


Many articles concerning food and wine pairings routinely claim artichokes "destroy" most wines.
Maybe our palate is simply malfunctioning, but we did not find this to be the case with the lovely magnum of Delamotte.
The wine is rather dry and nicely crisp and tangy.  There's a light yeasty note...it was quite good with the various crudités, mussels and the grilled artichoke.


Kareasa and Mark then went to work on the Pissaladière.

Onions, Anchovies and Black Olives, the Holy Trinity of a Pissaladière.

Now it needs to be slid into the pizza oven outside...


Chewie supervised this delicate operation.

The chef then had a look...

The fire was not as hot as it might have been with hard-wood (it was of briquettes), so I suggested blasting the kitchen's oven to full-throttle and finishing the Pissaladière in there.

Ralph took care of cutting up the Pissaladière.

We opened two bottles of French Rosé.



Amido's 2015 Tavel was brightly berryish...classic.
And the Château La Canorgue, from the Luberon, was more in the style of a Provençal wine:
lighter in color and yet crisp and bone dry.
Both were delicious and provided a vicarious visit to southern France!

Mark was busy working on the Duck Breasts...

Back at the table, Rachel and Kareasa were busy texting each other...

Connie was preparing a Clafouti.

 

Mark then presented the Duck as would our late colleague Bob Gorman.

Mark "doing a Bob" (as it's known).

 


"Is the duck ready to eat?"


Duck with Ratatouille...


We tasted three 2012 Bordeaux from Pauillac.

First we tried the 2012 Les Griffons from Pichon Baron.

It's a scaled down version of their heavy-hitter wine, with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot according to the back label.
The wine was quite good with fragrances a bit reminiscent of graphite and black fruits.  The oak is well-integrated so there's but a whiff of wood evident.  The wine is quite drinkable now and should hold up nicely for 5 to 8 years.


The Pichon Lalande from 2012 had a nice fragrance, but seemed a bit shallow and "flat" on the palate.  But this flatness is more regarding its lack of depth than lack of acidity.
The Pichon Baron 2012 was deeper and showed more intensity...dark fruit...mildly woodsy...faintly smoky...very nice.  It retails for about $130-$150, so I can be content with the Les Griffons at $60.

The duck was cooked to perfections and the ratatouille was another nice taste of southern France!


Chewie was less interested in the wines, though, but he was a fan of the duck.

Dessert was a bit of a marathon.
First we enjoyed a marvelous Apricot Tart baked by Chef Kareasa.



Drautz Able made a fantastic sweet Sauvignon Blanc...beautifully aromatic with citrusy, honeyed notes on the nose and palate.  Sweet, yet mildly acidic to balance the sugar.

Mark and Connie then presented their Clafouti...

This was a lovely dessert, too.

As they say on those TV Infomercials:

 


Rachel baked a chocolate cake, we can't have dessert without chocolate!


My little pal was interested to snoop around in the kitchen, just in case there was some food to be had.

He's not a fan of chocolate, though.


We opened a 1985 Burmester Vintage Porto with Rachel's chocolate artistry and this was a lovely pairing.
The Port is certainly mature, but holding up nicely.  It was impressive, in fact, though not a blockbuster.
Very fine!


At this stage in the evening, we adjourned the proceedings!

Many thanks to everyone for such great kitchen work!!!

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