Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another eclectic evening

I'm not running an inn, I swear. At least everyone gets home, eventually, even if I've poured them a little more cognac than is reasonable. I was harried with a big project yesterday, but I didn't let that stop me from taking breaks to whip up some food for the evening's dinner.

Red bean dip with chervil and shallots, tortilla chips

NV Château de la Presle Crémant de Loire - a sparkling wine made from sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Ick. I hated this. Bitter, hollow. So much for being off-beat...

NV Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco - a little more fun. Pear, somewhat off-dry. We got to tease Arnaud for saying "peer." True, if you've never heard the word spoken, you might not know. We had him say "peerless pear." In any case, lots of ripe pear in this light & fruity offering.

Pâté de foie blond with mesclun salad and curried balsamic dressing

2004 Héritiers Comte Lafon Mâcon-Uchizy "Les Maranches" - A fleshy, round, I'm trying to roll this over my mental tongue again to figure out what it was that struck me as so unconventional. Some kind of marzipan note or maybe the shells of hazelnuts. It had a lot of depth and length.

2004 Philippe Naddef Marsannay blanc Vieilles Vignes - A much more pure, traditional expression of white Burgundy. Approachable, suave, with just the right mix of subtle citrus and butter on a taut frame.

Macaroni and gruyère with porcini mushrooms, bacon and truffle oil

2002 Louis Jadot Château des Jacques Moulin-à-Vent Clos du Grand Carquelin - A little while back on a wine board, François Mauss of the Grand Jury Européen wrote that this wine was worthy of a grand cru from the Côte d'Or. Others chimed in with enthusiasm. So of course when I stumbled upon it (figuratively speaking; it was on a shelf, not on the floor) a couple of weeks later - the last bottle in the store - I snapped it up. What a pinot-y nose and palate. Smooth but robust, with cherries and dark plums, somewhat thick-knit, impressive.

But we got to talking about grands crus since this was supposed to be qualitatively similar. Three of my friends had never had one before, so I only had one solution: get the keys to the cellar and leave them to scarf the last of the macaroni (there were no leftovers, sniff).

2001 Vincent Girardin Charmes-Chambertin - La classe, man! Open and ready (so much more than two other 2001 grand crus we had a few weeks ago with Scott Manlin), it was flaunting its gorgeous charms. Cherries, currants, a dash of cedar. Long and full of elegance.

Afterward I served a pear tart I'd purchased at a pâtisserie, and some opted to drink some cognac afterward, but I wasn't keeping tabs, I swear.

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