Chow Wine Gathering January 18th - Initial Report
On such a chilly night, it was delightful to have a warm, friendly gathering to look forward to. David and Lee (chowhound name: leek) orchestrated this Chow exercise in matching food to appropriate wines. I will outline the meal and ask our hosts to later post the exact wines selected with additional commentary.
First course: Vitalinfo expertly smoked salmon served with a mustard dill sauce accompanied by champagne.
Second course: Janet Traub prepared Goat cheese Crottins (literal translation: turds) on lettuce tossed with a vinaigrette with toasted bread from Fox & Obel. White wine from QUINCY (France, not Illinois!) was served.
Third Course: Our hostess Lee grilled leg of lamb, which had been marinated in wine and herbs, and then charcoal grilled on her balcony. It was cooked as I like it: medium rare. Laura, sister of Cathy2, prepared a spinach gratin. Ourpalwill made potatoes gratin where the initial step was Yukon Gold potatoes cooked in cream. One never can go wrong when the first step involves cream. VIN ROUGE from Bordeaux, a CÔTES DE CASTILLON was served.
Fourth Course: A brave woman prepared her first ever Cassoulet for our discriminating crowd. We expressed our appreciation by eating it all up! I apologize for forgetting your name, but I remember the face and, more importantly, the dish! A Rhone wine from GIGONDAS was served.
Fifth Course: Cathy2 (cest moi!) served a blue cheese cheesecake on a bed of Mesculin greens tossed with pear vinaigrette. Rhone wine from the fourth course accompanied this bookend salad course.
At this time, the hostess and a majority of the guests took a brief walk to revive their appetite. Three guests took this occasion to duck into an Irish bar. They claimed cold led them to it ... they did return with all their assorted pieces.
Sixth Course: Dessert was served with a nice port. Jane brought a homemade Dobish Torte. On prior occasions when Jane made this torte, winter storms cancelled the festivities and she was obliged to eat it by herself ... it could be a worse fate! Another guest brought a chocolate dessert with fruits.
We learned on this occasion Chowhounds not only seek and eat, they could cook. David was most gracious to share his wine knowledge that began when he was 8 years old. This is no typo, he began at 8 not 18! Clearly, David's knowledge of wine has quite some depth. Though, there was an amusing discussion of port wine origins, which Vitalinfo and Lee seemed to agree upon, did not agree with David. Are Vitalinfo and Lee delving into historical urban legends? Hmmmm. It remains somewhat an unresolved question from last evening but cest la vie! Id be quite happy to repeat the occasion to learn a bit more.
Again, thank you to Lee and David for such a delightful evening. And thanks to our fellow guests and cooks who contributed to a fine chow experience.