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A VERY SPECIAL WINE AND FOOD DINNER

John Tilson • 10/6/18        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

 

HILLSIDE HOUSE DINNER @ BACCHUS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

At this year’s annual Hillside House Sunset Soirée fundraising dinner (to read about the event click here ) my wife Laurie and I donated two wine and food dinners at our house, which is named Bacchus after the Roman god of wine.

The first of those dinners was just held here. Laurie and I put together the menu, and Laurie made a lot of the food with some help and suggestions from me. A great local chef, Lydia Gaitan of Grace Catering & Event Design (click here to read more about Lydia and her company) and her staff plated and served the food, and Lydia made the fabulous short ribs. I chose the wines to go with each course. The menu is shown below:

MENU

Appetizers

Stuffed Peppadews
Cream Cheese Delight On Almond Crackers
Corn Fritters With Remoulade Sauce

2002 Roederer Cristal Champagne (magnum)

First Course

Arugula And Micro Green Salad With Prosciutto, Roasted Pistachios, And Pomegranate Seeds
Warm Bread

2001 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett Dr. H. Thanisch

Second Course

Tomato Water Gelee With Tomato Salsa And Grilled Prawn
Warm Bread

1999 Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux Domaine Francois Raveneau

Third Course

Fettuccine With Roasted Truffled Marcona Almonds And Fresh Chive In A Truffle Cream Sauce

1985 Le Montrachet Gagnard-Delagrange

Entrée

Braised Short Ribs With A Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction Sauce On Celeric Mashed Potatoes With Glazed Carrots And Parsnips And  A Fresh Rosemary Garnish

1985 Ridge Montebello (magnum)

Cheese Course

Alp Blossom
Brillat-Savarin With Black Truffles

1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echezeaux

Dessert

O’Henry Peach Crisp With Vanilla Bean Gelato

1983 Serringer Schloss Saarfelser Schlossberg Riesling Eiswein


 

Food & Wine Notes

Below are notes on the food which are followed by notes on the wine:

Food

Appetizers

Stuffed Peppadews
Cream Cheese Delight On Almond Crackers

The stuffed peppadews is a recipe that Laurie and I created.  Peppadews are pickled sweet piquant peppers. They are cut in half and then stuffed with a mixture of  Manchego cheese, chopped roasted macadamia nuts, and lemon zest. The cream cheese delight is another of our creations. It is a mixture of cream cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest,  and chopped fresh roasted pecans.  Drizzled over the top is a mixture of apricot/jalapeno jam and lime juice.

Corn Fritters With Citrus Tinged Remoulade Sauce

The corn fritters are deep fried to a crispy brown and topped with a citrus tinged dipping sauce

First Course

Arugula And Micro Green Salad With Prosciutto, Roasted Pistachios, And Pomegranate Seeds
Warm Bread

This is a salad we created. It is tossed with a Meyer Lemon vinaigrette  dressing and served with slices of a warm baguette.

Second Course

Tomato Water Gelée With Tomato Salsa And A Large Butterflied Grilled Prawn
Warm Bread

This is a dish we created for the first time for this dinner. A large prawn is marinated in citrus juices for several hours. It is then removed and brushed with olive oil and grilled over oak wood. Off the grill the prawns are rinsed with blood orange juice and then butterflied and placed in the refrigerator. Once they are cold, they are removed and brushed with a mixture of 2/3 Serranto lemon oil & 1/3 Tiger sauce. Laurie makes a tomato water gelée from fresh heirloom tomatoes and herbs which are pressed and strained to produce a juice to which gelatin is added and then placed in flat dish in the refrigerator to jell. Once jelled the gelée is cut into rounds and individually plated with a fresh chilled heirloom tomato salsa spooned over the top. The cold sauced butterflied prawn is placed on the side. The dish is accompanied by slices of a warm baguette.

Third Course

Fettuccine With Roasted Marcona Truffled Almonds And Fresh Chive In A Truffle Cream Sauce

This is another dish that we created for the first time for this dinner. Fresh fettuccine is prepared and cooked al dente. It is tossed with a mixture of cream and truffle oil to which chopped roasted Marcona truffled almonds are added and tossed. Finely chopped chive is sprinkled on top before serving.

 Entrée

Braised Short Ribs On Celeric Mashed Potatoes With Glazed, Thinly Sliced  Carrots And Parsnips And A Fresh Rosemary Garnish.

Lydia prepared the delicious short ribs with the great sauce.  The sauced ribs were placed on celeric mashed potatoes with slices of sauteed glazed carrots and parsnips scattered over the celeric mashed potatoes and garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Cheese Course

Alp Blossom
Brillat-Savarin With Black Truffles
Warm Bread

I selected 2 of my favorite cheeses from our local cheese shop C’est Cheese. The Alp Blossom is from Austria and is a creamy solid cheese with subtle flavors and crusted with wild flower blossoms. It is unique and delicious. Brillat-Savarin is a triple cream cheese from France that comes in a wheel which is cut in half, spread with chopped black truffles, and then re-created as a round. It is decadent, rich, and delicious! Warm pecan/raisin bread slices accompanied the cheese.

Dessert

O’Henry Peach Crisp With Vanilla Bean Gelato

When in season, Laurie always makes different fruit crisps with a variety of seasonal fruits. The crisp is a mixture of oatmeal, chopped roasted pecans, butter and brown sugar which is a topping for the fruit and baked in the oven. It is served warm. The peach season is just ending. This crisp was made with O’Henry peaches and topped  with vanilla bean gelato. O’Henry peaches are a yellow peach which, in my opinion, are the best tasting yellow peaches. They are an heirloom variety that is not widely grown and have a very short season. This is a great dessert that is unusual and really delicious!

Wine Notes

2002 Roederer Cristal Champagne (magnum)

Champagne is a must for us with appetizers. I chose the Cristal for its finesse and flavor and wanted a Champagne that would complement our very different appetizers. The Cristal was a great match.
With a yellow gold color and a lovely perfume it is creamy and rounded with great elegance, balance, and flavor. This 2002 Cristal drinks well now and will develop further complexities with additional age.

2001 Dr. H. Thanish Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett

The Berncastel Doctor vineyard in the Mosel is legendary. It produces a wine of great style, flavor, balance, and finesse. The Thanish family has a history in German wine making going back nearly 400 years. They acquired the Berncastel Doctor vineyard in the mid 18th century. The Berncastel Doctor vineyard has long been considered one of the greatest vineyards in Germany. But, in the mid 19th century Dr. H. Thanish was responsible for for establishing the international reputation of Berncastel Doctor.
The 2001 vintage is widely considered as one of the best German wine vintages of the last 50 years. Very healthy grapes produced great wines in all categories. The Kabinetts are very pure and delicious.
This Kabinett has really lovely pure fruit, a subtle balanced hint of sweetness and a nice crispness. With additional age (Rieslings are very long lived wines. I have Kabinetts over 40 years old in my cellar that are complex and delicious today) this wine will develop additional complexity.  But, I like the wine now for its freshness and its match with the delicate yet flavorful salad.

1999 Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux

Domaine Raveneau is my favorite producer of Chablis. The wines are remarkably intense and flavorful with beautiful balance and no sense of heaviness. In their youth they have a bright crispness and with decades of bottle age develop richness and additional flavor components.
This wine approaching 20 years of age was chosen to bridge the gap between the two stages of evolution. It was beautifully matched with the food course which was subtle, elegant and flavorful.
The wine with a light yellow gold color has a great perfume and is rounded and elegant with lovely subtle flavors and a nice crispness on the finish.

1985 Domaine Gagnard-Delegrange Le Montrachet

In 1978 a small parcel of Le Montrachet (The Montrachet vineyard is situated on the dividing line between the villages of Chassagne and Puligny. That part of the vineyard on the Chassagne side is referred to as Le Montrachet while the part of the vineyard on the Puligny side is called Montrachet.) was purchased from Paul Fleurot by Jacques Gagnard and his father-in-law, Edward Delagrange-Bachelet. Made in a tiny quantity of less than 80 cases per year (split evenly between two different labels Gagnard-Delgrange and Delagrange-Bachelet) from the years  1978 to 1999 this Le Montrachet is consistently great.
We visited Jacques many times over the years and always enjoyed our visits and tasting his great wines. After his death in 2009 many old vintages of Le Montrachet were sold from the domaine. I was able to buy bottles from many of the old vintages and still have some in my cellar. I have been drinking them over many years now and they have been remarkable in their consistency and quality. This domaine has a great and fascinating history which is detailed in my article A Burgundy Story. This is a story that really speaks to Burgundy and I encourage you to read it by clicking here).
This 1985 Le Montrachet has been great from the very beginning and today it is showing at an absolute peak of perfection with absolutely no sign of decline. It is interesting to note the hand written number on the vintage neck label. As is the practice with old bottles, they are stored unlabeled in bins. When the wines are sold the bottles are cleaned up and labels applied. Often with small production Burgundy wines there are no remaining neck labels. So rather than going to the expense of producing a small quantity of printed vintage labels, they simply write in the missing number or numbers for the vintage as was done for bottles of this 1985.
I chose this bottle to pair with wonderfully flavored fettuccine. It was a perfect match. Light golden yellow in color the wine shows a great honeyed perfume. Rich and full with impeccable balance and great flavor it is long on the palate and absolutely marvelous.

1985 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello (magnum)

I have long said that Ridge Monte Bello is consistently great year after year with a history of making great wine back into the 1960s. I know of know of no other California Cabernet that can match the long history of the great Monte Bellos. I have a lot of them in my cellar dating back into the 1960s and I have never been disappointed with any of the bottles I have opened. To the contrary, I am constantly amazed how great the wines are no matter if they are relatively old or relatively young. Very simply they are great wines for the ages that can be enjoyed for as long as you want to keep them. (To read an article featuring old Ridge Monte Bellos with links to other Ridge articles click here).
The 1985 Monte Bello has always been gorgeous. I have enjoyed many bottles and this magnum served with the great short ribs made for an incredible wine and food match. Dark in color with a stunning cassis tinged perfume showing a faint cedary nuance, the wine is rich and flavorful and loaded with cedar tinged fruit. It is impeccably balanced with a long lingering finish and is destined for decades of life ahead.

1999 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Echezeaux

The Domaine de la Romanée Conti has a long and storied history and is considered the greatest name in Burgundy. Drinking a bottle is always a great treat. I chose this 1999 Echezeaux to go with the cheese course. I decanted the wine an hour before serving. This enabled the wine to open a bit, but it is still a baby. The youthful fruit is now a bit obscured and many years are still needed for the wine to fully develop. Nonetheless, the wine showed a nice perfume with a faint oriental spice tinge and was flavorful and married beautifully with the unusual and delicious cheeses.

1983 Serringer Schloss Saarfelser Schlossberg Riesling Eiswein

The year 1983 produced a bumper crop of great German Eisweins. My friends and I tasted an incredible number of them when they were first released. We followed up by also buying an incredible number of them. And I still have a lot of them in my cellar. This 1983 Serringer Schloss Saarfelser Schlossberg Riesling Eiswein is the recipient of a coveted gold prize which is designated in the label. It also just happens to be one of the greatest desert wines I have ever had in my life! I chose it as a match for a wonderful O’Henry peach crisp.  And, the combination was magical.
Deep gold in color the wine has an absolutely incredible perfume that is exotic and redolent with mango, apricot, and yellow peach. Lush and rich yet with great elegance and purity, it has a myriad of exotic fruit flavors and is seamless and lush with a great underlying citrus tinged crispness followed by an amazing finish that goes on and on. And, it certainly bears repeating that this is, for sure, one of the very best dessert wines I have ever experienced.

A wine cellar tour was also a part of the festivities. Now we are looking to doing the other Hillside House Dinner this year. And, before you know it we will be into next year and another Hillside House Sunset Soirée fundraising dinner. At that time we will make our annual dinner donation and the cycle will continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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