Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wine Club Dinner: The 2010 Version is a Hit

The Wine Club which we belong to conducted its Sixth Annual Dinner on Saturday night. I was amazed that is was six years, but Chris and I have only attended the past three. This has become and annual event that we look forward to, and when our holiday and birthday party schedule cleared up so that we could attend this year's dinner, we were excited.  It is always a great night with good friends, great food and superior wines.

I am happy to report that the 2010 version met and exceeded all expectations.

The friends were awesome. The company, the discussion, the laughter, and the celebration. Good friends collecting together over dinner or drinks are always fun--but this evening is truly special. Gary and Pam provided a atmosphere that was perfect--in their wine cellar surrounded by bottles of wine and with the lighting absolutely perfect. Thanks guys. And the table decorations and arrangement by Gerri and Jennifer added to the special nature of the evening in a perfect way. I wish I had taken a picture--but alas, I was having so much fun that I totally forgot.

The food--well where to begin. When I looked at the menu and saw all of the talented cooks who were involved, I was sure that the food was going to be a scrumptious as it was. Everything was perfect. I particularly enjoyed the baked brie with cranberries--and many of you who know me, know that I never met a brie that I didn't like! The mixed lettuce, pear, and goat cheese salad was awesome. (Sorry Fran, I like goat cheese!)  The entree was perfect for the evening. Braised beef short ribs over garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and parsnips with rosemary. The ribs were cooked to perfection and the flavors blended perfectly. And the dessert. Where to begin--except to say, Mark you can make a chocolate-raspberry torte for me anytime. What is not to like. It was melt in your mouth good.  So to all of the cooks: Pam, Gary, Steve, Gerri and Mark--awesome. You should consider opening a restaurant someday and I am already looking forward to the 2011 version of the Wine Club Dinner.

If the food was so good, how can there be any level above that--but the wine selections by Gary perfectly complimented the courses.

The highlight was the M. Chapoutier Banyuls Vin Doux Naturel 2007 and how it so perfectly complimented the torte. It was truly one of those pairings that brings out the best in both--the wine, followed by a piece of torte, and then some more wine. It makes me smile as I write this as to how food it was.

The sparkling wine with the appetizer was awesome as usual--especially with the ginger liqueur. It was the Domaine Chandon Extra Dry Riche from California. A beautiful finish which fully complimented the brie and cranberries.

One of my personal finds of the evening was the Roots Run Deep Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Educated Guess 2007 from Napa Valley. Although I do believe it could use another year in the bottle--it matched up well with the entree and I will definitely be seeking it out to add to my personal collection. This wine was not a fruit bomb and had good complexity and tannins to meet the meat right where it was at. I really enjoyed this wine.

And then there was the sherry. It was the Emilio Lustau Jerez-Xeres Sherry Capataz Andes Deluxe Cream Solera Reserva from Spain. So smooth and luscious. It was so good that many of the guests started doing shots of it--just for the pure fun and enjoyment of the after dinner sherry.

So to all of you who prepared and attended the dinner--thanks. It was a lot of work, but I think the results speak for themselves--a superior dinner and gathering of friends around the table to celebrate the victories of the year and to cement the friendships for the years ahead.
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