Back on the work saddle today, things seem slow - many still hungover from the holidays - and I don't blame them. Waiting for responses to all drafts and correspondences sent out over the holidays, and all packed for a short trip to HK, I may as well post my first blog entry for 2013 - on the first dinner of the year, naturally.
Dinner of the 1st January 2013 was at home with my Dad, Tad & Chako, Catha & the children (Reena spending the holidays with Pia, Harry, & Yinny in the US). It was a simple and quiet affair, as it usually is after a raucous New Year's Eve. Having kept the house staff up until the wee hours, we took the lead in cooking dinner.
|Tad roasting the peppers.|
|Chako prepares the salad.|
|I prepped the lamb racks Dad had sent over 2 days earlier.|
|The night's bubblies chilling out.|
While having our pica-picas, we compared Moët et Chandon's two most recent releases of Dom Pérignon (both purchased locally - nb: for some reason, top label vintage champagnes are, in my experience, usually priced better here than in the US):
2003 Dom Pérignon - Fleshier than any DP that comes to mind, a dull, stewed theme to its yellow apricot, bit of over-ripe peach, lemon curd, underlying caramel and café crème. Catha and Chako noted an unappealing bitterness, which I liken to over-cooked caramel (Catha ditched her glass of it in favor of the 2002). Balance is off. Too sweet and not bright. Will this improve with age? I really don't know, only time will tell. Fortunately, I have another bottle of this given as a gift by Rocky & Apple, which I shall let age and we'll see after some years (good thing too as, judging from this subject bottle, I do not anticipate my buying any more of this vintage).
2002 Dom Pérignon - a vintage I have had very often in the past year. Vastly brighter, purer, livelier, with markedly better freshness of fruit and over-all balance than the 2003 (even my teenagers noted this immediately). More lemon/citrus than past bottles, but neither obtrusive nor unpleasant. Refreshing, celebratory. This is eminently more enjoyable now and, I'd hazard, possesses much better ageing potential than the 2003. Love it.
|The dachshunds got sleepy quite early...|
|Chako's Salad (para healthy).|
|Tad's Chili-Garlic Roasted Peppers.|
|My Roasted Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb.|
Two reds for the lamb that night: one old one (for the year past) and one young one (for the year just begun):
1964 Bodegas Faustino Faustino I Gran Reserva - I've written about this jewel of an aged, traditional tinto Riojano many times in the past, and, since Aaron and I still bring this in, still have to refrain from commenting. Suffice it to state that, despite its not being cheap, it enjoys a healthy demand from true Rioja aficionados. Everyone loved it, especially with the lamb (as well it should be).
2008 Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Montpeyroux Languedoc-Rousillon - one of two different bottles sent to me as Christmas gifts by Future Trade's head honcho, James du Vivier (thanks, James!), decanted for aeration in my cav for 4 hours. The grenache component is easily apparent on the spicy, pepper-touched (from the syrah), sweetishly ripe "grapey" nose. Full-bodied, concentrated, robust, easily accessible sweetly ripe, juicy, blackberries, black cherry, bit of kirsch, cinammon, mocha, black pepper. Darkly fruity, but good freshness, and adequate acid balance.
This is an inexpensive, good value-for-money red that one can open anytime and/or for large parties; to be paired with roasted and grilled red meat, US-style BBQ, burgers, etc.
|Light yet delicious: Pears in Wine (by Marc Aubry) w/ Vanilla Ice Cream.|
Everyone having been up into the wee hours the previous day, we called it a night relatively early. Dad left by around 10pm, while Tad & Chako lingered with us until around 11pm. In the above photo, Coffee receives a farewell scratch from Tad.
|Happy New Year to all! Until the next!|