This year we set up a separate tasting table. During our appetizer courses, we called 4 people to the tasting table to blind taste a wine. With 16 people we set up 4 rounds of blind tasting. We provided a few aromatics to aid people in their notes. Aromatics such as star anise, vanilla bean, white pepper, cigar, charred cherry wood, & chocolate. After they had some time to gather their thoughts we asked that they go back to the dinner table and tell the rest of the guests what they thought of the wine, what they smelled & tasted. Then we would reveal the wine and pour for the table. This worked out really well and promoted engaging wine talk amongst everyone.
I opened all and decanted some of the wines about 3 hours before serving. We always start off our guests with a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival. This year we chose an Argyle Brut that paired so well with our rich crab & brie tartlets.
Our wine with for dinner:
- 2008 Gilbert Cellars Gewurztraminer
Paired with Gwurztraminer Poached Foie Gras with Gwurztraminer Jelly
- 2006 Delille Cellars Doyenne AIX
Paired with Home Cured Pork Loin with Beecher's Cheese, Apples & Sea Salt
- 2007 Betz La Cote Rousse
Paired with Bacon 3 Ways - Roasted, Bacon Jam, Maple Bacon Shortbread Cookies
- 2006 Fidelitas Boushey Red Wine
- 2007 Adams Bench "Myth"
Paired with Smoked Pork & Pickled Onion Flatbread
- 2006 Betz Clos de Betz
Paired with Grilled Watermelon, Arugula, Chevre Salad
Proscuitto Green Bean Salad
- 2005 Boudreaux Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Paired with Truffled Filet Mignon Sandwiches
- 2004 Boudreaux Merlot
Paired with Cassoulet
All the wines were outstanding. The Delille Doyenne was silky smooth and a great start to the dinner. Of note with the Delille, we decanted one bottle and the other we just opened and left in the bottle. The wine from the decanter was noticibly better and smoother than the wine opened and left in the bottle. The smoky notes of the Betz Syrah paired perfectly with our bacon trifecta. Anyone who knows me, knows my love of Fidelitas and the Boushey blend did not disappoint with it's hint of berries wrapped in smoke. The Adams Bench was a big hit with some of our diners. Of course our duo of Boudreaux for the main course was the perfect climax. The Reserve Cab is rich and decadent. Black fruits transition into tobacco and earth. The finish goes on and on and on. You will find yourself savoring this wine even after you have swallowed it. It is a splurge, but if you can get your hands on a bottle of the '05 Reserve Cab, do it and enjoy one of the best wines you will ever taste.
As always, this year's dinner topped the previous year and that is what we aim to do. Now to start planning for next year!