November 26, 2010

A very MNSC wedding banquet

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Another one bites the dust.  Yesterday another member of MNSC got himself married, and Dayliao hosted a black-tie wedding banquet at the Four Seasons Macau tonight.  So I dusted off the ol' penguin suit and boarded the early evening ferry to Macau, looking like I was ready for some James Bond-ish action...

I must applaud Mr and Mrs Dayliao for their choice of menu.  There was a conspicuous absence of the perennial banquet staple - shark's fin.  Instead the item was replaced with bird's nest, which is far more environmentally friendly.  The banquet menu was as follows:

Whole barbecued suckling pig (大紅乳豬全體)

Baked stuffed sea whelk with diced abalone and minced pork (鮑粒焗釀響螺) - I could have sworn there were bits of chopped liver...  Pretty tasty.

Seafood soup with bird's nest (燕窩龍皇帶子羹)

Braised fish maw and goose web in abalone sauce (鮑汁花膠鵝掌)

Steamed star garoupa in soya broth (清蒸東星斑) - always found the ones at banquets to be overdone, but in all honestly it's tough to steam 30 of these perfectly simultaneously...

Deep-fried crispy chicken (脆皮龍崗雞)

Fried rice with diced abalone and ham (鮑魚煙肉粒炒飯) - didn't seem to have any abalone in mine, but the smoked bacon was pretty tasty.

Shrimp dumplings with noodles in superior soup (上湯鮮蝦水餃麵) - the dumpling was very tasty.

Red bean soup with glutinous rice dumplings (紅豆沙湯圓)

This being the wedding of an MNSC member, of course there would be an impressive list of wines being served at the wedding banquet.  Not surprisingly, the wines were supplied by Altaya Wines.  Knowing there'd be a lot of wines tonight, I decided to skip the 2000 Lenoble Cuvée Gentilhomme and started with the white wine.

2005 Marquis d'Angerville Meursault 1er Cru Santenots - I had tasted the fantastic 2009 vintage of this wine just two weeks ago at the domaine in Burgundy.  This was of course another lovely wine from a stellar vintage.  Nose of minerals, toast, a bit of sweet corn and a little ripeness.  Very well-balanced on the palate.

2003 Pichon-Lalande en magnum - another fantastic wine.  Very ripe, sweet fruit, jammy, forest, smoky, exotic, coconut butter and toffee notes.  Like many of its peers in the same vintage, one may well guess this to be a Californian Cab in a blind tasting...  Decanted 3 hours before cocktails started.

Pineapple has a penchant (or is it reputation?) for bringing his own wines to other people's wedding banquets, and tonight would be no exception.  The only difference was that he had organized for each of us at the "MNSC table" - which the groom had strategically placed at the back corner of the ball room, as far away from the head table as possible - to also bring a bottle.  The theme for the night was '82 Bordeaux, with an enviable line-up despite the absence of First Growths.  All the wines showed extremely well - not one of them was remotely off.  It became difficult to pick a favorite.

1982 Canon - this ex-château bottle drank beautifully.  Lovely and open nose with sweet grass, smoke, lead pencil, fruit and smoke duck notes.  Smooth and soft on the palate.  My contribution to the group.

1982 Le Gay - a tribute to Mr. Pineapple himself.  Sweeter nose with ripe fruit, a little smoky.  There are still some tannins here.

1982 Léoville Poyferré - sweet grass, fruit, smoke, caramel and a hint of green pepper.  Very soft on the palate.

1982 Léoville Barton - sweet fruit, smoke, sweet grass and smoked meats.  A lovely wine.

1982 Grand-Puy-Lacoste - a classic example of this wine.  Smoke, lead pencil and mineral nose.  Actually still got a good amount of tannins.

1982 Gruaud-Larose - sweet fruit and smoked meats.  Very smooth and silky.  A lovely wine.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - we ended up with two bottles of this wine.  Beautiful, soft and elegant.  Sweet fruit, smoke, a hint of grass and leather.  Still some tannins here.  Absolutely beautiful, and my favorite wine of the evening since I'm partial to Ducru.

The souvenir from the bride and groom was a lovely touch.  A "cake" of Puer tea, freshly packed some 10 days before the banquet, was placed at each table setting.  I think the idea's pretty romantic - the tea will mature, age, and grow old along with the bride and groom.  I look forward to drinking it with them in 25 years' time!

P.S. Halfway through the banquet, we received news about an assassination attempt targeted at Sean Lien (連勝文), who is a friend of some of the members.  He was shot in the head at point blank range by someone who has known association with organized crime.  This distressed many of us and put a damper on the celebrations.  My best wishes to Sean and family, and may he have a speedy and full recovery.

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