We were supposed to do the tasting at our friends' place tonight, but due to unforeseen circumstances we needed to find another venue. This usually means asking a chef or a restaurant for a favor, so I pinged my go-to chef for stuff like this - the Man in White T-Shirt. Thankfully he was amenable to such requests. After all, he himself has BYO'ed fish and chicken to other restaurants... So we took the second seating at Neighborhood, and asked the boss to join us for the tasting.
brought my jars from Kazakhstan to Pierre. The eggs tonight certainly looked better - showing a grayish hue as they glistened under the light.
I first scooped some caviar onto a blini, wanting to get the pure flavors of the eggs. Not very salty at all, and the flavors were delicate without being too fishy, with a little bit of smoky notes.
the playful way that Uwe used to serve me caviar - by first putting some crème fraîche on the back of my hand... and licking it all off.
This was quite a treat, even if the 5 of us had to share 100 grams of this treasure. I do think, though, that putting it on ice wasn't the best thing. Although the eggs didn't come into direct contact with ice and therefore did not freeze, the fish oil did end up congealing near the bottom half of the tin - as one can see from the lump on top of the back of my hand. I think next time I would just serve from a chilled tin.
Now that we were done with caviar, it was time to order some food! This was my friends' first visit to Neighborhood, so naturally I was tasked with ordering...
With this crowd there is always plenty of alcohol. Tonight we kinda went a little over...
Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Vieillissement Prolongé, dégorgée en juillet 2008 - a bottle that I carried back from Reims all those years ago. 60 month on lees. Wonderfully caramelized nose, toasty, very ripe and rich, with savory salty plum notes. Nice depth of flavor here.
With this as the chaser to beluga caviar, this brought out a little more of the smoky flavors.
Daishichi Myoukarangyoku Junmai Daiginjo Shizuku Genshu (大七 妙花蘭曲 純米大吟醸 雫原酒), 24BY - brewed in 2012 and released in 2016. Aerated in bottle for about 40 minutes before serving. Very sweet on the nose, with plenty of banana notes, really fragrant. Reasonably sweet on the palate but a little dry and spicy on the finish.
Daishichi Myoukarangyoku Grande Cuvée (大七 妙花蘭曲 グランド キュヴェ), 2013 version, released in July 2015 - this bottling represents the pinnacle of Daishichi's offerings. The 2013 version is the third iteration of the Grande Cuvée, and is a blend of 21 vintages of the "regular" Myoukarangyoku brewed between the years of 1988 to 2008. The 1,256 bottles of this version were released over three years - generally on July 7 of each year - and this particular bottle would have come from the last batch.
Aerated for 40 minutes before serving. A little more dry on the nose compared to the single vintage bottling, and also more elegant and fragrant. Sweet on the attack but more dry on the palate. With further aeration the nose became sweeter. According to other, more experienced experts, it would seem that we should have aerated this bottle for half a day at least...
A very, very happy evening. I think from now on Imma shave some white truffle into every glass of wine I drink...