October 1, 2012

Wines with fireworks

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I officially moved back to Hong Kong today.  Wouldn't you know it… just a couple of hours after I landed, I was back visiting my cellar at Hong Kong Wine Vault, fishing out a bottle to take to dinner.  The Specialist was hosting a gathering at her home, where we could enjoy some home-cooked food and wine while watching the fireworks.  Not a bad way to spend my first evening back.

The Specialist has always been a wonderful hostess, and tonight we were treated to a number of delicious cold cuts to start off the evening.  First there was the 48-month jamón ibérico, whose flavors came in many layers.  The wonderful flavors from the fat lingered in my mouth… but turned metallic and rusty with a sip of the white Burgundy.  Must make a mental note for the future…

There was also some cured ox tongue, which is something else I really love.

Finally the lox, which is a much better companion to the Champagne.  Again the flavors of the oil lingered on my tongue, and the onions were sweet and yummy.

There was also a little mound of beurre doux from Bordier, and I didn't hesitate to enjoy it with a slice of bread.  As I was a guest, I decided to restrain myself and did not to use up a quarter of the cone on one single slice of bread…

The main courses arrived, and the oxtail braised in red wine took center stage.  This ain't just any oxtail… apparently this is wagyu oxtail cooked with a bottle of Réserve de la Comtesse - although I didn't ask her for the vintage.  According to our hostess, this has been braising since Saturday, so it didn't come as a surprise when the meat fell off the bone with the slightest touch…  VERY yummy.

There was also curry chicken and curry beef brisket at the request of one of the guests, and apparently these were sourced from the great institution known as Tsui Wah (翠華).  I have to say that these tasted great over the three-colored rice from our hostess.

We finished with slices of angel cake, which was pretty light and fluffy - almost chiffon-like.  For my own sweet tooth I would have preferred it to be a little sweeter, but I still polished it off in no time.

We had plenty of wine for our little group, and not surprisingly I found myself a little inebriated…  I wasn't the first time for me to have taken a nap here...

2004 Louis Roederer Cristal - yeasty, a little caramelized sugar, very pleasant, nicely balanced on the palate, but slightly tart on the finish.

2005 Louis Roederer Cristal - very nice mousse, yeasty and flinty on the nose.

2001 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet en magnum - sweet, buttery, toasty corn and straw on the nose.  Very lovely and got better as it opened up further.  Reasonably ripe on the palate but not overly so.  Slightly bitter finish.  Did not go well at all with jamón ibérico, as metallic and mineral flavors became very pronounced.  My contribution.

1990 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares - fruity, leather, ripe prunes and dried herbs.  A little alcoholic on the nose.

1989 Armand Rousseau Clos St. Jacques - beautiful, showing mint, luscious fruit and potpourri.  Sweet and open nose.

1998 Anne Gros Richebourg - much more concentration on the palate, almost a little harsh.  Alcoholic on the nose, with metallic, pencil lead and floral notes.

1999 Rouget Echezeaux - good concentration, with ripe fruit that is almost a little stewed.

1990 Leroy Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts - sweet with a hint of smoke and forest.  Still grippy and tight after all these years.


Tim said...

1) pairing wine/champagne can be difficult...

2) lox & champagne "sounds fine" but depends both on the lox AND the champagne:
Scottish lox is my usual fav but the Norwegian is even "better" since less oil give you a greater depth in "pairing": Cristal is NOT the 'BEST CHAMPAGNE IN THE WORLD'..lol...it is only one HOUSE, and the taste varies DRAMATICALLY, from vintage to vintage!

3) try a Bollinger R.D. 1982 with any of the Russians; Beluga, Sevruga, Ossetra...

Peech said...

I am curious... where in the post did I ever say, or indicate, that I thought Cristal was the "best Champagne in the world"??


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