Friday, February 16, 2007

St Valentine's Day Dinner

This was our first St Valentine's Day as husband and wife, and I wanted to do something special for my wife. So while she trudged through the new snow (2 inches bullshit, there must have been about 6 inches filling the streets and sidewalks), I prepared a meal that would complement the wines I was choosing.

With a nice little chunk of duck foie gras and toasted baguette slices, I popped the cork on a NV Diebolt Vallois Blanc de Blancs. Lovely and crisp, with nice lemon, pears and almonds on a tight, nervous frame that ends in a long, tart finish. Great mouthfeel, this cut through the fat of the foie gras and just kept on refreshing and satisfying the palate.

Next, I plated the main course, a rack of Australian lamb with a caramelized shallot and thyme crust, duck fat-roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts with bacon. Now I poured the red wine, a 1996 Lynch Bages. Decanted for about 2 hours, this showed deep, dark and velvety black and blue fruits, oak, with a fat structure, notes of cedar and pencil lead, and hints of secondary aspects such as mushrooms and earth. Surprisingly low in acidity, it went only so-so with the lamb, ending with a short finish. It was definitely in its middle age, or, as my wife succintly put it, "a wine having a mid-life crisis", not sure whether to be young and fruitful or old and earthy.

Lastly, we went back to the Diebolt for the dessert, vanilla ice cream with a red fruit coulis. This was a fantastic match, the crispness of the Champagne balancing the sweetness of the ice cream and the coulis.

All in all a wonderful first married St Valentine's Day.