A Night of Eating and Drinking Well

22 Nov

What happens when you are part of a Wine Buyers Collective and a Wine Appreciation Society?  A lot of wine to drink with a lot of people.

Kate and Rahul, who are esteemed members of both organizations, thus found themselves with about two cases of wine.  They invited us over for dinner where they would provide the wine; Meredith, a trained chef, agreed to coordinate a dinner to go with the wine.

The menu, as put together by Meredith, was as follows:

  • Mushroom paté
  • Bitter greens salad with shallot-dijon vinaigrette
  • Coq au vin over potato puree
  • Quince tarte tatin

I was responsible for the mushroom paté, which recipe you can find here.  It’s one of the few dishes I’ve made that requires more than two kinds of mushrooms (three kinds of mushrooms?!?  A double boiler setup?!?  Chilling afterwards for six hours?!?  It was only the day of that I realized this dish was significantly more labor intensive than I had anticipated.)

But the mushroom paté turned out surprisingly well; actually, all the food turned out extremely well.  The coq au vin, made with love and care by Meredith, was supremely flavorful and tender, with some caramelized onion and carrot that hit me like sweet/umami bombs.  The greens were a fine balance between bitter and buttery, and the quince tarte tatin was like something out of heaven.



We had a number of wines to accompany the fantastic meal.  For instance, we had the 2008 Clos la Coutale Cahors Malbec, a perennial favorite of mine that was showing extremely well.  I’ve had many vintages of this–for instance, the 2005 and 2007–and one thing I’ve noticed about this wine generally is that it’s somewhat inconsistent.  I’ve had bottles of a particular vintage that I’ve really liked and other bottles from the same vintage that just tasted strange.  I’m glad to report that the 2008 I tried was pretty fantastic, a prettier version of the Clos la Coutale–more red than black fruit, good acidity, nice spice, and altogether a great match for coq au vin.

We also had the 2007 Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône, which is one of the clear winners from the DC Wine Buyers Collective.  I’ve written previously about this wine, and if anything an extra year made a huge difference.  Nice acidity with much more body than I anticipated, with good fruit and a savory finish.  For about $11 a bottle, I would stock up on this and make it my house red.

There were a few other wines but, alas, I was drunk and it was some time ago so I don’t quite remember.  I do recall having a great deal of Scotch as well, which might have something to do with my memory!

Some lively debate–first from the right:

and then from the left:

More pictures from the dinner!

The always enigmatic Martin:

Diane waiting for food to be served:

The DC Wine Buyers Collective might never make a pecuniary profit, but it has certainly made me feel very rich.  Thank you to everyone who has purchased from it, and thank you to the DC Wine Appreciate Society for a very special evening!

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