Our company Christmas party was this past weekend on Sunday evening. I worked during the day and then quickly changed and went to the party with my husband. It was held at the boss' home, and the theme was Normandy, as they had just returned from a trip to France which included extensive touring of Normandy.
I had never been to a dinner party where the theme was Normandy, so I was impressed at how fun it was. Champagne started off the evening, served with a number of appetizers including mini crab cakes, trout roe and creme fraiche on blinis, and asparagus shooters (cold soups served in shooter glasses). Dinner began with a salad served with 2006 Touraine from Francois Chidaine. The main dish was a terrific half-chicken made Normandy-style with a Calvados cream sauce that was divine. This was served with both a 2005 Francois Chidaine Montlouis sur Loire "Les Choisilles" (Loire white made from Chenin Blanc) and a red that was from the decanter which I thought was a Northern Rhone wine, but was in fact a 2003 Clos Rougeard Samur-Champigny (a Loire Cabernet Franc).
I'm a red wine lover (except when it it super-hot in the summer) and I love red French wines, and this was an awesome wine. I can't get my mind off of it. The white wines were loved by the white wine lovers in attendance, but the red was loved by an adequate number of people at the party. Great aromatic nose with a hint of barnyard but not overpowering, delicious palate that had stuffing but not heaviness, rich red and black fruits along with minerality and bright acidity that all integrated ever so perfectly. I love this wine!
I thought it would be a Cote Rotie near $100 but it is a wine that retails for less than $40. There are still some bottles on the shelf and I am eyeing them. I want to buy one and have it for dinner with my husband, but lately we are not having so many red meat dinners. But wait, we could have it with chicken.......
The dinner ended with a fantastic cheese platter which included 4 different French cheeses (which we sell), the nicest 2 of which are St. Agur (a creamy blue cheese) and Pont L'Eveque, which is a place in Normandy which the bosses visited on their recent trip.
After the fantastic dinner, we did the gift exchange whereby you can steal the gifts from each other (cut-throat gift exchange!) We ended up with a set of Pyrex and some Riedel Wine Line series white wine glasses.
Great party! Great people! Before I was in the wine business, I did not enjoy company parties so much. Now I love them. Wine people are great partiers.