Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Champagne, Caviar, and Old Red Wines, Oh My!

Last month, during the holiday season, I had the good fortune to be a part of a our wine tasting group's annual Champagne and Caviar party, which is indulgence at its best. Every couple brings a bottle of Champagne and a red wine, and the host supplies the caviar (which we chip in for), and we all bring an appetizer or side dish to add to the festivities.

I bought one of my favorite Champagnes 2002 Camille Saves Grand Cru which is always good - I'm sure I have had it a couple of times before - and while there were many terrific Champagnes poured on this evening, I think I still held this one as my favorite. Rich yet crisp with tons of good acidity and minerality and flavor that goes on and on... wow, I miss it already.

We had those fine Champagnes with heaps of caviar served on buttery crisp toast points. I don't think I've ever had caviar on toast points (had it with blinis and crackers), and I found that I really enjoyed the light and crisp toast points. The caviar was fantastically salty and fatty like nice tuna belly, but in black eggs form. Very nice with the Champagnes!

The table of appetizers and side dishes were fantastic and a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

Then we moved on to some exciting red wines. This 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose, a Bordeaux from Saint-Julien, was Johan's red wine of the night, and had all the characteristics one desires from a mature Bordeaux - silky tannins, earthiness, some red fruits after all those years.

This 1987 La Jota Vineyard Napa Valley Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon tasted also a bit like a Bordeaux to me though I don't recall exactly the specific tasting notes...

The 2008 Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir was plummy and rich, with some oaky notes, a nice little young Pinot Noir.

A lot of folks like this 1992 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, which also drank like a rich, fruit-forward aged Bordeaux. I quite liked it as well, though for me it was a toss-up between it and the Larose (real Bordeaux).

Finally, there was this 1990 Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges (Burgundy) which was very good, smoky, still with a lot of fruit.... some others in the group were not so fond of it, but I was!All in all, a very exciting night for wine and caviar lovers!


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dancilhoney said...

My first experience with dry red wine I was skeptical at first the results were amazing. I highly recommended this wine.

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The caviar was fantastically salty and fatty like great tuna belly, but in dark eggs form.
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