Bring a course and wine – round 2
Back in February a few of us held our first “bring a course and wine to match”. The host cooks the main course and the other two couples bring the starter and dessert. Round 1 was held at Dave & Karen’s place (toast lamb), me and The Fish took the starter (duck rillettes), while Joel & Laura took the pud (choc, nut & salted caramel tart).
Round 2 was at chez Wine Geek and I’ve been thinking about what to cook for the four months since the first event! I decided that I was going to serve Riesling as a surprise with the main course so went for dirty pulled pork rolls – a great match. But there was a problem. It appears that my Riesling preaching has been too effective. Dave and Joel both came armed with the noble grape so I was forced into a late wine change! Anyway, more of that later.
Clos de Nouys Vouvray Demi-Sec 2011, Loire, France (Waitrose £8.99)
Really rich flavours of ripe peaches, hint of apricot and lively acidity combine beautifully with the sweetness to provide a refreshing and balanced mouthful that makes the sun seem that little bit warmer. 90 points
When everyone had arrived we decided to pop some bubbles and what better option than the finest the UK has to offer?
Camel Valley Chardonnay Brut 2009, Cornwall, UK (Camel Valley £24.95)
Floral and elegant nose – really quite delightful. The palate is creamy with a peachy fruitiness and a pleasant biscuit-lick at the finish. This really is my favourite glass of fizz available under £30. 94 points
Joel created a delightful starter of potted crab & prawns with an egg, caper, lemon & parsley salad, served with 2 different rye breads. And boy did it taste great and set one hell if a standard. The first wine as a delicious Riesling from Western Australia and then we had a red wine from his & Laura’s recent holiday in Sardinia.
Plantagenet Riesling 2011, Mount Barker, Wastern Australia (Whole Foods £14.99)
The label says lemon but this is pure lime juice. It’s so fresh and pure, almost glacial in texture and bone dry, mouth puckeringly so! But then the acidity kicks in and the labour goes on and on and on. I could drink this with a straw, quite magnificent and incredible value for money. 92 points
Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2009, Sardinia (Sardinian supermarket! €9.00)
We had the Wine Grapes book out to confirm that Cannonau is indeed Grenache. The wine is brambly and fruity and has good acidity. There is a ouch if tannin its not really giving a great deal of structure. Easy drinking and may well benefit from bring served chilled. 87 points
As I said earlier I went for pulled pork with a magnificent piece of pork shoulder from the Ginger Pig (thanks fir carrying the 3 kilos home Fish!). I served the pork with homemade brioche rolls, potato wedges, a carrot, cabbage & apple slaw and BBQ sauce. It seemed to go down pretty well! As we’d had a Riesling already I opted for a South African Chenin and a Pinot Noir from Wester Oz.
DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2011, Stellenbosch (Wine and the Vine £16.75)
I loved the 2010 but this is even better. Nose of melon, peaches and nuts. Lovely zing in the mouth, lots of ripe melon and a wonderful nutty, long finish. The wine just coats yiur mouth and has real body. This is very sophisticated, complex and quite stunning. 93 points
Main Ridge Estate Half Acre Pinot Noir 2004, Morninton Peninsula (House of Townend £29.99)
What a glorious aroma if sweet cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries, supported with a delightful earthiness, minerality and damp leaves. Juicy cherry juice on the palate with lovely earthy back notes. The alcohol is a little bit warm and maybe just putting the wine slightly out of balance but its very, very good. 92 points (docked a couple for that warmth)
To pudding! And what a pudding it was! Dave has been worrying about this one for months, changing his mind daily or the past fortnight but what he produced was a feat of genius baking. The most delicious raspberry Bakewell tart, with perfect icing and everything! To accompany the tart Dave brought us a Tokaji and a German Riesling (on what influence!)… That we didn’t get around to drinking!
5 Puttonyas Tokaji Aszu 2001 (M&S £19.99)
Slightly pinkish colour and a delightfully honeyed nose with fragrant sweet and dried fruit providing some real elegance. Beautiful apricot and citrus on the palate but its the mouthfilling richness, spiky acidity and delicate balance of the honey sweetness that really marks this out fir quality. So good. 92 points
For those of us who could face it, The Fish had popped into Le Fromagarie when she picked up the pig and provided us with a plate if Brie de Melun (if you have only tried de Meux then search it out), Montgomery Cheddar and a delicious French blue cheese that she forgot the name of! At the first dinner in Feb I took a Burgundy Grand Cru that disappointed (Clos de Vougeot anyone??) so I though we’d finish this dinner with a classed growth Bordeaux… But again it didn’t live up to its billing – and I thought Barton was such a safe bet!
Chateau Langoa Barton 1999 (Wine and the Vine £51.85)
The last time I had this it was delightful but just not quite delivering the concentration I was hoping for – this time it was even more frustrating. Black currant and cassis with some herbs give the wine a lovely nose. The palate promises so much but just falls off so quickly. You get the initial cassis hit but then its gone. A bit thin and a bit green. Disappointing. 87 points
Some brilliant food, a variety of wine (quality and style!) and wonderful company. I’m already planning my dessert for round 3!