Secondly, kudos to sous chef June, who gave up her Friday night to make the Chocolate whiskey truffle souffles and who heroically struggled to the dinner despite being quite under the weather.
Thirdly thanks to all who came and for the lovely gifts, wines, whiskeys, chocolates etc.
On the wine front we started out with a couple of bottles of Veuve-Clicquot NV, as furnished by the newly svelte Jess, who also brought along her own Bombay mix. This was delicious and refreshing and I'm turning into a champagne snob.
With the first course , the aforementioned Mushroom Cappuccino served as an accompaniment to a chunk of Fois Gras and a hockey puck of Duck Rillette, I served Chateau Haut-Theulet Monbazillac - 2004, that I picked up here. It was sweet, orangey and gorgeous.
Next up was a smoked salmon and rocket salad drizzled with a creme fraiche and horseradish dressing, with which I served another wine from here, the Chateau Cailleval - Bergerac Sec - 2007, which was OK. Perhaps it suffered being in between the Monbazillac and the Montalcino.
The main course was a triumph, braised pork belly served with pea champ, caramelised apple and Calvados jus. Herself cooked this for approx 4 hours on a low heat and it was fabulous.
We had the Rosso di Montalcino with the pork and while the wine itself was delicious, maybe a slightly more full bodied wine would have suited the flavours of the dish better.
Next up were the Chocolate whiskey truffle souffles,which unfortunately were served without their creator who had retired early due to illness. I served a lovely Sauternes with this, also brought along by Jess, a Chateau Filhot 2005. June had also brought a dessert wine and an unusual one at that. A sweet red Signature Vin Doux Natural from Rasteau. This is a pure old-vine Grenache, the jury is still out on this one, I'd need to try it again, when I'm slightly more sober. We also had a cork malfunction with this one and it kind of went everywhere, sorry Big Nose.
With the cheeses (from Matthews cheese cellar) we finished off the Montalcino and opened a couple of the wines presented on the night, a Clos Du Val Caberbnet 2004, a Frentano Montepulciano 2007 and so on. I had started on my new Whiskeys at this stage (on which I will post separately) so I didn't get to do much more wine tasting.
Tonight we are going to try a Chateau Camplazens La Garrigue 2004 from the La Clape Sub-Appelation in the Languedoc, brought along by the third member of our little club, media darling JK and his lovely wife.
Anyhoo - less typing more imbibing, smell you all later.
**Update** - after some rather scathing input from Herself on my use of the vernacular, I have made some changes to the above post. I hope I didn't offend anyone with the changes what I done.