Cold On The Outside, Party On The Inside
The icy blasts of winter had their grip on the Toledo area before we could finally get our special evening scheduled. It certainly was worth the wait.
The party was held at the home of Glorious T and the Cabernetor. Ann’s friend Tom Nourse helped with the festivities and our “posse” included friends Maria, Larry and Donna and Maria’s friend Betsy. In addition to a winter weather advisory for Northwest Ohio, we had issued our own “wine advisory” for the evening. As a result, we took Uber to the dinner.
Let The Bubbly Flow
Our six-course meal continued with roasted carrot ginger soup and a winter salad with maple vinaigrette. Soup and especially salad are notoriously difficult wine pairings. Have no fear – as I knew he would, the Cabernetor had just the right wines. The first came from Ann’s cellar – a magnum of French rosé! It was the 2014 Chateau Hourtin-Ducasse Les Roses de Marie from Bordeaux, crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It was a refreshing blast of springtime on a wintery night and paired brilliantly with the soup.
A pair of Balletto wines accompanied the next menu items. The 2014 Balletto Teresa’s Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay from Russian River Valley rocked the salad and delighted my wife, the Green Dragon, who is no fan of oaky whites. The food and wine decadence continued with butter poached lobster paired with the 2013 Balletto Gewürztraminer. The spicy and floral notes of the Gewürztraminer were a nice foil for the rich flavors of the lobster.
The Main Attraction And Then Some
The entrée was paired with two magnificent reds from Lewis Cellars in Napa. Opening up (literally) was the 2004 Alec’s Blend. This is a superb composition of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet. Both bottles from Lewis Cellars – treasures from Ann’s trip to Napa -- were decanted and were elegant companions to the beef. The group was amazed by Alec’s Blend, but my favorite was yet to come.
Following close behind was the 2002 Cuvee L. This wine is made only in exceptional years. It is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Cabernet Franc. It is a towering beast of a wine, tamed by the steak and tannins that are integrating nicely. It is a limited production wine, with only 300 cases made. Randy Lewis was a professional race car driver for more than 20 years and raced in five Indy 500’s. He also excels at making supercharged red wines!
We needed a short break from the dining table, so we went downstairs to tour the wine cellar and work off some of the meal at the ping pong table. Larry drubbed me in the first game, but as I drank more of the Cuvee L, my game improved (at least I thought so!).
The Final Verse
We love lava cake and dessert wines. On their own, they would overpower, but were a nice match for a sweet dessert. Betsy, a sweet wine fan, was applauding every drop!
Thanks to Glorious T, Ann, Cabernetor and Tom for cooking and coordinating such an awesome event. Just recalling has brought defrosting thoughts to this chilly December night!
Photo credit to Betsy Watson Herman for the group photo of the “wild wine bunch.”