Bottle # 1 Chateau La Touche Muscadet `07 was opened as the family started to arrive and the fire pit was lit. Made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes, this wine is light (12% ETOH), bright (hints of melon and a ghost of a taste of tart citrus - grapefruit) and refreshing; there is a crisp minerality that some say comes from proximity to the sea. AOC Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine is where the Loire river meets the Maine and the Sevre rivers in western France.
The sur-lie fermentation process produces a rustic, flavorful wine with the harvest pressings spending their first winter fermenting with the skins and dried yeasts. This adds a crispness and a real depth of flavor to the finished product. The wine was a perfect foil for the salty almonds, nuts and crackers that we nibbled on as the pheasant braised. At 12% ETOH, it was a great was to ease ourselves into the next bottle.
|photo by MEH|
This was JPH's Birthday Dinner, all hands were on deck. For the occasion, S. planned the menu, sourced the amazing ingredients from Marx Foods and brought out the good glassware; everything was perfectly in place as we sipped wine and watched the day turn to dusk.
Our Menu: Braised Pheasant, Spetzel and fresh Chanterelles sauteed in a butter cream sauce. For dessert, I made Panna Cotta.
As the fire started outside, the fire was about to start inside: JPH played with fire as I tried to snap a picture. On the right is what the stove looked like as he poured the flaming cognac onto the pheasant....
As we were about to plate, JPH opened Bottle # 2, our dinner wine: Cave de Tain l'Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Lys `07
Here is dinner just before it came off the stove: