All good things come to an end, and so did our meal. The dessert course was the harbinger that we were going to get ready to pack up and go home and for my Sister-in-Law and her husband that were going to have a couple more evenings in Las Vegas, including another meal at one of the other restaurants at Bellagio. I guess the dessert course is always bittersweet especially after a fine meal.
Our table was evenly split with the women having Chocolate Soufflé, while the men were ordering the Crème Brule. Since the women had ordered the Chocolate Soufflé it required an additional time for preparation and allowed us a few more minutes after dinner to soak up the ambience of the room and to have some more time to chat and enjoy the wonderful coffee that was also brought out to the table. The last time my Bride and I had dinner at Le Cirque we enjoyed a Bombe, but that was not one of the options. My Bride lamented that the soufflé was not Grande Marnier and the Chocolate Soufflé was not as exciting. On the other hand the Crème Brule was magnificent, as everyone at the table opined, because of course there was plenty of sharing and sampling through out the evening of all the different dishes.
The wine that was paired with the Crème Brule was Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009. The wines used to be called Port, but since the advent of other wineries years back, especially in America offering tepid imitations called Port, the great Port houses of Oporto renamed their wines Porto and the Porto wines are legendary fortified wines. Most of the grand Port houses have a British name, which shows how much the British valued these fortified wines. Dow’s is over two hundred years old, and has changed hands, but the quality and tradition has been maintained. Dow’s was the first house to receive Royal Assent and was allowed to maintain their own armed shipments of the wine to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Dow’s also owns four famed vineyards in the Upper Douro Valley and these are considered great vineyards and allows them to make all the different versions of Port wines, including when deemed proper, a vintage year; as not all years are declared a vintage year. The grapes used to make Port wines are a mix and perhaps not even the winemakers can agree on what is the actual percentage of each grape used. The most common varietals are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz (more famous and recognizable as Tempranillo), Tinto Cao and one can also find Souzao, Tinta Amarela and Mourisco Tinto. Fortified wines like all Porto wines can be cellared for years, and fine old ones must be decanted, as this wine was relatively young it did not require decanting. Late Bottled Vintage Porto wines are a relatively new type of wine, in that it is made every year, whether a Vintage Year has been declared, and it is aged for about six years before release. At the end of meal when we all had to leave, sadly, the women were given little personalized Le Cirque boxes with two house made truffles to enjoy later on.