Mrs. Wine Raconteur Jr. was having a birthday celebration and we were invited to the party. It was great to see her and her husband the Wine Raconteur Jr., but we also got a chance to spend some time with his parents, his brother and his lady, and of course their two children. The party was at their house and of course we offered to bring something for the festivities and it was suggested that perhaps a dessert wine would be great. Of course I knew that we had something in the cellar that would work.
Now you have to realize that the Wine Raconteur Jr. can make me look bad without even trying. When he asked her what she would like to have for the dinner, she wanted something simple, she wanted steak. Of course he went way beyond that one dish, because not only can he grill, he can cook and he can bake. I am lucky if I am allowed in the kitchen.
Of course there were assorted appetizers and he even baked a type of cheese bread puff, that was excellent and I wasn’t sure if I could stop eating them, and add the antipasto spread and it was like I was back in the old neighborhood or even the old country and I am not even Italian, but it was great. Then the steaks and the sides were done perfectly and he really was not even sweating, that is what I call confidence in the kitchen. He was conjuring up his memory of Charlie Trotter without the pomp. For dessert he attempted and succeeded making a Clafoutis and he presented it so humbly and it was great, my only indecision was if I wanted any ice cream along with it, but I did.
When we got there at the desired time, he was just opening up some Segura Viudas Brut NV from Penedes, Spain. The Spaniards have been so successful with their Cava sparkling wines that there is now a Cava DO and this wine was done in the “Method Champenoise” or Method Traditionelle” and it was a very festive way to start the meal off. This particular wine is aged for nine months and is a mix of Macebeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo and it had nice tiny bubbles and a soft taste that worked well with the assorted appetizers. For the dinner he opened up his last magnum of Regusci Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap 2012 that they had bought on their last trip to Napa. I had to admit that I did not know this winery, but it was established in 1932 and still in the family. The wine had everything going for it, Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap AVA is a given, and there is just a bit of Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the mix to wow anyone that has it. The wine had the classic body and meshed with the steaks and even though it was young it worked flawlessly with the meal. I felt kind of sheepish that I didn’t know the wine, and then I saw the wine being offered a week or so later at a restaurant in a resort, so my man knows his wine. The wine that I brought for dessert I was not sure, if it was over the hill, so I brought a back up bottle, but it wasn’t necessary. When we were in Napa back in 1999 we sent cases and cases of wine back home and one of the bottles was from that trip, and I have even wrote before about the winery. Prager Winery & Port Works is in St. Helena and I brought a bottle of his Noble Companion 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV, so you can see why I had brought a back up. Jim Prager makes this Tawny from Cabernet Sauvignon and he claims that it should be enjoyed with a good cigar, which we did not have that evening. I was a little concerned because the cork broke and crumbled, so I asked for a decanter and my little trick of using a funnel and coffee filter and decanted the wine. Not only did the filter paper catch cork, but there was quite a bit of sediment, just like I have had from classic Port wines. Then the moment of truth, did I do all of that extra work for naught? I have to admit that it was the perfect ending for the meal and it paired very well with the fancy dessert that was freshly baked. We ended up enjoying it, until it was all gone, which doesn’t always happen with dessert wines. So once again we wish Mrs. Wine Raconteur Jr. another Happy Birthday, and we were so glad to be considered part of the family.