Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing Mulligan, MW, are old friends and we are always happy to see them and share a good meal. Mary, the first American woman to achieve the prestigious title of Master of Wine, is the owner of The International Wine Center She and Ed are the authors of the best-selling “Wine for Dummies” series of books. As always we started with Champagne.
Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Brut 2006 made from equal amounts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes come from five Grand Cru villages and one Premier Cru village. Ed wrote in his book, Champagne for Dummies, the wine’s “…trademarks are its exquisite balance, its creaminess, its elegance, its very fine tiny bubbles and its complex flavors.”
Michele preparing the appetizers
With the Champagne, we enjoyed appetizers of smoked salmon in endive leaves, crackers topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, and marinated shrimp.
Barolo “Rocche” 1989 Vietti Made from Nebbiolo – 75% Michet, 20% Lampia and 10% Rose. There are 4,600 plants per hectare. The wine is fermented for 22 days in stainless steel tanks with daily pumping air through the application of an old system called “cap submerged”. It is aged for over two years in Slavonian oak barrels, is unfiltered and is aged one year in bottle before release. My favorite Barolo has always been the Rocche. This is traditional classic Barolo with hints of blueberry, violets, faded roses and leather. It was drinking very well.
To go with the wine, Michele made beef braised with porcini, whipped sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe with garlic.
Leacock’s Madeira Bastardo 1927 D’Oliveiras made from 100% Bastardo grape (a red grape) that has almost disappeared from the vineyards in Madeira. The wine has been in wood for over 80 years. The wine has hints of citrus peel, caramel, orange marmalade, with a touch of bees’ wax and a note of sea salt. This is the second great bottle of Madeira we had with Ed and Mary. The first a few months ago was a 1832 Madeira. Both were fantastic.
We had three different cheeses, dates, and nuts with the Madeira.
Dessert was a moist almond cake with raspberry sauce and creme fraiche.