We had a great dinner party last evening. As usual, the most important ingredient was great people full of life, fellowship and great conversation ranging from food to work, charity work, working out, finding a partner and much, much more. But there were also some other great ingredients including having Masterchef and cook extraordinaire, Jay Huxley, cooking for us and some very nice wines to match.
But let's start with the people. We had all worked together before, doing amazing things together and with great respect for each other. While we all had some overlap with each other, there were also a few new relationships formed last evening which is always nice to see. I love being around really nice, fun and funny people who are all so charitable. And while we told everyone not to bring anything, they brought magnificent chocolates, a bottle of Bollinger champagne, and ordered flowers (which I need to check with concierge on as we did not get any today).
Jay cooked up a magnificent meal, starting with a Alaskan king crab and prawn bisque which was to die for, followed by osso bucco for some of us and 'fish and chips' (Balina Mulloway with taro chips!) for others with caramelized pineapple with lychee sorbet for dessert. Simply fantastic.
And why is Jay's food so good? Bisque from scratch, lychee sorbet from scratch, 15 kilogram Mulloway caught and cleaned by Jay himself - well, you get the point! And he is an amazing chef who connects with his audience through his food and his personality.
And the wine line-up to match was something also. We started with the 2006 Annie's Hill Riesling upon arrival, followed by the 2008 Little's Gewürztraminer to go with the bisque, the 2004 Thompson Estate (Margaret River) Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2005 Stags Leap (Napa Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the osso bucco, and then the 2007 De Iuliis Late Harvest Semillon to match off against dessert..
And if that was not enough, we then cracked into some 1980 Lindeman Vintage Port and had great affogados using the Rutherglen Buller Tokay. For the late stragglers who still had not had enough, we finished off the magnificent 2007 Maurice O'Shea Shiraz from the night before, and then opened yet another bottle, this time the 2006 Coldstream Hills Cabernet Savignon.
But the amazing thing is that I was so relaxed and comfortably just drinking and enjoying the fellowship, food and wine, that I really did not take the time to think about how the wine tasted in any particular detail. It was all just really great!
I do remember the 2006 Stags Leap being more complex and like a traditional Bordeaux than the 2004 Thompson Estate, which was lighter, and both being very well balanced and with big fruits. But that was from a tasting of both wines when I decanted them before the guests arrived.
Therefore, there is no detailed analysis of the wine in this post. Just a remembrance that with the right people, right food and right wines, you too can have a perfect evening even if you cannot remember much of it!