At an Alsatian gourmet dinner last night
Smiley did the hard work of matching the food and wine, I got to go and talk about the wines, tra-la!
Billecart-Salmon grand cru blanc de blancs NV
This had a fine creamy mousse, concentrated lemon and cream flavours, and something of biscuits about it. Lemon meringue pie in a glass. It went surprisingly well with watermelon, although I was too nervous to really enjoy it.
Albert Mann tokay pinot gris 02002
(smoked asparagus, green pea and truffle cappuccino)
I have previously rated this at 16/20, but I don't think it merited that score on this occasion. It did seem like a great match for the cappuccino, although sadly there was hardly enough of that to taste, let alone fill up on. The non-veggies pretty much acclaimed this as the star of the evening, paired with foie gras.
Hugel riesling 02003
Carillon Côte de Beaune-Villages 02001
(an "interpretation" of pasta which featured no pasta at all. Brilliant!)
The riesling was neutral against the "pasta". On its own it was a fine glass, with a strong blossom nose and great limeiness on the palate, balanced by very smooth mouthfeel. The pinot, on the other hand, was a very, very good match for the concentrated dark flavours in the mushrooms and aubergine. It had the ideal balance of earthy, barnyard stink against light berry fruitiness in the nose, while the smooth tannin and gentle acidity on the palate sat very agreeably with the food.
Leitz Rüdesheimer Schlossburg Spätlese 02002
(Alsatian plum tart with Mirabel brandy ice cream and schenkeles)
This had a slight biscuitiness on the nose which kinda echoed the champagne. A very fine dessert wine, the pure long acids precisely balancing the rich concentrated sweetness. The ice cream was the only element of the dessert which was too much for the wine - I think it must have been one third part plum brandy. One element of the dish, a single plum, stuffed with chopped almonds and baked, had me grinning and chortling, so tasty was it.