Friends of Bacchus


15 Jan 2003


Ritz-Carlton Huntington
Pasadena, CA

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A FoB for the ages!
Thanks Dave L.!!

Wine List

1985 Krug Brut Champagne
N/V Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne
1996 Hanzell Chardonnay

1978 La Mission Haut-Brion
1978 Grand Vin de Leoville du Marques de Las Casses
1979 Ch. Margaux
1979 Ch. Mouton-Rothschild

1979 Caymus Special Selection
1977 Heitz Bella Oaks
1978 Robert Mondavi Reserve
1979 Robert Mondavi Reserve

1979 Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon
Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste

1977 Gould Campbell Port

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Chef de Cuisine - Craig Strong

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Vegetable Cured Salmon "Tartare" Cucumber in Two Forms and Osetra Caviar
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Brad really liked this.

Pistachio Dover Sole, Salsify, Black Truffles and Truffle Froth
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Larry really liked this.

Squab and Foie Gras in Collard Greens on Carrot Puree and Salmis Sauce
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This dish with the '78 La Mission Haut-Brion touched upon the divine!

Venison Loin, Braised Red Cabbage, Blueberries and Grand Veneur Sauce
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Another brush with the essence of truth and beauty!

Cheese Variation and Petite Salad
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[Didn't like the picture but loved the dish; miniature rum baba?.]

Chocolate Trio:  Molten Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake, Chocolate Terrine, White Chocolate and Espresso Drink
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Attendees:   Dave L., Gina, Thierry, Debbie, Dan, Larry, Brad, Cathy, Christian, Nora, A. David

My wine tasting rating (0-10):  10

After only a little deliberation I have decided to award this wine event a perfect 10.  This was not a difficult decision.  The wines all showed very well and provided an opportunity to compare and contrast winemaking style, terroir, and ageability of wines from the 70's.  The two factors that kicked me over the fence were:


1)  The change in preference in the wines when paired with particular dishes.  The flight of Bordeaux was poured first to accompany the Squab and Foie Gras in Collard Greens.  On first pass, the Ch. Margaux was clearly the champion.  But when paired with the dish, the La Mission Haut-Brion stood out as the masterful wine/food pairing.  A similar change in preference took place with the CA cabs and the Venison Loin.  By themselves, the Caymus Special Selection was extraordinary, but paired with this dish, the Heitz and the two Mondavis were preferred. 


2)  The perfect service from the dining room staff and Chef Craig Strong's personal interest in our dining experience.  Chef Strong's presentation of each dish will be well-remembered.  I compare his enthusiasm for his work with the eagerness of a child presenting his parents with a drawing he made at school.  And since he had an opportunity to taste the wines by themselves, he confirmed what I observed above - the Margaux and Caymus S.S. were the best wines without food.


A Singular & Unique Dining Experience!

(Click on thumbnails for larger image)

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Go into the light...
Go into the light...
Then turn left.

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Larry doing what he does best.

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