Our third gourmet dinner was hosted by Anwar and Trigirl at theit home. In attendance was Allred, his wife, Scubarex, his wife, my wife, myself and our hosts. Anwar picked the theme which was "bacon" and the date of Super Bowl Sunday and dubbed the event Bacon Bowl I. All of the courses had to include bacon. As usual, everyone was assigned a course and was in charge of the wine pairing for their dish. I thought the idea, food and wines for this dinner where outstanding. There was a lot of food and wine. Here are my notes on the food and wine:
Pregame- Assorted vegetables with creme fraiche and bacon bit dip
Trigirl put this together to snack on during the pregame festivities.
- 2003 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
3rd time I have had this wine and it has never impressed me. I expect so much more from this producer. It was sweet and on the flabby side. notes of apricot and melon. Still has a little spritz which shows itself on the finish. Served too warm for my tastes. 85 points.
- 2003 Copain Roussanne James Berry Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Anwar opened this with the creme fraiche and bacon bit dip. 2nd time I have had this wine. Last time was in 2004 with a similar score. Full bodied with notes of liquid smoke, spice and lavender. Not my favorite style of white wine. 86 points.
Introductions- Bacon wrapped eggs with polenta
Scuba used applewood smoked bacon to wrap ramekins and filled them with polenta, gruyere, white cheddar, green onion and an egg and then baked them. This dish had a wonderful flavor. My only concern is the the bacon did not cook up crispy enough in the ramekin and had a chewy and slightly fatty texture.
- 2003 Kaesler Grenache The Fave - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
Scuba opened this wine. 16.9% alcohol. It was decanted for 1 hour. Notes of chocolate ganache, tar and bitter red fruit. Full bodied with a sweet finish which showed some heat. Not in the same league as the Switchback Petit Sirah which was opened later although both were made in a loud boisterous style. Did not think this was the best match with the Bacon wrapped eggs with polenta. 88 points.
First Quarter- Loaded baked potato soup and BLTea sandwiches
My wifes course. A sort of amuse bouche takeoff of tea and finger sandwich. She made a potato soup with Nueske's canadian bacon which was served in a tea cup with a finger sized BLT sandwich. The sandwich was white bread round baked with a parmesan/mayo spread and Nueske's applewood bacon and then garnished with half of a cherry tomato and fresh basil. This was one of my favorite courses. I think everyone had seconds.
- 2003 Lamiable Champagne Brut Grand Cru Cuvée Les Meslaines - France, Champagne
This small grower producer owns 15 acres in the village of Tours-sur-Marne. Their Pinot Noir vines are classified as Grand Cru. This wine is their top bottling. It is 100% Pinot Noir from the Les Meslaines vineyard. The vines are 50-60 years old planted on limestone and chalk. This estate employs the "massale selection" of viticulture when replanting vines (this is the practice of propagating new plant material from selected mother vines from the same vineyard) to preserve tradition. I matched this with my wifes soup and sandwich course. I thought the pairing was excellent. The crispness of the wine cut through the creaminess of the soup very nicely. This wine was a step behind the 1999 vintage which I opened a few weeks ago for Anwar and our wives. Sweeter then the 1999 but still a dry wine overall. Solid bead with notes of peanuts and chalk. 92-93 points.
- 1967 Beni di Batasiolo Barbaresco Kiola - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
I bought this about single vineyard Barbaresco 5 years ago for $50. Matched this with the 1st course of Loaded Baked Potato Soup and BLTea Sandwiches at Bacon Bowl I. This vineyard is now owned by Michele Chiarlo and used in his Barbarescos. Decanted only for sediment. The cork crumbled even with a 2 prong extractor. The color was brownish red and cloudy. Musty nose. Showed some sourness at first but with a some time in the glass it opened a little. Most of the fruit was gone and this wine had definitely seen better days. Mostly earthy notes with dried mushroom and some cherry nuances. Interesting to drink and I tried it twice. The experience was better than the wine. 78 points.
Second Quarter- Brie and duck bacon quesadillas
Scubarex bought some specialty duck bacon to make these and topped them with a with a spicy bean and corn salsa. Very tasty
- 2002 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Scuba brought this wine to match with his Brie and Duck Bacon Quesadillas. An excellent pairing in my opinion. This wine is in the prime of its drinking window.Ruby red color. Very good complexity. Creamy texture. Rich fruit with red currant and some bacon fat notes. 92 points.
- 2001 Cedarville Vineyard Syrah - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado
Anwar opened a magnum of this wine. Not sure where it was supposed to fit in with the food at Bacon Bowl I so I drank it with the Duck Bacon Quesadillas. Probably the lightest of the reds opened at this event (other than the 1967 Batasiolo Barbaresco Kiola). Raspberry notes and a very lively character. Worked with the spicy salsa on this dish. 89 points.
Half Time- Pork belly two ways
Anwar sourced some mail order pork bellies (can't recall the supplier) and cooked them two ways. He baked half and braised the other half. They were served with and orange glaze and natural jus on a bed of haricots verts and carrot succotash. I preferred the braised. It was much more tender and had more flavor in my opinion. Very interesting dish.
- 2003 Domaine Lignier-Michelot Morey St. Denis En la Rue de Vergy - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis
Anwar paired this with his Pork Bellies. This was served a little too cold when I first tried it which muted the flavors in this wine. Better when it warmed up a bit. A fruity wine with notes of ripe red fruit and licorice. Good pairing with this dish but I think the Pax Syrah worked better. 90 points.
- 2005 Pax Syrah Griffin's Lair - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Allred brought this wine to drink with his Quail dish at Bacon Bowl but I ended up drinking it with Pork Bellys. I liked this match very much. This was the best Pax wine I have had. Blackish red color. A very gritty texture. Notes of cassis, black currant and black earth. Good depth. Medium to full bodied. 93 points.
- 2005 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley
Anwar opened this wine. It was decanted but I do not recall how long (at least 4 hours though). We had a break between the Pork Belly course and the Quail course so I drank this wine in between on its own. Not sure it would have matched any food anyway since it was such a massive wine. Black color. 16.4% alcohol. A beautifully manipulated wine which showed multiple layers of flavors. Thick and concentrated. Dark bittersweet chocolate, blueberry and butterscotch notes. Creamy finish. Huge full bodied wine. I normally don't like this kind of wine but this was so captivating that I could not help but go back for a 2nd and 3rd glass. My red of the might. 95 points.
Third Quarter- Bacon wrapped quail with rosemary and goat cheese
Allreds course. The rosemary and goat cheese were stuffed inside the quail and added a richness to this dish. This had a wonderful flavor and the quail was tender and succulent. The skin of the quail could have been crispier which would have added another layer of texture.
- 2003 Domaine de Bonserine Côte-Rôtie La Sarrasine - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Allred opened this wine with the Quail course at Bacon Bowl I. A light red color. This was a departure from the majority of wines at this event which were larger new world wines. Medium bodied with notes of cherry and fresh herbs. Moderate tannins. This was an integrated and elegant wine which paired well with the Quail. 90 points.
Fourth Quarter- Chocolate dipped bacon waffles with Candied bacon ice cream and maple syrup reduction
Anwar took this course and ran with it. This was right up there as my favorite course. He made homemade waffles with bacon bits in the batter and then dipped them in chocolate. A scoop of homemade candied bacon ice cream made by Trigirl was served on top with a maple syrup reduction. A strip of bacon dipped chocolate was served on the side. This really came together. The bacon was not overpowering as you might expect. It added a little saltiness and texture. No dessert wines were served with this course. Everyone just drank whatever was left over.
A great event and a fun game to watch as well. Thanks for hosting Anwar and Trigirl and thanks to all the chefs.