Everyday celebration: good food, good wine, good friends

Lamb dinnerEvery so often, the opportunity to get together with friends and share good food and wine presents itself and I like to be prepared when it does. When those friends also like fine wine and the good discussion fine wines bring, the get-together is what we in this business really live for! This past week I was given a boneless leg of Colorado lamb, (THANK YOU, Brad!) one of my favorite meats (and one that seems to work just fine with almost any nice red wine). It only took one phone call to find someone to help devour it. A few pounds of fresh shrimp and a baguette rounded out the menu, and we were ready!

The shrimp were sautéed in olive oil with finely diced red onion, garlic and a little butter. When they were finished, fresh lime juice and salt gave them the needed spark to pair with a 2007 Ch. Luchey-Halde blanc from Pessac-Leognan. The wine is rich and vibrant, with a nerve of lime/citrus acidity and an almost lemon curd flavor…simply wonderful.

I have to admit it was a bit difficult focusing on the white with the aroma of lamb filling the house! The leg was tied, braised, then roasted for an hour with crimini mushrooms and red potatoes…everything was shimmering with olive oil, garlic and rosemary…heavenly! We opened first the 2005 Echezeaux from Maison Champy. Rich and mouth filling, with a fair dose of new oak, the Grand Cru showed very well, but probably better in another 2 years. Next we decanted my only bottle of 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Paul Autard, the Cuvee le Cote Ronde. Should have been stunning, but was an off bottle, so down the drain it went. We ‘settled’ for a 1990 Napa Cabernet from Harrison Estate. Mature and in pristine condition, the wine was delicious but was at the end of a long journey, and began cracking up just about the time we finished it….Very herbal/sage-like and silky, it was a very nice match with the lamb.

I have had these bottles of red for years, stored in a wine fridge at home for times like this. Every once in a while, they whisper for me to open them, but as much as I enjoy them, they are wines that you need to experience with others, conversation pieces really, so they sit quietly until the opportunity presents itself. Thanks, Mr. Greeley.

Shayne Hebert, Central/Coastal Wine Supervisor

Follow me on Twitter @abcwineshayne

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