A year ago I received a mail from my friend in California. He was planning his 40’s birthday and wondered if I would help in the kitchen. The dinner was going to take place in Sweden this autumn. I hesitated until I read the prerequisites. Since he is a true wine nerd and his birth year is 71 he had, over a longer time period, collected rarities from the great wine year 1971. Those bottles were going to be consumed together with a the food we came up with. The hesitation was gone and I was in.
When planning a tasting menu I normally come up with the dishes and then find the wines. This was the first time the wines were given and I needed to find the suitable dishes. My friend had already set up three courses and I added another three. The food was great and together with the fantastic wines the courses tasted even better. However for me, the most important thing apart from making my friend satisfied was to enjoy the one in a life time wine menu. If you know your way around wines, start drooling.
Some of the wines we had
This was what we had
- Appetizers – Dom Perignon 1971
- Parsnip soup with tender smoked whitefish (we had a special Swedish sweet water fish) – Schloss Eltz Riesling Auslese Rauenthaler Baiken 1971
- Goose liver creme brulee – Château d’Yquem 1971
- Frozen Gazpacho – water
- Ravioli stuffed with eggplant and truffles, brown butter and fried sage – Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1971
- Cheeks of beef, red wine sauce, potato puree flavored with truffles – Château La Mission Haut-Brion 1971 and Beaulieu Vineyard George de la Tour Private Reserve 1971
- Pear- and almond tarte with cardamom cream – Moulin Touchais 1971
Some comments. We were extremely lucky. All wines but one had survived the years and tasted wonderful. The one that had oxidized was the Dom Perignon that tasted more like sherry. In all, this matched my high expectations and I have never had such good and interesting wines in one evening. My two favorites were Ch. d’Yquem and Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion. To make sure we didn’t run out of wine if the 71 had oxidized, we had at least one back-up wine for each course. The back up wines we had normally play the leading role…