Liz’s Birthday

A fantastic party, up at Allaire studios, on top of a mountain, on a freezing night. Colin from The Tasting Room in NYC came up to make about 20 of us a crazy dinner, and we brought wine to go with. The meal began with oysters, then crostini of smoked trout, accompanied by Sine Qua Non’s “Backward and Forward” which tasted like mutant Sherry, as well as some Kistler Chards, and then we sat down. The first course was a lightly pickled winter vegetable salad, followed by a parsnip and black truffle soup with popcorn (that stayed crispy unlike every crouton I’ve ever made.) Phenomenally sweet from both the perfect parsnips and the local milk. We had worked our way into a Kistler pinot noir, as well as other things.

Next came mushrooms and pea shoots on grains, and two enormous whole roasted sea bass, so we cracked John’s magnum of 1995 La Landonne, which tasted like a smoked version of the 1996 Chave Hermitage John had stashed in the kitchen for Colin (and a few lucky others.) Liz and I had each brought a 2000 Orion, which was the perfect, deep, hedonistic close to this epic meal. There was dessert, but I honestly don’t remember much except that it was carrot cake.

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