What a roller coaster of a weekend. Last night our friends Paul and Sandy were visiting us from Vancouver.
It was their very first time in Seattle and due to a mix up the prior weekend with another couple, this was actually a redux of a dinner held the week before. The names were changed to protect the innocent. Actually the menu, the names of our guests and the wines of course all were different. But we were hosting another wine dinner on successive Sunday nights. Too bad we could not eat outdoors on the deck like last week.
Anyway, the day before had been a pretty miserable one for me. After having a ton of fun on Saturday morning, my wife and I finalized a video that I then loaded up on youtube.com which was my first time doing so. During the Memorial Day weekend, my wife shot a video of me going an impromptu “how to” on the use of a Port tongs, while my 5 year old did the decanting of the 1970 Taylor VP. It was fun and a bit corny and I actually can laugh at myself when watching it, noticing my own silly mistakes.
It taught me two things:
a. sometimes it is better to prepare ahead of time when doing something of this nature.
b. letting down one’s Firewall, even for a brief time … is a huge mistake.
For whatever reason with my browser, youtube would not let me upload the video with the level of security on my computer and instead of just lowering the level, I turned off the entire Firewall for about 40 minutes. To make a long story much shorter, a hacker came in (my wife noticed an IP address logged on to my computer which she thought was her own … same brand of computer, which also somehow was listed) and stole the entire contents of my hard drive. Yep, every file, photo, download and document. RUN, don’t walk to back up your computer when you are done reading this. Fortunately, I have about 70% of this info on my old computer. Still there is a great loss in information and more.
I tried everything including a system restore, but to no avail. Today, I brought it back to where it was purchased and it was still under warranty. The good news is that there is a chance that they’ll be able to retrieve some of the files/docs but we’ll see. The bad news, is that I am without my computer for 3 weeks. The best news is, the June newsletter was sent to Stewart before all of this happened and you should be receiving it this evening (Monday, June 2nd). As for the youtube.com piece, the link is in the newsletter and even those of you who did not re-up your subscriptions … will get the link and I will post it on the Forum by tomorrow too.
But back to a much more pleasant topic. Paul and Sandy are both wine lovers and are open to trying just about anything, as long as it is good. I had a Magnum of 1996 Trimbach Cuvée Frédéric Émile chlling and also a bottle of 1970 Nacional for dessert, as I knew they were bringing two bottles of red wine.
The Trimbach CFE was exemplary and I absolutely adored the minerality, and citrus edged acidity which really was stunning along with the honey and tropical fruit aromatics. As it lost some of its chill, the mouthfeel really gained some weight and this was a great way to enjoy our appetizers and salad course.
With our 2” thick London Broil marinated in a Delaforce Tawny adorned with wild mushrooms sauteed in Broadbent’s 10 year old Malmsey Madeira, we enjoyed two very fine 1998 Chateauneuf du Papes as our friends tend to love CdP as much as anything. The ’98 Vieux Telegraphe showed very well, although I must confess I prefer the less respected vintage of 1995 for the VT in particular. The ’98 was soft and ready to drink and was excellent with the beef, but soft and round and more elegant than I expected for a youngster. The Ch. Beaucastel from the same vintage was so much more. More of everything, from power to fruit to overall balance to the length of the finish. An extraordinary Beaucastel and typically my favorite since 1989/1990 for drinking at this point. It’s earthy undertones caught the mushrooms and raised the ante and the beef tasted better because of it. A lovely treat and nice pair to enjoy during our entrée.
Dessert was very simple; fresh strawberries and cream. My wife Dorene enjoys Port as I’m sure you’ve read before, but she rarely has a 2nd glass of it. Especially not on a “school night” with work the next morning. However, once she tasted the ’70 Quinta do Noval Nacional, she wound up having three pours of it, which shocked me, although it really shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, it had only been decanted six hours in advance of dinner but was already singing a pleasant tune. Our guests who are very much into enjoying Port wine, had never had a Nacional before (to my surprise) and were happy to sit and drink this bottle until there was none left. Although I sipped slowly, I made sure to fill my glass a 2nd time before it was devoured. I’ll put a tasting note on the homepage’s TN section, if anyone is interested. It was a relaxing ending to a wild and wooly weekend and took my mind off my computer pain, at least for the evening.