Birthday Wine and Dine!

“I like stepping into the future. Therefore, I look for doorknobs.”~ Unknown

Well another Birthday has come and gone, half of ninety and still able to knock out three to four, six plus mile runs a week, not to bad. The wife and I headed over to Flemming's (wine bar & steak restaurant) for dinner to celebrate my getting older.

While it is a chain restaurant and they only have one Sommelier, who coordinates the wine list and the selection of the 100 wines by the glass or bottle, the service is very good and the wine choices seem to favor pairing with their menu. While the wine list is very good, the price points are far above what you would pay for the bottle retail, by as much as 400% in some cases [ouch], so I would suggest taking advantage of their BYOB policy and just paying the corkage.

We started our meal with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs. The creamy palate and rosy hue melded on our palates ever so delicately with a clear fruit expression. Wow, this a very good sparkling wine, can't call it Champagne, though it is made in the traditional method. And according to the winemakers notes, "This non-vintage cuvée is a blend of 18 different base wines" quite a tasty blend none-the-less.

I scored this wine 90 points, this bubbly has very good quality for such a little price. You can find it locally for about $18.00 retail. If you see this on the menu by the glass, order this as an aperitif. Very good and compatible with many appetizers. We had a free appetizer of thin sliced and baked french bread [like bagel chips] Gormandise Cheese, and a Olive Tapenade and celery, a pairing which worked out ever so nicely.

For the main entrée, I choose the New York Strip bone-in and my wife had the Fillet and crab, accompanied with garlic mash and Parmesan spinach. We paired our meals with the Hess Collection Cabernet, Allomi Vineyard 2005, 86% Cab, 10% Petite Sirah, and 4% Petite Verdot. 14.5 Alc. Spent 18 month in 30 Am./ 70 Fr. oak.

Just released March 2008. Gentle spice in the nose and front palate followed by a long persistent tri-berry cobbler finish. In the glass color showed dark cherry and crimson. I scored this wine 89 points on Cuvee Corner 100 pt tasting scale. Considering the retail price is a mere $24.00. A very food friendly wine, which is immediately approachable without the need to decant. The kind of wine I like to call refined elegance for a Paupers price.

Now for dessert, we had the Lava Cake,  wow this was the best ever, smothered with vaniller ice cream served atop a thin sliced sheet of vaniller wafer. We paired this with a Taylor Fladgate 10 yr old Tawny Port. I scored this wine 89 points, a very good pairing.

In the glass, notes of burnt molasses, tobacco, spices, and jammy plums emanate from the glass. On the palate it is full-bodied, hugely dense, immensely rich, and light in color, this young behemoth is also amazingly balanced and harmonious! Wow this sealed the deal and brought a wonderful birthday wine and dine to a close.



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