My family is pretty unorthodox when it comes to cooking for special occasions. I suppose we’re fairly unorthodox by default, since we don’t observe any religious dates anyway, but suffice it to say we never pass up a good holiday meal. If it’s on the calendar, why not?
Typically, we forgo the traditional turkey or ham and opt for maximum indulgence instead, such as T-bone steaks, duck, or tenderloin. This year, my mother showed an unprecendented amount of frivolity and decided to make a gigantic five-pound lobster our Christmas dinner centerpiece. I, in turn, volunteered several tasty bottles from my collection.
Unfortunately, this post is not accompanied by any photography, as we ate on December 22nd, and I didn’t know about or open my digital camera gift from Sean until Christmas Day. Needless to say, I was in no condition to take a clear photograph that evening anyhow.
- Pan-Seared Diver Scallops with Kale and Dragonfruit
- Roast Chicken with Savoury Pumpkin and Apple Stuffing
- Baked Lobster with Bacon and Herb Cream Sauce
My white and red were pretty much served back to back, and I had the chance to try both the chicken and lobster with each of the wines. I decanted the Bordeaux for two hours prior to serving. The late harvest was served following the meal with chocolates, when my huge, rich dinner caught up with me and I fell asleep watching The Usual Suspects, glass (empty, of course) in hand.
Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 2007
I first tasted this in November 2008, when it initially hit the market. It was very fresh and fruity then, and I can’t say it’s changed too much since.
Light greenish lemon in colour. A lively nose of core fruits and a bit of starfruit with a zippy but juicy palate of apples, melon and pears and a tiny bit of minerality. No oak influence in this light-bodied patio sipper. I think I would have been happier with a Chardonnay pairing with regard to the chicken and lobster courses, but this went very well with the scallops. $20
Château Rozier St. Émilion 2005
Took a chance here by opening one of my 2005 vintage buys for the first time ever, suggested by my colleague out of the list of Bordeauxs I showed her. Good value in this lower-end St. Émilion. I had first tried this in September 2008 at a tasting; it’s since subdued in all the right places. My mom’s dining room was a bit too cold for the wine, however, and it tasted probably a bit more closed than it should have.
Darkly purple, almost opaque in colour. Plummy black fruits with some oak and spice on the nose. Rich, velvety tannins coat the mouth along with more black fruits on the palate and some vanilla. A predominance of woody oak flavours suggests that this medium-bodied, Merlot-based red still needs more time before opening. Luckily, I still have another bottle waiting for me; I’ll keep cellaring that one for another year or two yet. $29
Hillside Estate Late Harvest Kerner 2007
This was a purchase from the winery during my Okanagan road trip last July. The winery has a fantastic tasting room where a few bucks gets you a handful of samples and possibly a couple of bonus wines like I did. Hillside Estate produces a lot of varietals, so it’s well worth tasting your way through their portfolio!
Light gold in colour. The nose was a heady bouquet of citrus and sweet flowers with hints of tropical fruit, honeyed but not at all syrupy or like icewine. Medium- to light-bodied, this shows lots of citrus and crisp acidity on the palate with apricot and other stone fruit flavours, with quite a refreshing finish for a sweet wine. $20