Given that Mitch and I still entertain like graduate students, guests sitting on the floor cross-legged, plates perched on laps, Saturday's meal was a revelation:
We were invited to a wine dinner billed as Southern Colorado and Southern France. To get to the house, we drove nine miles on rutted dirt roads, through rabbit brush gilded with new flowers, spiney sage and bunch grasses trending amber. Cows roam freely in this part of the county--or as freely as landowners allow--so every mile or so, I had to hop out of the truck, my silver sandals raising billows of dust, and swing open heavy pipe gates while Mitch drove through.
We could see the house from miles away, sitting atop a bald ridge. We arrived late and apologizing with a bag of heirloom tomatoes for the hostess and drank in the valley views from the tall, wide windows.
The table was set, placecards slotted into winecorks, with forks for each course, two wine glasses each, for red and white, gleaming table linens. A menu lay at every place, describing each course and the wine pairing.
Permit me to cut to the chase:
Hors D'oeuvres: Tapenade, Tomato Tarte Tain and Radishes with Anchovy Butter
L'Entree: Olate Corn Soup with Garlic Butter
Poisson Cours: Apalachiola Shrimp Provencal
Le Plat Principal: Grilled Veal Chops (Colorado pasture raised) and Eggplant Tomato Gratin
Salade: Local greens in vinaigrette
Le Fromage: Haystack Boulder Goat, Bucheron, Camembert and Roquefort
Le Dessert: Ambrosia Honey Mouse, Pain d'amande, Palisade Peaches and Pears
Each dish was carefully paired with an appropriate Colorado or French wine. The 2001 Dom. Les Aphillantes, Cotes du Rhone-Cuvee du Cros was smashing.
Trust me, we can't stop talking about this meal.