Last night Kelly & I had a lovely dinner at Kristi & Warner's house. To start the evening we had these interesting little things to the right which are wild hibiscus flowers in hibiscus syrup. We dropped a flower & a little syrup into the bottom of champagne flutes & filled them up with Louis Perdrier Rose Brut NV sparkling wine from France. Both the flowers & the bubbly were a gift from our friends Justin & Amy (thanks Justin & Amy!) The syrup just slightly sweetened the bubbly enough to be refreshing & fruity. The flowers themselves had the consistency of dried fruit or fruit roll ups. They are a bit addictive once you've popped one in your mouth. Next we had a bottle of Smith Madrone Riesling 2005 Spring Mountain, Napa Valley. I've been curious how this wine has developed over the years. When I first had it the wine was linear & bright with lots of acidity & peach, meyer lemon flavors. This bottle could have been aged for another few years! It was still very bright with notes of slate & dried lemon & lots of vibrant acidity. We enjoyed a salad that the lovely Mez brought over of spinach, strawberries, almonds, red onion, dried cranberries & blueberries, Laura Chenel Herb Chevre & an organic raspberry vinaigrette. It was perfectly fresh, light & delicious. Kristi's main course consisted of tamarind marinated
shrimp with brown jasmine rice, fresh peppers, celery, onions & garlic in a coconut ginger broth. The dish had a mild heat with a creamy texture & super aromatic spice....Yummmmmm! Our next bottle of wine was Torre Muga 1998 Rioja, yet another bottle I've been curious about. Obviously I've been cellaring this one almost too well because of its youthful weight & texture. It was still bold & dark & had only slightly softened from the first time I had it years ago. It was at first very new world in style with dark ripe fruit on the nose & palate that spread out & became earthy & spicy. What a hell of a finish on this thing, Wow! This wine could have lasted another 3-5 years at least even though it was oh so delicious now. For dessert Kristi grilled fresh peaches with rosemary & salt & topped them with vanilla cream & balsamic vinegar. The balsamic was a perfect touch adding a tangy sweetness to the luscious texture of the fruit & cream. That was fun!