Tuesday I was fortunate to be invited to lunch at Café Ysabel for a meal featuring old-style, Spanish era Filipino food. Lunch was on the house but the guests would supply the wines.
First bottle and only white was We’re Wines Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2002 from Western Australia. Yellowish, light, with flavors of pineapple and pear. A little watery at the front but with good weight in the finish. On sale at the Wine Depot. Buy a case of the Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and get a free case of this. Averaging out the price, it comes out to just a bit less than USD 4.00 per bottle which is a real bargain. The regular price is about 3 times that.
First course was a galantine of chicken with smoked beef tongue and chorizo paired with Chateau Cote de Baleau St. Emilion Grand Cru 1996. The nose was old and musty and it started out very soft but the flavor was quite good. Airing gave the wine structure and fruit. It still had a respectable amount of tannins in the finish. Some coffee notes also evident. Surprisingly good, better than I expected and a good match with the galantine.
Second course was goat meat Caldereta. This is a stew which nowadays is usually prepared with beef although goat is the traditional meat for this. This was served with saffron rice. Paired with this was my bottle of Seghesio Old Vines Zinfandel 2003. The wine went perfectly with the dish. The wine had subdued chocolate and lots of berry fruit concentration. A beautifully balanced wine that had enough stuffing to match the heavy stew.
The cheese course was a very good home-made brined cheese made of water buffalo milk and cultured with Gorgonzola mold. A creamy cheese with only a hint of blue, this was used to drink up the rest of the wine.
Lastly we had a very light but flavorful flan of water buffalo milk paired with a Heritage Tokay from Barossa. Slightly burnt, raisined fruit. Heavy stuff but well balanced. Good wine and sweet enough to stand up to the flan.
It was a long, heavy, late lunch with good wine making it difficult to get back to work. Combine that with the traffic on leaving the restaurant and that was a good enough excuse for me to head home instead of back to the office.