This dinner took place Jan. 23. No corkage fee. I brought a 2007 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans 1er Cru. Three other couples at my table contributed a 2004 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Pessac-Leognan white Bordeaux (didn't see the producer's name or the vintage), a 1989 Chateau Beychevelle, and a Chassagne-Montrachet that didn't make it to my end of the table. One couple was originally from England and had lived in Singapore for five years, another couple were well traveled and have a second home in Hawaii, and I didn't get to speak to the third couple because they were sitting too far away. (One of our servers has a French mother and American father and lived in Grenoble, France.) The dinner was delicious. Upon arrival we were served a flute of a French sparkling wine. An amuse bouche of smoked salmon with truffle cream topping? (I forget what the topping was). First course was a tomato-based chowder with mussels, peas and carrots, and topped with saffron foam, next course was crispy sweetbread medallion with a vegetable gratin (zucchini, etc.--loved the vegetables in this dish) and garlic cream. Then we had a peppermint sorbet as a palate cleanser. The entree was duck breast with duchess potatoes with parsnip and celery root crisps. Dessert was a bananas foster crepe with peanut praline ice cream.
I had the sparkling wine with the amuse bouche and some of the Pessac-Leognan with the mussel chowder. It was rich tasting and I liked it. I started sipping the Volnay with the sweetbread course and also tried the Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon which I liked more that I expected. It was 13% alchohol, not tannic, and had ripe fruit but was smooth--not jammy IMHO (although another thought it was a bit jammy.) I had the Volnay (shared with others at the table) mostly with the duck entree and it was a nice pairing. I thought the nose was bordering on funky when first poured, but by the second glass that had evaporated and it was a nice dark cherry offering over iron and earth. One gentleman at the table declared it the red wine of the night but I liked the Silver Oak also and appreciated having a chance to savor a 1989 classified Bordeaux since my cellar doesn't go back that far. The wife said their cellar includes some 1945 bottles. This Open That Bottle Night is an annual event at St. Jacques and one of my favorite dinners of the year. About 25-30 people participated.