July 14th, 2018 marks the end of my palindromic last year (71417 & 33 years old!) and the entrance into a year of progression (3 ->4). Ever since turning 30, the years seems to have morphed into a bipolar sort of frenzy, vacillating from uber exciting (marriage, moving back to America, traveling, passing MW stage 1 assessments) to those decidedly less so (divorce, disease, death). I guess that’s just getting old, so let’s revel for a moment in the glory that was my 34th birthday.
Every good New Yorker know that birthdays deserve a little Milk bar. Whether in cake, crack pie, or truffle ball format, there truly is no way better to fight the ravages of time, that with sugar and sprinkles. Think about it.
Birthday surprises from Mom remind me what a joy it is to be home. Not just for the raspberry filled goodness, although surely that counts for something, but for the fact we can call each other from the same time zone, send each other surprises from our favorite local spots for guaranteed smiles, and celebrate milestones together. In person (but not until Wednesday).
My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, which meant I had to work. Lucky for me, work is one of my absolute favorite places, and also very convenient for people to pop in. We kicked it off with Icy, her husband Mick and friends Sabrina and Keke for some amazing Champagne, complete with sabrage (sword compliments of Brando). Also, you should note 2008 is one of those vintages in Champagne where everything is great. EVERYTHING. Go out and buy all you can.
This wine has made an appearance in my life several times over the past couple of months. It’s always a pleasure.
Unfortunately the 2000 Chevalier Montrachet was hit by the premox fairy, but a prescient Jang was ready with a 2008 Puligny 1er Cru (which one B??) that was singing – laser sharp, driven, and absolutely delicious.
Regulars -> friends. Caitlin, Nancy and Anthony sipped on a tasting inspired by friends -> Macari rose and Sartarelli Verdicchio.
Brittany brought by this tasty Lauer sparkling Riesling. It was amazing for how varietally true it showed with all the hallmarks of Riesling, petrol, acid, honey. PLUS bubbles.
Sabrage! Mick, Anny, and Brittany’s first time slicing away at the neck of a bottle.
Krug Rose is awesome. Despite an afternoon of incredible bubbles and wine, it was time to amp it up for dinner.
Brian miraculously found one of the very few remaining bottles of 1984, and even more incredibly, it was amazing! ’84 Bordeaux Blanc is proving some of the most delicious bottles from this generally horrible vintage. Several years back an ’84 Haut Brion blanc wowed me, and this was no different.
Peking Duck House twice in one week, and even better on the second time. Go for duck pancakes, fish soup, and the amazing Chinese mezze (???) platter.
And bring Raveneau from 2001. You won’t be disappointed.
HBD. Brandon, Jenn, Theo, Winston, Andrew, Brian, Keke, Brittany, me (three of us from the disastrous ’84 vintage, but managing smiles thanks to Brian!).
Winston brought one of his favorites, Cauyse. Washington syrah loaded with black pepper but also sweet black boysenberry fruit – this is such a distinct and delicious wine – and was perfect with the hoisin sauced duck.
And then things got both literally and figuratively a little blurry. 9 hours of drinking awesome wine didn’t feel quite enough, so we popped over to La Compagnie to carry on the Bastille Day celebrations.
Champagne and Grand Cru Musigny? Sure. In the soft dim glow brought about by a bevy of bottles, we all conceited how happy we are that 2004 red Burgundy has the reputation is does (read: ladybugs). Just a sip of this 2004 Drouhin proved reputation be damned! And at a fraction of the price of its more exalted brother 2005, it should be noted.
As it began, so shall it end, with a little Milkbar.
Perhaps the palindrome of life keeps chugging along, or perhaps I just eat too much cake. I guess we’ll never know.