Grabner Extravaganza and post-triathalon bash. 8 wines. yes, that's what i said.

Aug. 15, 2009: rob williamson arrived the night before and hit the sack early so he could be ready for his first triathalon in warrick county, ind., just east of here. it was a beautiful sunny day when he came in third in his age bracket. so that night -- as we had planned for months -- was celebration time. this was the meal, and the wine:

to start, greg opened up a 2008 cline contra costa county mourvedre rose (still can't figure out how to do the accent there). this was 13 percent alcohol. he and rob had had it before and really liked it; to them it was a good summer wine. victoria wasn't as impressed, as it reminded her of a white zinfandel, which aren't her favorites. but still, it was a refreshing bottle with which to begin the evening.

when it came time for the appetizer of mesclun mix salad with homemade mustard vinaigrette and baked goat cheese that had been covered with seasoned breadcrumbs (by now a classic in this house), rob popped open a 2005 chateau lascombes margaux grand cru classe, a grand vin de bordeaux. this was excellently smooth, very substantial. it came off as a very serious and dignified bottle of wine. 13.5 percent alcohol.

the chateau lascombes continued for part of the entree: lamb chops marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette reduction, with homemade mashed potatoes and carrots. but soon we opened up another of rob's choices, a 2003 azelia barolo from italy. this was more acidic, crisper, with sharp edges. it was a good choice considering we have virtually no experience with italian wines (besides chianti).

then came time for dessert: grilled fresh peaches from double a farms in henderson county (it was peach season, after all) marinated in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette/brown sugar/cracked pepper reduction, topped with vanilla ice cream. by this time, rob had opened a bottle he had brought from his house, a gosset champagne, 12 percent alcohol. that was a crisp mix next to the soft sweetness of the peaches.

the night, from here, soon became blurry. i heard that four more bottles were opened -- a 2007 pine & post merlot from washington state (13.5 percent alcohol) , a 2008 xplorador malbec from argentina (13.5 percent alcohol), a 2007 montes malbec from chile (14.5 percent alcohol) and a 2007 evil cabernet sauvignon from southeastern australia (14.2 percent alcohol) -- but i was asleep long before that.

all in all? one good, humorous night, with great wine and awesome company!

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