Three French wines sit on a table ...

dec. 22, 2009: this was family dining at its best ... my cousin tricia comfortable in her own skin, making us all smile; the relaxed but temporary silences; my uncle's stories; my mom's loud guffaw, barely contained; and three bottles of wine, all french. the first, a 1990 bordeaux from chateau le gay pomerol (a magnum!), a 2004 chateau puech-haut saint-drezery, and a 1990 domaine des aubuisieres vouvray moelleux. this 1990 was one of the variety's sweet white dessert wines, according to victoria's dad. this vouvray is by the viticulteur Bernard FOUQUET, 13% alcohol. 1990 was considered a "Grand Annee" in the Loire valley, alan said.

the 1990 wasn't that distinctive, though alan disagreed. yet at $179.99 (according to snooth.com), it was the highest-priced wine of the evening. the 2004 was more memorable, however, with a fruitier nose and flavor. it was priced at $24.98 on snooth. victoria said both were smooth, and that the 1990 opened up more as the meal moved along past the grilled lamb, the spinach, the mashed potatoes, the squash and the miniature brussel sprouts.

and then: dessert. victoria made some chocolate puddle cookies based on a recipe given to her by greg's mom, joanne made grammy's ginger cookies, and we had a russian cake made by a woman victoria's parents know. that russian cake, incidentally, was big enough to the hold the 15 candle-lit letters comprising C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S to emilie marty, the new doctor in the house! all in all, a wonderful evening ... just in time for christmas.

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