My wine weekend – Babette’s Feast and more

Two bottles at home over the weekend, but scroll down for the wines we consumed at my mother-in-law’s version of Babette’s Feast.



Occitania Mauzac Blanc 2015, Limoux, Ch. Rives-Blanques is made by a very nice Dutch-English couple, the Panmans, who have now been joined by their son. The wines were shipped by Febvre & Co for years, and James Nicholson I think. Now it is with Alken Brothers, a firm set up by Anthony & Gregory Alken. Not sure of price yet, but a delicious wine and quite unusual to see a pure Mauzac. Most of it goes into blends or the local fizz, Blanquette de Limoux. Floral, herbal nose, quite rich tropical fruits with yellow apples too, and some peach. All held together very nicely by good acidity.

La Bruja de Rozas is made by Commando G,  three young winemakers who each work in different wineries, but come together to produce a series of wines. They argue that Garnacha, as traditionally grown in the Vinos de Madrid region, south of the capital, can have something of the perfume and elegance of Pinot Nojr. It does, with plenty of alcohol and body too. This is a single village wine, from granite soils at 850 metres. Lovely wine, violet aromas, strawberry fruit, excellent mineral backbone and good tannic length. 14.5% Around €25 I think.

Babette’s Feast – in the late 1980’s, my mother-in-law, who is Danish, entertained guests to a re-creation of the menu of Babette’s Feast, a short story by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). It was made into an Academy Award winning film in 1988; if you haven’t seen it, it is well worth doing so, especially if you like food. My mother-in-law recently offered to cook the menu once more, and I volunteered to provide the wines. It was a hugely enjoyable evening, with excellent food. I’ll do a full blog on it shortly, but the menu runs as follows: Mock turtle soup with Amontillado sherry, blinis Demidoff (with caviar and sour cream) served with vintage Veuve Cliquot; quail en sarcophage (stuffed with foie gras, and encased in puff pastry with a truffle sauce) accompanied by Clos Vougeot. Then follows Baba au Rhum with Sauternes, and fruit and cheeses with port. It all finishes with coffee and Hine Grande Champagne Cognac. As you can see from the lineup below, I allowed myself a certain latitude with the wines, Clos Vougeot Louis Latour 1845 being scarce on the ground, but we were served excellent renditions of every dish on the menu.


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