If I hold my arms up in the air and make the biggest circle I can clasping my hands together – this is the size of the entrecote cooked on an open fire in the garden of Yves-Dominique and Laura Pages. Yves is a specialist in all things wonderful to eat and sells fine wines mainly from Italy and Spain. They live not far from Bordeaux on the other side of the Dordogne River. What you need to remember is to cross the Dordogne via the metal criss-cross Eiffel bridge to get there successfully.
What was remarkable about this dinner was not the conversation which indeed was interesting enough ranging from the origin of such expressions as ‘cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’ to the rightful role of a man during childbirth, but the quality of food and wine served in such a relaxed and down-to-earth manner. That is one of the advantages of living so close to the source of good food and wine.
Deep-fried ‘Blayais’ Asparagus in filo with balsamic vinegar
Veal tongue with sauce gribiche (shallot, hardboiled egg, vinegar, gherkins and lots of freshly cut herbs)
Giant Entrecote a la Bordelaise
1986 Chateau Canon, Premier Cru Classe St Emilion: smooth fruity light and elegant. Soft with pleasant red fruit flavours and melted tannins.
1988 Clos de Marquis, St Julien: the depth of flavour that the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon really suits my palate. The smoothness of the tannins and the concentration of pure fruit for me lifts wines to another plateau.
1994? Pesquera Ribera de Douro (unfortunately by this time I was not keeping note of vintages). Interesting nose of chocolate, oaky spiciness which continued in the mouth. Long finish. Hot spicy wine with herby grilled meat smokey flavours.
That Eiffel Bridge creates an optical illusion; it seems narrower on the way home.