The Second Once In A Lifetime Dinner

(Oct. 28, 2011) — Two years ago we offered a unique dinner and tasting that, in retrospect, certainly deserved the ‘Once in A Lifetime’ description. Now we will try to match that experience, returning to Splendido, still the finest dining destination in Toronto, with a new set of rare (and we hope, spectacular) wines.

The theme this time will be the First Growths of Bordeaux, primarily from the year 1971 – supplemented by a couple of other First Growths that are a bit younger. The 1971 wines are now 40 years old – past their flush of youth, but will have developed the complexity that only comes with time. The previous year 1970 was the first great ‘modern’ vintage with super-ripe grapes and large production (similar to 1982). The Bordeaux prices leapt upwards and 1971 (which only yielded half the quantity of 1970) fell under the shadow of the 1970’s and was overlooked. But it has always been rated as a ‘very good’ vintage.

The food match last time was superb – and we’re working closely with the same team. The food was prepared to support and showcase the wines. No chef egos here – just a superb feeling for the perfect combination of food and wine, using the freshest ingredients. Again we will occupy the private wine cellar.

Our 1971 wines are from Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Cheval Blanc. We will also feature two superb vintages of Château Margaux, 1983 and 1995 – Margaux had underperformed during the 70’s but after an ownership change in 1977 was completely re-vamped and by 1983 was probably the top-ranked of all the first-growths. We’ll also add a California ‘ringer’ wine here as a comparison; a wine that would certainly have been classed as a ‘First Growth’ if California had featured an equivalent classification. All of these wines are top-shoulder level or better with most into the neck.

We have tried to find some other gems to feature and hope the ‘Chardonnay’ course will remind people what great wines that grape can produce. We feature my favourite (by far) Burgundy producer Coche-Dury, and my favourite white region of California – Santa Cruz. Plus a one-of-a-kind Champagne made from the Arbane grape – this legal variety (although not planted anymore) is from 50+ year-old vines and is the only 100% Arbane Champagne still produced.

And don’t overlook the fortified wines. A 1928 Madeira that is the most food-friendly madeira I’ve ever tasted; plus, to finish, 1994 Vintage Port from Fonseca, a wine that received 100 points from the Wine Spectator and was also ‘Wine Of The Year’.

With wines this old, we expect bottle variation, and we have 2 bottles (at least) of each wine. If you attend with a friend, we’ll ensure that each of you gets the wine from a different bottle. Unfortunately we don’t have identical back-ups – if we detect a ‘bad’ wine upon opening we’ll replace with a ‘good substitute’ (our choice – there are a few single bottles of similar reputation and age).

As always with our tastings, this event will be strictly non-smoking, and we request your cooperation in not wearing any scented after-shave or perfume.

Date: Friday, October 28, 2011 Splendido Restaurant
Time: 6:30 p.m. 88 Harbord Street (west of Spadina)
Limit: 32 people 10 mins walk from Spadina Subway stop
Members: $495 Guests: $495

Cancellations accepted up to Friday Oct 21, 2011. See the event form for cancellation contact details.No reservations by phone, please. All reservations will be confirmed by phone (assuming you provide a number). First come basis. Non-members may attend at guest rates, but preference will be given to members.

Download the event form as this event is only available by mail in registration.

The Menu

All dishes prepared especially for Winetasters by Splendido Restaurant; Chef: Victor Barry

Assorted Canapés
(Village Bay Oyster, New Brunswick Sturgeon Caviar, Melon & Prosciutto Gelée
Cooper’s Farm Summer Black Truffle)
(Victor’s Foie Gras Parfait, Apricot Purée en Brioche )
(Roasted Veal Sweetbread Tart & Caramelized Onions)

2005 Vintage Brut Champagne, Cépage Arbane, Vieille Vignes – Moutard Père & Fils (3 oz)

* * * * * *

B.C. Matsutake Mushroom Consommé with
Oxalis, Black Truffle & Cippolini Onion

1928 Vintage Verdelho Madeira “E.E.L” – Leacock (1.5 oz)

* * * * * *

Seared Diver Scallops with
Roasted Cauliflower, Capers, Sultana Raisins & Brown Butter

2007 Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay – J.-F. Coche-Dury (3 oz)
2007 Chardonnay Monte Bello Estate – Ridge Vineyards (3 oz)

* * * * * * *

Roasted Everspring Farms Duck Breast with
Red Currant, Chestnut & Celery

1971 Château Lafite-Rothschild (1.5 oz)
1971 Château Mouton Rothschild (1.5 oz)
1971 Château Cheval Blanc (1.5 oz)

* * * * * * *

Cumbrae Farms Sous-Vide Rib Cap with
Vickie’s Veggies Carrots, Beets & Shallots

19?? California ‘First Growth Ringer’ (1.5 oz)
1983 Château Margaux (1.5 oz)
1995 Château Margaux (1.5 oz)

* * * * * * *

“Black Forest Cake” with
Cherry Jus

1994 Vintage Port – Fonseca (1.5 oz)


Coffee / Tea