Man. I’ve been to some swanky events in my life, but last night we attended the Diner de Gala en ouverture de Vinexpo Bordeaux and apparently I did not yet know what swanky was.
It was the opening extravaganza of this years VINEXPO salon where buyers and negociants from the world over to taste what’s on offer.
Last nights’ event was by exclusive invitation and we were kindly hosted by M. Francois Despagne who grows and makes the wine Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne.
We arrived at the event by first class shuttle (like everyone else) and were welcomed in style at the imposing Chateau Soutard by a crowd of hundreds of elegant guests in formal attire.
Champagne was served (of course) and canapés before we were ushered through the reception of the Chateau through to the back lawns where a huge tent had been erected and decked out with countless crystal chandeliers which we approached on a (not red but) blue carpet.
Many guests like us were agog snapping photos and selfies as hundreds of us made our way down the carpet toward what promised to be an amazing meal.
Our host greeted us at the table and shortly service began. The menu was set by famed Michelin starred chef Helene Darroze and it did not disappoint.
We started with Chilled Bearn corn-bean soup, smoked eel, pickled girolle mushroom, sage accompanied by L’Archange 2016, Ch Lambersac Cuvée Or Rouge 2016 and Ch du Courtelat Cuvée Jean-Baptiste 2015
Then came poached blue lobster with Tandoori spices,carrot mousse with citrus, Timut pepper reduction with fresh coriander. Ch Tour Baladoz 2011 & Ch Grand Corbin Manuel 2010 (from Francois’ neighbour).
After that, farm raised pigeon & Wellington duck foie gras, steam boiled & browned turnips with an intense, slightly peaty sauce. Ch Soutard 2010 & Ch Laroze 2009 rounded off this course.
Finally came the cheeses and a Bay leaf pannacotta with Menton lemon jelly, almond crumble & gariguette strawberries served with Ch Troplong Mondot 2004 & Clos Fourtet 1989.
On top of all this Francois had brought a magnum of Ch Grand Corbin Despagne 2009 just so we didn’t run short of wine.
It was a night for the books and something i won’t soon forget. If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me.