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Magnum of Chateau d'Yquem - need menu help

  • m

A client of my husband's has given us a magnum of Chateau d'Yquem. I'm thinking about having a holiday party in December to serve it. I need help figuring out (a) how far will a magnum go - how much of it can one really drink (i.e, how many people to invite) and (b) what to serve & how. Food pairing ideas so far - Foie Gras, Roquefort, strawberries, and I have some lobster recipe clipped from somewhere that I think cooks the lobster in it and then you make Sauterne aspic - the cooking in it seems a bit of a waste but who knows.

My first thought was to have little bites of things - ranging from hors d'oeuvres to hot main course things, but in small portions, and then bite-sized desserts. But, now I think I would need to alleviate the rich food/Sauterne drinking a bit.

Any suggestions on how to approach this would be much appreciated!

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  1. I am sure many hounds would probably prefer to consult on site, as it were!

    1. Sounds like a major problem. I'll be right over....

      1. I wouldn't care for sweet wine with more than two courses, myself, even if Yquem is not (or should not be) cloying. And I'd go for savory--matching with desserts is very tricky, most desserts are too sweet and you won't know until you open the bottle... If you do go with dessert, nuts are good.

        What a problem though!

        If you cook with that stuff I will personally materialize out of your computer and kick you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Aromatherapy

          I couldn't agree more about nutty desserts. I faced a challenge a few months ago when asked to make a dessert to pair with a Beaumes de Venice. I went with a Portuguese Almond Tart which, in the event, was an ideal counterpoint tot he wine – the tart is richly perfumed with almonds, butter and caramelized sugar. Rich, yes; cloying, no. I'll happily provide a recipe. It could easily be made up as individual tartlets.

          1. re: Aromatherapy

            Back in college in '72 I got a call from a friend who thought I knew something about wine. Some guy in his apartment building was offering to sell old French wines for cheap (my friend thought they were stolen). The guy was offering one wine in particular for $5.00 a bottle. My friend said that it made pretty tasty wine coolers with 7-Up but he didn't know if he was being gyped. I asked him the name of the wine and he replied "Chateau Y-Q-U-E-M." I told him to buy all the guy had. Then he moved away and I never did get to taste. Wine coolers...cooking seems benign by comparison.

          2. What is the vintage? You might be disappointed if it is still too young. The best way to tell when it is ready is by its color, if it is still clear, to light straw, it is not ready. Once it starts to become darker it develops its complexity.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Sthitch

              It's 1991. Not the greatest year, but .... It's a rich darkish gold color I'd say. What do you think?

              1. re: MMRuth

                Not a bad year either. Parker gave it a 91. It is still a bit young, but should soon start to enter its early mature stage.

                1. re: Sthitch

                  So, would you advise holding or drinking? We have less than ideal storage conditions, which, in part, led me to think about drinking it. Called Sherry Lehman (where it was purchased) and was told that it was drinking "very nicely" right now.

                  Thanks!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I would HOLD. Find a cool dark place to store it. Remember, Mags will age slower.

                    1. re: woo!

                      Agreed about holding, however, without adaquate storage I would most likely open it soon. Magnums do age more slowly than a bottle(but not relative to the size), but they also age differently. Usually a magnum will be more complex.

                      I will not be touching my '90s until at least the next decade.

                    2. re: MMRuth

                      Keep in mind that Sauternes, unlike red Bordeaux wines do not necessarily improve significantly with age. They get a bit darker in color and sometimes a bit more caramelly, but I don't feel they improve...

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        d
                        David Pearlman

                        That's true for most Sauternes, but not for the better vintages of d'Yquem, which usually take about 30 years to become fully mature. For example, the 1986 is just now progressing beyond the infant stage.

              2. A magnum of dessert wine can easily serve 10 to 12 wine drinkers. It can be served as an aperitif with a fois gras pate but I think it is best served with the dessert course which should be made up of apples, pears, stilton or roquefort along with a baguette and some walnuts. Please send a map to your home. D' Yquem may be the best of the best but in any event is always a treat. Enjoy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hugh Lipton
                  d
                  David Pearlman

                  One of my favorite ways to enjoy d'Yquem is with nothing but macadamia nuts to nibble on. Macadamias do not have the bitterness you find in a lot of nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, and that seems to be the key.