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What would you serve with a 1982 Ch Margaux?

It's a bit embarrassing - we were given a bottle of 1982 Margaux as a wedding present (it actually arrived 3 years later in 1985), and now has come the time to let the cork fly.

Unfortunately, we've never had anything like this before, and dread overpowering/mis-matching it with the dinner we want to make for it. We're currently leaning towards fillet steaks - but what kind of sauce, veggies etc.

Any ideas/suggestions of what you would do would be great.

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  1. I would save it for after dinner with a nice salty but not super pungent cheese. A wine like this needs to be the star and I find that mixing to many flavors can distract from the subtle complexity of an aged wine and with a wine like this that would be very sad.

    1. Steak, roast beef, a leg of lamb, a cheese course even . . .

      1. A fine roast of young lamb or aged beef, simply prepared, light on the seasonings (only a whiff of garlic). Sauce optional, but if you go that route, base it on the pan drippings.

        Since the '82 Margaux is still quite vigorous, if you opted for fillet steaks, you could get away with serving a rich sauce, like a béarnaise or mushroom sauce.

        Sides? Mashed/puréed or roasted potatoes (if doing lamb, you can pile sliced potatoes in the roasting pan and roast the lamb on a rack above them, flavouring the spuds with the drippings). Flageolets, whole or puréed. Roasted root vegetables. Roasted, steamed or creamed cauliflower. Roasted or sautéed mushrooms. Green beans with butter. Creamed spinach. Braised leeks. Avoid asparagus and artichokes.

        Personally, I'd skip the cheese (though a dusting of parmesan on the vegetables wouldn't be out of place). There are very few that show aged Bordeaux in a flattering light.

        1. We had an '82 margaux (Chateau Prieure Lichine) that was given to us as a gift also. We drank it back in '97-'98 maybe. Anyway, it was the most gorgeous, beautiful thing EVER. I agree that a simply prepared roast of aged beef or lamb is the way to go. Mashed potatoes or maybe even some polenta(if you make a gravy). Don't over season anything, keep it simple. Add some lovely crusty bread and don't forget to decant! Post back and give us your recount! I'm so jealous.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lynnlato

            Thank you all so much for the suggestions - it sounds like simplicity + quality ingredients is the way to go. This is really helpful, as we were considering the more radical route of home-made brown sauce (baked veal bone stock and the full monty).

            These once-in-a-lifetime things are a real pain! Thanks again.

          2. 1982 was a superb year for clarets! Have you considered trading it in for a new Mercedes? '-)

            Well, if you're determined to drink it (and why not!), and if you like beef, I would only consider grass fed dry aged beef, which will cost a hefty penny, but nothing close to the wine! Tournedos Rossini would certainly live up to the wine. And I would go with the traditional method of serving the tournedo on a crouton to catch the juices. Not sure Id have any starch with it. The crouton should be enough. For a first course, maybe a stuffed artichoke? Artichokes will fine tune your taste buds for what is to come! Vegetable? Not sure, but I would NOT serve asparagus! Maybe some really nice haricots vert? Dessert? I's just sit and sip whatever is left of the Margaux.

            Whatever you decide, enjoy!

            5 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              >Artichokes will fine tune your taste buds for what is to come!

              Uh, not a good idea. Artichokes do just the opposite.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Maybe I'm the victim of PR from the artichoke growers of California? For years I've used artichokes to "fine tune" the taste buds, as well as regularly running across "research" information that supports this. Just ran a search on Google for "artichoke as flavor enhancer" and didn't come up with as much info as I expected, but at least found a U.S. patent application for an artichoke "powder" to be used to enhance flavors of food. You can find it here: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4122... Sounds like a better choice than MSG!

                It is possible that artichokes fall into that category of food perceptions that vary widely from person to person. For example, when my kids were still in school and the family would go out for Mexican food, when the gratis chips and salsa were brought with the menus, we knew that if my husband and daughter said the salsa was mild, it would burn the taste buds off my and my son's tongues! And the opposite was also true. What John and I found mild would kill the other two.

                For me, artichokes do enhance my perception of food flavors. It's why I find them so interesting as an ingredient in chef's salads, or even in a pasta "primavera" type of creative sauce. They even make water taste somewhat sweet.

                The Italians came up with an artichoke aperitif that was initially touted as a flavor enhancer for food to follow. Haven't seen it promoted as such in a while (but haven't been looking), but according to the web, Cynar is now ranked as one of the top selling 100 liqueurs in the world. It must be doing something right!

                Obviously, mileage varies! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  The cynarin in artichokes is a well-documented wine killer.

                  It also changes the perception of food flavors in the same way it does wine flavors -- making them appear either sweeter or metallic. So while you may look upon artichokes as an "enhancer" -- YMEvidentlyDoesV -- others, especially when evaluating wine, look upon artichokes as a distorter of flavors.

                  Google cynarin for more info. And perhaps try a few more experiments?

                  One last tip: grilling artichokes removes much of the cynarin.
                  Make a good aioli and you can bring back the wine.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    I was not suggesting the artichokes *with* the wine. A good time before! And the more I think about the wine (in this bright mood of green I'm sporting!), the more I think I would just sit back and enjoy the wine and skip the rest of the meal! The one time in my life I had a glass of Chateau d'Yquem, I don't think I had anything with it. If I did, it has loooooooong since faded from memory, but that glass of ecstasy dancing on my tongue lives on....! Some things are just solo acts. '-)

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Don't want to beat a dead horse, but did lots of Googling and didn't find anything that contradicts what I suggested. As a course by itself, without wine. Well, not exactly true. I DID learn that maybe if I had eaten more artichokes throughout my lifetime I might still have my gall bladder...! '-) The bits and pieces of us we lose to ignorance. <sigh>