Friday, Aug. 24: Dinner at Duet in Detroit
Madeline Triffon

Friday night's dinner is always a highlight of the MoCool weekend, and rarely more so than this year, as revelers boarded charter buses for downtown Detroit and an evening at the "urban chic" Duet Restaurant in the city's entertainment district.

As usual for the event's Friday dinner, Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, an old friend of MoCool, presided over the wine choices and food-and-wine matching.

Five wines were served before dinner with hors d'oeuvres:

Chateau Mourgues du Gres 2000 Costieres du Nimes "Les Galets Rosés" - Bright cherry red. Fruity and crisp, strawberries.

San de Guilhem 2000 Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne - Grassy, herbaceous. Full and tart, grassiness predominates.

Cuvee Guilheuret 1998 "Clos Thou" Jurançon Sec - Faint white fruit and caramel. Nutty-creamy, a hint of oxidation, typical of Jurançon.

Guilhem Durand 1999 Syrah Vin de Pays d'Hauterive - Peppery, earthy, a whiff of the barnyard. Very good value wine.

With the first course, celery root vichyssolse with seared crevettes and papaya:

Vilmart 1993 Champagne "Coeur de Cuvé" - Pale gold, with tiny persistent bubbles. Toast and milk chocolate; crisp, creamy and dry. Delicious, and a fine match with the cool, herbal soup.

Schoffit 1999 Tokay Pinot Gris "Cuvé Tradition" - White fruit and wool, rich and full. Well-matched with the vichyssoise.

With the second course, sea bass Provencale with white beans, tomatoes, fennel and herbes de Provence:

Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte 1998 Blanc - Clear straw. Herbal white fruit aroma, surprisingly oaky for a Bordeaux; could almost pass for a Chardonnay. Big and structured, almost objectionablyh woody, a New World-style wine with an Old World label. The food match improves it some, but it's hard to get past the oak.

Dujac 1996 Morey St. Denis - Light ruby. Smoky ripe cherry aromas, fresh and ripe; good structure. Its light, fresh fruit doesn't overwhelm the bass.

With the principal course, roasted beef tenderloin Bordelaise with crispy potato galette and bouquetière of summer vegetables:

Michel Perraud 1999 Cornas "Le Vignon" - Inky reddish-purple. Peppery, grapey, full and fiercely tannic. Very young, but the roast beef tames the tannins to make a good match.

Les Forts de Latour 1996 - Very dark garnet. Blackcurrant and cedar, classic Bordeaux. Good balance and structure, fine with the beef.

With dessert, bittersweet callebaut chocolate souffle raspberry chantilly:

Docteur Parce 1993 Domaine du Mas Blanc "Rimage Mise Tardive" Banyuls - Ruby-amber. "Rancio" style, a planned oxidation is part of its character; but serious volatily is not. Stronglly vinegary elements detract badly from sweet-tart fruit flavor. A near-disaster.

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