On Sunday July 18, 2021 Silicon Valley La Chaine Bailliage hosted a spirited and savory outdoor French dinner honoring Bastille Day and the wine region itinerary of La Tour de France. The evening was staged at a bailliage member’s home that provided a 180-degree view of the Santa Clara Valley from Los Gatos to Redwood City.
Our accomplished and creative gourmet chef, Julia Anderson, and her team served 26 members and guests as the sun slowly descended and the sparkling lights of the valley took over.
- Anderson’s imagination and talent launched anticipation for the evening with multiple appetizers, including Crab & Mushroom Tartelettes, Shrimp Gazpacho, Duck Pate, French Cheeses & Charcuterie which were paired with a dry white from Provence and a Champagne-style cremant.
- The two-pronged main course featured Poached Fresh Salmon and Garlic Butter Lamb ‘Pops’, accompanied by Roasted Asparagus and Summer Squash, a seasonally welcome Watermelon, Feta, Arugula & Fresh Mint Salad and Rice Pilaf. Two wines, a medium bodied dry 2015 Pinot Noir from the Loire Region and a full bodied dry 2014 Tannat/Cab from the Basque Pyrenees had diners responding with a collective “Magnifique!”
- The patriotic Dessert was highlighted by a Viva la France Verrine in red, white and blue layers composed of Vanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberry Coulis & Blueberry Compote topped with Pistachio Streusel and a Crisp Sable Cookie. As the “Marseilles” played in the background, a 2005 Petit Manseng grape-based dessert wine from the Basque Pyrenees and a 2005 white blend of Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon tied a bow on the memorable menu.
Our guest wine expert – Bruce Bastl –mapped the wine regions comprising the course of La Tour de France, notably the six varietals he selected from the respective regions of the race, found locally at reasonable prices. His detailed descriptions left all in attendance with a better understanding of the Tour and its path through renowned French wine country.
Finally, everyone received a sweet kiss from Chef Julia, a surprise packaged Mini-Chocolate Eiffel Tower to take home. Alas, many were consumed immediately.
Here are a few photos of the event and activities