The 9th International Terrine Event kicked off in our garden at 1:00 on theSaturday of the long weekend in Canada, Aug. 4. Each participant created aterrine, galantine, ballotine etc., of their choice and paired wines they thought would complement the food. This year, it divided equally between white and red wine courses.

First up was a salmon and scallop mousse, simple elegant and tasty, served with sea asparagus.

2003 Hochar Rosé – made at Ch. Musar, this wine had a light garnet colour, that is a light red/orange, not pink. Slight spice in a rather pinot-like nose that later began to show raspberry. Clean, pleasant.

1999 Ch. Musar Blanc – made from two native varietals, Obaideh and Merwah, the owner really fancies this wine, even above his reds. Fair bit of amber, a nice lemon custard nose, lacking the oxidized notes one often sees in these wines, still bright on palate and generally successful, although I wouldn’t wait any more on this one.

Next terrine was a crab terrine ‘Antillaise – a delicate crab and whitefish terrine that went very well with the wines, served with a rosette of cucumber and a nice spot of red pepper:

2010 Clotilde Davenne St. Bris – the first of two sauvignon blanc based wines, obvious in this case as there was a typical grassiness to the nose, with a slight sweetness, the wine soft and spicy yet with decent terminal acidity.

2010 Calibourdin Le Cris Pouilly Fume – less grass here, and more elegant, this had a richer mouth feel and was a classier wine with a soft finish, with very slight sweetness.

The third terrine was created by yours truly. It was a chicken terrine, given added textural and visual attraction with pistachios and four ham strips, and a fair bit of herbal content – fresh tarragon, thyme, marjoram and basil from the garden as well as a good hit of quatre epices (in this case,allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger), and down the centre was a generous core of foie gras – about 350 grams worth, reshaped into a long cylinder, the whole wrapped in bacon and cooked in a bain marie. Accompaniments were a herb salad collected from my garden, with chives, lemon verbena,parsley, dill, tarragon, marjoram, savoury and mint, dressed simply with agood spicy EVOO with sherry wine vinegar, a grape and gherkin faux grape bunch, and a trio – two tomatos stuffed with horseradish/sour cream toppedwith basil and a cube of seedless watermelon dotted with balsamic vinegar.

2001 Willm Gewurztraminer Kirchberg de Barr Clos Gaensbronnel – this won the prize for longest wine name, but it was also very, very good. A floral spicy nose, correct for Gewurz, but not really crying out Gewurz the way some do, and excellent concentration in the mouth, rich and slightly off dry,with very good length. Oddly, it seemed to be slightly low in terminal acidity, yet it somehow managed to achieve very good balance despite that.

2001 Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese – I chose this becauseI wanted to compare a wine with significant RS to one with less. Typical varietal petrol nose with peach hints, lush and with excellent weight and length. I went back and forth on these two and had a hard time deciding whichI preferred. Both delighted me.

Wild boar terrine was up next and I have to compliment the chef on his cooking acumen. Precisely the correct amount of barding with fat of precisely the right size, gave an impeccable texture, something that often escapes terrine cooks. The thyme/Serrano peach compote was killer and the currant biscuit a nice touch.

2003 Feudi San Gregorio Serpico Aglianico – I was in no doubt about whichwine presented with this course was a clear winner – it was the next wine after this! This wine was dark and had a concentrated dark fruit nose, slightly ripe, ample soft tannin and lots of acidity. It would satisfy many people, but the consensus here was that it was a tad simple and unrefined. Maybe it was in the context of the next wine poured with it.

2001 Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva – also fairly dark in colour with anexcellent varietal nose with herbs and berries, and a cherry overlay. The fruit on palate was juicy and the tannins and acids were perfectly balanced, giving an absolutely delightful wine, a Chianti at peak with years to go yet, offering the elegance and complexity that was lacking in the Serpico.

Moose terrine with huckleberry and pomegranate this was a bit solid after the previous offerings, but tasty with the wine.

2004 Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero – dark wine with a nicely spiced vanilla and cassis nose, mellow in the mouth with very good fruit levels soft tannin and a long smooth finish. No rush on this one.

The final food offering of the main stream terrines was a spicy lamb galantine (we had some discussion as to whether galantine of ballotine was the correct term, as it wasn’t poached in the skin of an animal, but that’s apretty fine point). Served with Madeira aspic, and a carrot and saffron terrine beside it that for me was a star of this course.

2000 Ch. Cantemerle – this wine was surprisingly mature, showing a classic herbal claret nose, a soft low acid middle, and mild tannins. Drink soon.

1997 Ch. Musar – fun to have this wine after the starting two. Cab sauv, carignan and cinsault, this had an understandably Rhonish bent to the nose,was slightly warm with some nice spice in the finish. Almost Burgundian inover all weight and impression.

We finished off with a dessert terrine of raspberry, white chocolate and blackberry that was visually attractive as well as a gustatory triumph.

After all the rest left, the couple that were staying with us shared some other wines into the evening, still in the garden, and I’ll append those notes even though they weren’t wines shared by all. By the time I took thelast note, I couldn’t really see the paper and was writing by feel!

1995 Ch. Lanessan – I pulled this Medoc in anticipation of the next wine,which had been the unneeded back up for the Cantemerle. Warm nose with cocoa, and more cocoa at the end, tasty, ready and pretty well balanced, but lacking the intensity and complexity one might wish.

1995 Malescot St. Exupery – this Medoc showed excellent smooth aromas on the nose with cedar and vanilla, a good balance and length, and better fruit intensity in midpalate and at the end. No rush.

I decided that we still needed another bottle (this was over several hours while appreciating the dusk) but was in the end indecisive and brought not one but two, served blind.

1995 Ch. d’Angludet – lacking the same level of concentration of fruit as the Malescot, but nonetheless pretty satisfying, with a slightly funky nose that quickly switched to pure dark fruit with some spice, good up frontfruit in the mouth, soft tannin, medium length with a nice sweetness, perhaps a slight hollow spot in the middle but that seemed to improve as the wine aired.

1995 Ch. Haut Marbuzet - a nice pleasant custardy vanilla and cassis nose,sweet and smooth on palate with a nice sweet fruit impression in the finish, which was medium long. Good concentration. This and the Malescot were the nicest wines we had after the food event.