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45th Wedding Anniversary Paired with a ’89 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

1989 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Kathy and I had a great week celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. On Sunday we renewed our marriage vows at St. Vincent’s Chapel at Catholic University in Washington DC. That was where we were married 45 years ago. Then on Wednesday evening, we had a delightful dinner at Season 52 restaurant in Columbia, Maryland. What wine can pair with a 45th wedding anniversary?

We decided on a 1989 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. This Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend did not disappoint. My brother, Tim, gave me this bottle earlier this year and I thought that our 45th anniversary would be a perfect time to open it. Once we arrived at the restaurant, our waitress Monica, opened the bottle and decanted the wine. From a foot away, the aroma was noticeable. Over the course of the two-hour, non-rushed dinner, the wine changed.

1989 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

The wine was a barely opaque, dark ruby to black color with a translucent ruby rim. The first impression on the aroma was a forest floor after a gentle rain. The French have a word for this, sous-bois, which sounds better than forest floor. The wine had more aroma profiles than just wet leaves; there were also hints of mushrooms, pine needles and soil. After the first impression of the aroma, I noticed dark berry fruits and some mineral.

In the mouth the wine was very velvety. It also had bright acidity. The dark fruits reminded me of blackberries, black cherries and cassis. Yes, I know the aroma and taste of cassis, ever since I was in France and had a cassis fruit wine. There were multiple layers of aromas and flavors. One mineral flavor reminded me of my childhood when I occasionally chewed on a graphite pencil. This wine offered some wood and graphite. The graphite was more noticeable on the aftertaste. The medium to full-bodied wine had medium to bold tannins.

Terry & Kathy enjoying their 45th anniversary dinner at Seasons 52 in Columbia, Maryland.

Over the course of a couple hours, the sous-bois characteristic yielded to the dark fruits attributes. Our dinner pairings included lobster and fresh mozzarella flatbread. My entree was the wood grilled handline tuna served on black rice, kohlrabi slaw, sesame-peanut vinaigrette. I noticed a certain earthiness to the dish that played well with the wine. Kathy had the wood grilled pork tenderloin over sweet potato mash, sauté of bacon & vegetables, zesty jus. Kathy also enjoyed the pairing.

The staff at Seasons 52 was fantastic. They exceeded our expectations in making our 45th wedding anniversary meal memorable.


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