The evening started with an al fresco reception, guests having the luxury of sampling several classified Sauternes and Medoc wines along with hors d’oeuvres before being ceremonially summoned to dinner in the caves, where barrels of fine wine are matured before release. Dinner was an extremely formal affair, with key figures at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and the Medoc leaders giving speeches in English and French about the history of the Medoc wine trade, the challenges of the current economy, and the value of classified growth wines. The multi-course dinner included magnificent pairings with wines such as Chateau Du Tertre 2006, Chateau Giscombe 2001, Chateau Du Tertre 1989, Chateau Giscombe 1989, a jeroboam of 1978 Chateau LaFite-Rothschild, and Chateau Doisy Daene 1991 for dessert — still very fresh and luscious.
In the end, the evening was a celebration of life — especially the French sense of life, as its culture offers the best of the sensual world. Under the French touch, gastronomic cuisine and elegant service are elevated to an art form. And since the first classification in 1855, the production of fine wine has been taken so seriously and passionately that we who are alive today can still claim its benefit. Discovering Bordeaux — its fine wine producing regions, the history of the Medoc, the 1855 Classification systems — is both a process and a passion. It is a time capsule of history captured in a jeroboam of 1978 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. A votre sante!