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Foie Fools 3


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The Foie Fools met, with the addition of a couple of willing acolytes, for the 3rd annual Foie Fest, in late January 2005.

The purpose? To taste various wines we had been saving up, to see if they complement this sort of cuisine, as well as to test certain likely recipes for the preparation of foie gras. In our two previous bouts in Foie Stadium, we hade discovered that while there were two stalwarts (myself included) that could stay the course, the other two combatants had been left in semi-conscious state. We could detect that they were still alive only by the faint moans they emitted when a chunk of raw foie gras was passed close to their recumbent bodies. It was with these two participants in mind that we decided to add a couple of interested would-be foie fools.

Our previous exploits may be seen at Foie 1 (‘The Foie Fools Get Liverish’) and at

Foie 2 (“The Foie Fools Ride Again”), the latter with pictures.

The venue was the same – for some reason his wife didn’t mind the removal of the smike alarm batteries, and the foie fog that coats everything the next day (participants included).

We had sourced foie gras (henceforth referred to a FG to save my typing finger) from all over the world – in jars from France, as pâté, and fresh from both France and Quebec.


The jars of liver included both duck and goose, and the fresh also included a 600 gram lobe of duck and probably the largest goose liver I’ve seen at 900 grams.


We started off gently with pâté on croutons with:

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Reserve – this was a non-vintage wine bottled in 1995. It was clean and balanced with good mousse, and a great way to start off the evening.



We then prepared a simple comparison of Duck and Goose FG on toasted brioche with a sliver of black Oregon truffle on top, with:

1996 Huet Vouvray Sec ‘Le Mont’ – I had brought two 1996 Huets to try, and this turned out to be my favourite. It had an intriguing honeysuckle and mineral nose, and had clean acidity that made the wine seem youthful as well as working well against the richness of the FG.

Next up was a soup that one member had tasted while in France late last year, and tried to reproduce. It involved whipping cream, reduced until the FG would melt into it without separating, and a dose of white Port. The only modification of this we would make would be to press the resulting soup through a sieve as there was slight bits of FG – it would be even better if it were silky smooth.

As we had omitted to insist on a letter from the new participant’s cardiologists, we felt it wise to limit intake of this ambrosia to a demi-tasse each, topped with chopped Chinese black truffle.

Delaforce White Port – a dry white Port, served chilled, the same on used in preparation of the soup. It was fairly dry and had sufficient acidity to match the extremely rich soup.

We wanted to compare goose FG with duck FG in both preserved and raw forms, so we next prepared a nice slice of preserved goose FG served with wild mushroom risotto cakes.

It was served with the first off-dry wine.


2001 Ch. Bicoty (Monbazillac) – brought back by the friend who had been in France. We have long ago decided that a slightly sweet wine works better against rich FG than a sweet wine does. Perhaps it is the more evident acidity, unmasked by high residual sugar, I don’t know, but in any case, I prefer a modest Monbazzilac to a rich Sauternes, although be warned that should you get out the Yquem and serve it to me with a slab of FG, you will get no objection from me. This wine showed a light Botryits in the nose, and had excellent acidity and balance. No one would accuse it of being a first class Sauternes, but I think it was perfect for the food.

Having pretty much covered the preserved section, we went on to the fresh FG matches.

We divided up the blocks of liver:



1996 Huet Vouvray Sec ‘Haut Lieu’ – the years had not dealt with this wine in the same gentle fashion as they had with the Le Mont, and some age was apparent. The colour was darker, and on palate it was richer with some complexity, still clean and crisp, but not with the same freshness of the other wine, which I ultimately preferred.


We then started to prepare a dish that had us wondering whether we were doing the right thing. We started with a bottle of XO Armagnac and a block of goose FG.


We figured that the FG would melt down and we’d have muddy soup, but the recipe worked and we simmered it for awhile:


and finally ignited the Armagnac and let it burn off:


We honestly couldn’t think of any wine that would work here, so we served this dish with a small glass of the Armagnac.

Chabot XO Armagnac – this had significant colour and while not unexpectedly lacking in finesse, it carried off well against the FG, which had a fascinating sweetness to it, from the Armagnac reduction.


Next up was the old classic, seared FG with a bit of coarse salt.

The FG reduces quite a bit as the outer layer goes up in smoke (the doors were open at this point, and we were grateful that no passing fire engine mistook our culinary exercise for a full-fledged conflagration.


1996 Ch. Doisy-Daene (Barsac) – very good lemon, mineral and spice nose, without much Bortytis, medium sweet and good length. This will last a few years.


Finally (for we had established in previous bouts that both dessert and cheese would be unwanted additions to the event) we had the main course – sautéed beef tenderloin with a thin slice of seared FG on top and roasted garlic and potatoes on the side.

We could not serve this course with a white wine, so we headed for home – Bordeaux.

1986 Ch. Rausan Segla (Margaux) – some will remember that this vintage was the one when Rausan Segla ‘came in from the cold’ – and ended a decades-long period of lacklustre (and worse) wines with this jewel. Deep, rich nose of berries, cedar and smoke, sweet up front, and then in the way of many 1986s, the tannins still firm but not dismayingly so. It ended with pleasant sweetness and good length. It drinks very well now and should continue to improve.


By this time we had two members that were hors de combat, but our host looked better than on either of the previous occasions, and the other stalwart and I were fighting fit, ready to go on if necessary, but equally content to retire victorious to contemplate future battles. I will admit to spending a particularly sedentary day after, and to missing breakfast the next day……..a lá prochaine!!

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Ummmm... me thinks my invite got lost in the mail!?!?!? Now we won't let THAT happen again, now will we???

Seriously, guys. I've done what you are doing. I am a disciple of the beloved foie. I understand and can provide the secret handshakes. You have done well, my children.

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