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My Fair Lady Race Party PDF Print E-mail

Even the guys enjoyed "My Fair Lady" when it came time for the opening race at our dinner club party set to the race sequence from the Rex Harrison/ Audrey Hepburn film.

Set: We set cafe tables around our back porch and decorated them with an array of flowers and baskets. At our front door,  we took a serving cart and dressed it to appear much like Eliza Doolittles flower cart from Covent Garden. 

Costumes: The ladies had a "field day" for our "My Fair Lady" film evening, making their own Ascot Hats, the guys dug into their formal ware.

Catering: Cuisine was Spanish tapas, as in "The Rain in,,,"  to give an extra challenge to the chefs in our dinner club. 

Score: For music, we found a CD with great old time British pub songs to play as our guests arrived. We added a sound effect CD looped for crowd noises and race track effects to create the din of attending a real horse race.

Action: The special event was the Royal Ascot Races, with Video Horse racing and charity betting on your favorite horse. We found a series of DVDs of Horse Racing games online and ordered one for the party. Guests received play wagers (we took in a collection for our favorite charity) and watched the race on the big screen. The ladies were keeping in character as they screamed, like Eliza, for the horse to "move yer arse"!

Drink:  Our club sommelier, Craig, outdid himself in recommending wine pairings for our Spanish tapas. 
"All of the wines that I am discussing can be purchased at fine wine stores in most neighborhoods, perhaps at the next review I will pick another wine store to keep things interesting. Rioja is probably the most famous wine region in Spain. It is named after the river Oja (as in Rio Oja). It is in the North of Spain and has 3 different regions – the Rioja Alto, Rioja Alavesa and the Rioja Baja in order of quality They make red wines with the Tempranilla grape> They are matured in Oak casks as would a wine in Bordeaux and are bound to certain ageing minimums. The flavor takes on an oak bouquet and taste. Rioja Crianza is a wine released in its 3rd year – one year of which it must have been stored in a barricas (oak barrel). A Rioja Reserva must have been stored in the barrel for a minimum of 1 year but that usually turns into 2 years. Of course, the longer the storage – the higher the cost. So the Crianzas are the lowest price.So here are 2 to try at around $13

Siglo Rioja Crianza 2003
Lightly aromatic with a hint of perfumed oak an ideal accompaniment to jamon or salchichon iberico
LAN is not a Spanish word but rather an acronym for Logrono, Alava, and Navarra which are the three Spanish provinces that the Rioja region intersects. This Crianza is the low-end Rioja from LAN. It’s a medium-bodied wine with a bright garnet-purple color. The wine broadcasts cherry and berry aromas, spices, earthiness, and toasted oak that invite one to take a sip.Moving to the Jumilla wine region - which is on the east coast not far from the Mediterranean Sea. This region has long been known for simple table wines, but since the 1980’s more emphasis has been placed on quality. The red grape Monastrell is use to produce some good quality redsAltos de la Hoya Monastrell  2004 (88-90) points Wine Advocate $10

A final tank sample of the 2004 Altos de la Hoya Monastrell Ungrafted Old Vines (8% Grenache is included in the blend) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with surprising elegance, sweet blackberry, smoky fruit, plenty of depth, ripe tannin, and admirable definition as well as finesse for a wine of this price range and region. It is a fabulous value that should be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.
The 2003 Abadia Retuerta Rivola Sardon de Duero Red Blend $14 is comprised of 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards cover 204 ha of the total 700 ha area of the estate. All the vines are trained onto trellises with modern systems to measure and control hydric stress (soil hygrometers, trunk expansion, leaf water potential indicators, etc.) . In order to ensure the grape harvest in an area where spring frosts are frequently devastating, effective anti-frost towers have been installed. Production is regulated each year through green pruning and cluster thinning.

This wine arises from a careful selection of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the best plots on the estate. Aging for twelve months in casks highlights its unique character. Its personality makes it a pleasant, warm, complex wine, perfect for tasting and drinking any time, especially with tapas or lamb. Other tasting notes: Rated: 88
Ruby-red. Herb-laced aromas of cherry, blackberry and cured meat, with a light touch of vanilla. Round and fleshy, the dark fruit flavors lifted by gentle acids and framed by fine, dusty tannins. Lush and supple on the sweet finish, with the note of vanilla repeating. Pretty and easy to drink

For a white wine – let’s go to Rias Baixas Wine Region
(REE-ez BUY-shuss)Just above the Portuguese border lies Rias Baixas, Spain’s prominent white wine region. Situated in Galacia, the region is wet and rainy with some large temperature changes due to its proximity to the coast. The main grape of note here is Albarino, the white variety known for creating fragrant and fruity wines perfect for seafood. The bottles are easily recognized as they all print “Albarino” on their label.Notable Facts
There are sub-districts in Rias Baixas, a few of them are more prone to blending Albarino with some other indigenous grapes, which can make the wines more aromatic or fuller-bodied. Both single variety Albarino and blended wines excel in this area. Aromatic and light, one whiff of these whites may bring thoughts of a Sauvignon Blanc, but after one sip the creamy texture says otherwise. Typical aromas and flavors are peach, honeysuckle, lime and vanilla."