I found a fun and easy recipe on Epicurious.com: "No Nightmare" Beef Wellington, which I proceeded to tweak. I omitted the spinach. I swapped out rehydrated porcini mushrooms for the recommended button mushrooms. I sauteed the mushrooms briefly over low heat in a dash of truffle oil. I then stirred in some chunks of truffled pate off heat. As an alternative to the recommended balsamic sauce, I made a port wine sauce using 1 cup of tawny port, 1 cup of low sodium beef stock, and a packet of demi-glace, which I reduced massively to a sauce consistency. Instead of balsamic roast veggies, I made a roasted mix of root vegetables (carrots, parsnip, golden beets, and fingerling potatoes), with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I poured a 1990 Chateau Gruaud-Larose (St. Julien), which was magnificent. As I've mentioned before, Gruaud-Larose has a special place in my heart, as it was the first classed growth Bordeaux that I drank on a regular basis. In most vintages, Gruaud-Larose rivals the first growths for power and longevity, yet it can be had at a fraction of their price. In 2009, wine critic Robert Parker scored it 94 and wrote that the 1990 Gruaud-Larose was:
Meaty, smoky, sweet berry and black currant characteristics intertwined with roasted herb, charcoal, new saddle leather, and bloody steak juice-like notes are found in this lush, full-bodied, opulent wine. It is a fully mature 1990 that, given its depth and intensity, should continue to evolve for at least another 15 years.
The bottle I opened tonight was still incredibly youthful at age 20. A deep purple-ruby in color. Massive legs. An intense bouquet of currants, leather, cedar, and tobacco. A long finish, showing deep red and back fruit. There's still a massive backbone of tannins and acids, suggesting that the other 4 bottles in my cellar easily could continue evolving for at least the 15 years Parker estimates.