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Cook: Mum’s Birthday

A special dinner for a special woman! When you have some really good wine better plan the menu around it and keep things simple.

Drappier Vintage Champagne 2002 (a gift from Bobby Purple Potato - thanks Bobby!) Elegant, complex and vinous. Set off perfectly with Pata Negra on melba toast (from a packet of course).

Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Masures 2006 (Burgundy) £28 (Planet of the Grapes) Heady, bready stuff. Lovely with smoked salmon on chive potato pancakes with creme fraiche sauce. Make the batter by mixing half mash, half flour and milk to form smooth paste. Add chives. Fry.

Domaine Joblot Givry Clos de la Servoisine 2005 (Burgundy) £25 (Planet of the Grapes) This wine is singing for its supper: roast pork rack (Ginger Pig), steamed asparagus and hollandaise sauce. Simple perfection

Chateau Doisy-Vedrines Sauternes 2001 (Bordeaux)£35 Amber heaven with tarte tatin. Fry coxes in lots of butter and sugar in an ovenproof frying pan. Roll out (shop bought) ALL BUTTER* pastry and lay over apples. Bake til golden and turn out.

* A few years ago I was knocked over by a motorbike and spent a few days resting in the luxurious Homerton Hospital. Friends thought it amusing to order me halal chicken and tapioca while I was on a drip, in traction on morphine. The dinner lady was disappointed by my untouched plates. My mother kindly made me sandwiches from what she could salvage from my (shared) student fridge. Needless to say that even at death’s door I spotted the offending margarine! Margarine is NEVER acceptable.

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