So, how'd things work out?
A minor disaster along the way notwithstanding, quite well.
Appetizer - Pumkin Ravs, buerre blanc, fried sage + 2000 Boglietti Buio
Everybody loved this course. Even Secondo went for seconds. He never made it to the main course. Disaster disclosure - a momentary lapse of attention cost me an extra bottle of white en route to the buerre blanc. Set the schedule back of course too as I had to reduce another. But this is a mere trifle. The results - even though later and more expensive than planned were stellar. And that Nebbiolo - WOW! Hadn't tried this wine for a while and it has grown into its very considerable self in the interim. Highly recommended.
Main - Venison Roast, Guanciale, PX Cippolini and Peppers, Roast Potatoes + Carlo & Julian Pinot
Mixed results here. Venison was very good, but along the way I found that I had underestimated the intensity of the guanciale and so had to adjust from the intended "robe" to a mere few jullienned strips draped criss-cross over the loins. A minor matter that resulted in no disappointment for anyone other than myself who had entertained a different image. No matter - the roast was very nice. The venison was decidedly not gamy and everyone managed to enjoy it despite some in the group having fond feelings toward Bambi and friends. The cippolini were terrific. The potatoes alas, were the real casualty of the first course buerre blanc delay. Not my best potatoes. Nobody really cared. A good thing, I guess. But it does make you wonder if any of the trouble is worth it. I mean honestly, if people aren't going to complain about defects - how much pleasure can we take in their praise of the good bits?
And then there was the Pinot Noir. I had selected it because I wanted some funk - but this was too much . Actually quite skunky - or maybe I should say rubbery - on opening. Resolved a bit over time - but not an attractive start. Slightest spritz too. Clearly something amiss. I have had this wine before - in a restaurant - and enjoyed it thoroughly (hence the case now on hand). Hope the rest of the case is ok. I'll report back.
And then people refused to go for a walk - and demanded dessert instead! None planned, we fell back on the fortuitous presence of ripe bananas, ginger root, Goslings, molasses, sugar, some good vanilla powder, fire and rich vanilla ice cream. Festive, fun, exothermic, and delicious.