Tonight we had our first ham and melon starter since last year, a few slices of prosciutto crudo and an orange-fleshed canteloupe melon. I always think that Summer is on the way once we start having this as a first course. The contrast of sweet melon with salty ham is sublime. It is a dish that really needs nothing else added, although it can work as the base of a nice salad.
For our main course we had chicken breasts, stuffed with a slice of Manchego cheese and wrapped in Serrano ham. I roasted the chicken breasts in olive oil, seasoned with black pepper and lemon thyme and torn oregano leaves and served them with crushed Cornish new potatoes seasoned with basil-infused olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, some broad beans finished in butter and the rest of the asparagus we bought in Cheddar on Sunday.
To drink we had a bottle of 2007 Domaine d’Argelières, Vin de Pays de l’Herault, a fairly typical Languedoc blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah from old vines of up to 50 years in age.
The wine was well-structured and quite full-bodied with a deep red colour and very rich in the mouth, but not so much on the nose. The tannins were softened by some time in oak and the wine had a longish finish, overall a much better wine than the simple Vin de Pays designation would lead you to expect.
We got this wine from Laithwaites but it is no longer available. A shame really, but nothing lasts for ever.