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June 17, 2010

Another Great Wine Club Dinner

Once again I am humbled by the amazing talents of my friends. The food was incredible and the wine pairing with each dish was excellent. I will try to recreate the evening so that you too can enjoy great wine and food with your family and friends.

Tonight's menu consisted of a series of small plates, each paired with a specific wine.
Small plate #1
Prosciutto wrapped Scallops with Romesco Sauce
The scallops were cooked perfectly and their flavor was enhanced by the slightly salty prosciutto. The Romesco Sauce, which is similar to a sundried tomato pesto, provided great flavor and color, a true work of art.

The Scallops were paired with a citrus flavored 2009 white wine from Argentina, Don Manuel Villafane Estate Torrontes. The sweetness of the wine marries well with the tomatoes in the sauce. This wine averages about $10.99.

Plate #2:
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato Relish.
This recipe deserved a bold, complex and distinctive Pinot Noir that could stand up to the tomato relish and compliment the rich flavor of the mushroom. Pinot Noir is the most food friendly of the red wines and this wine pairing proved it.

The Pinot Noir was a 2007 wine from Chamisal vineyards, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley of California. They consistently produce wines of a distinctive character thanks to the ideal climate of the region and the exceptional clonal selection planted on their vineyard. My husband and I stumbled on this winery about 12 years ago and he goes back for more wine everytime he visits his family.

Plate #3
Another wonderful pairing was a Marinated Beef Stew with a 2005 Zinfandel from Rosenblum winery. Since my husband Dennis is a veterinarian we are particularly fond of this winery because it was founded by a veterinarian, Dr. Kent Rosenblum, and it goes without saying that they have been making fabulous Zinfandels for years. Today, Rosenblum Cellars is recognized as one of North America’s most acclaimed producers of zinfandels, called a “mecca for zin-fanatics.”

This Zinfandel is a big wine with jam flavors made bold by a high alcohol style, 15.6%. The fruit in the Zin paired really well with the beef and cinnamon flavors in the stew. The stew was as complex as the wine with lots of flavors dancing off the tongue. I really loved this pairing.

Plate #4
Zinfandel marinated chicken thighs grilled and paired nicely with a V. Sattui 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. V. Sattui is an incredible winery offering food and wine pairing opportunities, a deli with the best meats, cheeses, and salads to select from and beautiful picnic grounds to enjoy, just bring a bottle of wine for a wonderful time.

Plate #4
The final wine pairing of the evening was Chateaubriand with a your choice of several Cabernet Sauvignons. Chateaubriand has often been thought of as a cut of beef but it is actually a recipe for grilled beef tenderloin. This particular dish was grilled to perfection- hats off to the chef, it was fabulous. The end pieces allowed for a little less rare choice while the center cuts were rich and delicious. We enjoyed two Cabs, both new to me. While I have had several varietals from Robert Mondovi winery, I hadn’t tried the 2006. It had a velvet texture rich with blackberry, mocha and spice.
We also enjoyed a 2007 Jaqk Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 Black and a Portugal 2001 Port from Graham winery, both excellent selections.
The Jaqk has cherry and blackberry aromas with a well balanced flavor with a soft finish. It also was good with the tenderloin.

A fortified wine from Europe must be from Portugal to be labeled a Port, under European Union Protected Designation of Origin guidelines. They protect the quality and it was evident with this wine. Port is a sweet wine most often served with dessert. We had a fabulous pound cake and the match was made in heaven. I don't usually gravitate to the desserts but I am so glad I did this time. I will have to swim for two years to work off all the food and wine from tonight's fabulous dinner!

Posted by terri at June 17, 2010 02:49 AM