February 2012 Wine Pairing Dinner Pre-Tasting Event

What’s the saying?   Great food, great wine and good friends.  Well, that describes  our pre-tasting event for our upcoming February Wine Pairing Dinner at Chef Joseph’s.  It’s really nice when you have friends with really great palates that you can chew the fat with over some incredible wines.

Amy, Jessica, Cari, Allison, Kelly, Neal, Andy, Rob, Sean and Lee all threw their thoughts on the wines and food into the ring, while I drafted what promises to be a wonderful wine pairing event.  Our thoughts – keep the pours to 2oz. or be sure you have a D.D., as these wines go down easy!

Wine Tasting at Chef Joseph's

A pre-tasting event to determine the perfect dish for each wonderful wine at February's California Dreamin' Wine Dinner.

 First Course

Wine: 2010 Fog Head Sauvignon Blanc, Monterey, CA

Notes: Amy commented that it would complement the freshness of an oyster.  Cari had recently eaten my Goat Cheese with Nacho Cheese Crust and thought it would be nice and fun. Neil and myself were thinking about New Zealand mussels.  And to play off of the pear and apple notes, a chilled jelly.  Nice!

Final dish: Nacho Cheese Fried Oyster and Chilled Mussel with Apple & Pear Jelly

Second Course

Wine: 2009 Black Stallion Chardonnay, Napa, CA

Notes: Cari was thinking of my old spring roll from California Café.  Amy was all over the lighter Vietnamese style.  Made me think of my old friend Yanni who worked with me at the Dallas Mandalay Hotel.  Neil thought I should keep it original with fish sauce.  Rob thought the twist of cheese was “cool.”

Final dish: Vietnamese Crab & Gorgonzola Spring Roll with Thai Fish Sauce

 Third Course

Wine:  2009 Irony Merlot, Napa, CA

Notes: As was talked about the spice and the red and black fruits in the wine, Allison and Neil were all about the veal!  I asked about a stuffed roulade.  “Roll it man!” they agreed.   Amy asked about using dates.  I thought maybe chorizo and fig, but the dates won out.

Final dish: Veal Roulade with Date and Chorizo and a Balsamic Glaze

Fourth Course

Wine: 2008 Black Stallion Cabernet, Napa, CA

Notes: Neil brought up his days in France, remembering the cassoulet.  I thought using the Smoking Goose’s duck sausage and confit would be great.  Andy agreed.  So it’s confit for Neil and Viking Lamb for me!

Final dish: Cassoulet with Viking Lamb, Duck Sausage and Confit.


Wine:  2008 Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CA

Notes: Jessica and Amy were all over the bread pudding idea.  Neil thought berries would be nice, and I went immediately to crème fraiche.  Torching it like a crème brulee.  Now that’s having fun!

Final dish: Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Crème Fraiche

I look forward to seeing you all at the February Wine Pairing Dinner on Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m.

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