WOW! What a night. Good wine. Great menu. Excellent pairings. And Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution took us through the amazing world of women winemakers! The menu was set but at the last minute, we decided to step outside the wine box and called an audible.
First, we served Beef Carpaccio with Soave. Oh yes, we did! From Sauvia, the Soave is made by a family of four women. Founded in the 1600s, the family started exporting in the 1800s to Spain and England. The emphasis today is on sustainability and the women are pioneering the biodynamic movement in wine.
We shook up it up again and paired the Priorat with tuna and avocado with sesame and ginger dressing. GR-174 2015, a blend of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the wine is made by Anna Gallisa.
First established as a priory in the 1500s by a group of friars seeking to be closer to God, this high point was called "Scala Dei." The priory kept copious records. The methods and blends are historically accurate. The wine is balanced, structured and offers up black fruit on the nose and palate. Juniper Cooper says the wine is "a big bang for the buck" and is "approachable yet complex."
Pork Belly was paired with, although they said it couldn't be done! Napa Valley! Made wine by Sarah Fuller, Piccolo Red is a Bordeaux blend. Starting her career scrubbing the floors, Sarah Fuller carries credentials and clout including stints at Quintessa and Estancia in South America. Her focus is on sustainable farming.
Vanilla Sky partnered up with Signature Rose, a blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir, from Susana Balbo made in the UCO Valley, Mendoza. Born in the 1950s in Argentina, Susana was encouraged by her parents to study nuclear physics. Fun as it was!!, Susana finally said NO to physics and yes to wine. She also started down the winding wine road scrubbing barrels. Susana was the first woman winemaker in Argentina and is still considered one of the best.
Juniper described this rose as "manifesting spring!" But even more than that, what we found was that the wine had a cameleon like quality. The wine works with flavors, adjusting where necessary, without losing it's character or strength. Here again, we went off campus. The dessert was sweet, no question, and some might have thought a dry rose would clash, but no, cameleon! The inclsuion of 40% Pinot Noir provided enough fruit to partner.
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