A wine dinner for 16…….



I’m not a big lover of wine dinners. I think of wine dinners as stuffy, snobby affairs that require you to stand or sit still only to be interrupted from interesting conversation to listen to someone who, too easily, can drone on interminably about what’s in your glass.  The dinners are often too focused on trying to educate or,  just as often,  lack organization and good timing.  Wine gets poured, consumed and forgotten before anyone gets up to speak about it or it’s matched with the wrong course or worse, it is poured so freely making it impossible to pace yourself through all the courses and by dessert you’re slipping under the table.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Seider who broke the mold with last Friday night’s wine dinner!  No stuffiness. No snobs. Just the right amount of instruction and description of the wines was provided as each course was served and the wine was fresh on guests’ palates.  Good conversations continued throughout the dinner. The menu was an excellent match to the wines they had chosen and the Field Club’s  sous chef certainly deserved the thundering round of applause he received for the delicious meal presented.

Here was the evening menu and the wines chosen to pair with the courses:

Before Dinner:
Crudités, asparagus rolled in roast beef on toast , and prosciutto and melon
Wine: Zios –  Albarino (Spain)

Tasting Notes: Nice and dry, but with roundness to work with all three items.

Appetizer:
Fruitwood Smoked Salmon Tartar and Lobster and Scallop w/ beurre blanc sauce
Wine: Soellner – Gruner Veltliner (Austria)

Tasting notes: Crisp and cool. Worked well to cut the sauce and still let you taste both.

1st Course:
Wilted Mache with Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with a caramelized shallot
and Rosemary Vinaigrette topped with Sweet Potato Hay
Wine: L’Aventure – 2010 Stephan Ridge (Paso Robles)

Tasting notes: This was the match of the night for me. Lots of forward fruit, and a long finish. Worked very well with the pork and the side dish.

Entree:                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Herb Charred Prime Beef Tenderloin with Morel Mushroom Demi Reduction with Golden Duchess Potatoes and Heirloom Vegetables
Wine: Faust – 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

Tasting notes: There’s a reason for the high praise from the New York Times. I may not always agree with their politics, but there right on with the wine. This seemed deep and rich, but not heavy. It more that stood up to the richness of the beef and the morel sauce, and kept on going.

Dessert:
Dark Chocolate Flourless Tart with Marinated Wild Strawberries and Vanilla Bean Anglasie
Wine: Faust – 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting notes: Its not easy to pair wine with chocolate, but I thought the Faust worked exceptionally well.

One thing that is difficult to gauge is how much wine to allocate for a wine dinner.  The Seiders provided the amount equal to one bottle per guest.  I’d repeat that standard.  It seemed perfect.                                                                                                                   Bravo Mr. & Mrs. Seider for a great evening!                                                                                                                                   Debbe

p.s.- Once again, thank you Mr. Dart for the tasting notes!

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