We enjoyed being guests at a wine dinner last weekend organized by friends and held at The Field Club. Our host, Bill Seider selected the wines and the Field Club’s chefs paired the selections to dishes they felt would best compliment the wines.
The evening began with the sampling of a white wine from Spain created from the grapes of Jaén (Palomino Fino) vines. The wine, a 2009 Flavus was a good choice with the passed hors d’oeuvres and was rich enough in flavors that it could easily be enjoyed without food.
The menu promised some exceptional tastes!
The 1st course was surprisingly matched with a Chablis. It’s been ages since I’ve had a Chablis and apparently so for most of the guests. The pairing was terrific. California, South America and Australia white wines have been in the forefront of the market for years and Chablis seemed to have gotten buried by them but this tasting was a nice reminder that the French Burgundy region still produces an excellent white!
The 2nd course of game hen was delicious and artistically presented (sorry I missed taking a photo of it.). Bill had chosen a Grenache to accompany this course and the food and the wine worked together. The wine was a 2009? Australian red by Betts and Scholl. I thought the label art on this bottling was outstanding!
The 3rd course brought a 2008 Ridge Lytton Springs to the table that had been decanted since 5 pm. Parker gave this wine 93 points. It’s one of Ridge’s Sonoma wines and is a blend of primarily Zinfandel grapes with Petite Sirah and a small percentage of Carignan grapes. The chef expected the wine to do well with a pork dish heightened in flavor by an accompaniment of a spicy mushroom ragu. It should be noted that the cooking staff had not had the opportunity to taste the wines when they chose the entrees making it both tricky and quite a stroke of luck to perfectly match each course to the wine served.
Both the wine and the Pork Tenderloin were marvelous but the Lytton Springs seemed a bit too full of polished character for the pork and the pairing did not sing. I find it hard usually to go backwards in a tasting but I followed a few of the guests who were trying their Grenache with the pork and found it to be a good match with the dish.
Our final course, dessert was wonderful. As it was being served, I heard rumblings over the lack of chocolate but the pear was nicely poached, full of subtle flavors of spice and the mascarpone and crème anglaise creams were so rich it was a good rival to any chocolate dessert. The Lytton Springs drank well with the dessert.
It was another excellent wine dinner! We were introduced to some new wines and brought back to an old French favorite! Many thanks to our hosts, Bill and Kathy Seider!