Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wine Down Wednesday @ town - June 10, 2009

Tonight's wine tasting was a great one because we got to meet and speak to the owner/winemaker, his boss (his wife), and his daughter (the namesake of the winery)....Natalie's Estate Winery from Northern Oregon.

Todd Teegarden is the owner/winemaker that made tonight's tasting extra special - he was very personable, engaging and knowledgeable (holding the wine glass). Chef Dave Caldiero (the guy with the apron & me).

Tonight's menu:

Rock Horse Ranch, Chardonnay '08
paired w/ local lychee, prosciutto di parma
- this was brilliant, the brightness & slight buttery notes of the Chardonnay (no oak) was perfect with the sweetness of the lychee and the salt & earthiness of the prosciutto.

Estate Pinot Noir '07
paired w/ organic polenta, red veal ragu
- another winner, the juiciness & earthiness of the pinot noir married well with the honeylike butterness of the polenta and the hearty stewy flavors of the veal ragu - WOW. This was so good, I had to order another portion for dessert.

Rock Horse Ranch, Merlot '07
paired w/ grilled lamb, black garbanzo, salsa verde
- "oh my goodness", the deep grape & berry flavors from the Merlot & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon paired like a great match on the "dating game" w/ the perfectly cooked lamb and Chef Dave's homegrown black garbanzo beans w/ salsa verde and a drizzle of extra special virgin olive oil from Italy. Deep dark earthy fruity citrusy flavors were amazing. I don't usually like Merlot, but this one I do.

Elephant Mountain Vineyard '07
paired w/ ali'i oyster mushrooms, lardo toast, arugula
- a very young Cabernet Sauvignon, so it was very tart. Like chef Dave said, "this was very difficult to pair, because of the dry tartness of the wine". He wanted to pair a glass of water with it because of it's dryness. But I have to say that the moistness of the mushrooms and arugula was a good substitute to water. This was my least favorite in wine and dish of the evening.

Like the winemaker said tonight - when you can pair a wine with food that compliments and also contrasts the flavors of one another, you have the perfect meal.

I had a great time with good wine, great food and wonderful friends. Muchas Gracias!

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