At VINO, we created this 1 hour session for our guests to hopefully learn a thing or 2 for home use, through this experience. We really try to keep it simple, but informative. We also look to feature foods which could be prepared at home AND feature more affordable wines. Most importantly, though, we really try to make it fun & interactive. Here is our latest one.
COURSE #1 Seared Bristol Bay Scallop with Kahuku corn relish & herbed butter
With this savory, somewhat rich preparation, we offered 3 different wines, each for a different intent. The first offering–2014 Poppy Chardonnay “Santa Lucia Highlands”–was to initially serve a wine in many people’s comfort zone, a rounder, quite delicious style of California Chardonnay. We chose this particular rendition, which retails for roughly $15 a bottle retail, because it we feel it really over delivers for the dollar. This wine was quite popular among the tasters, as one noted–“delicious, round, seamless, pretty & a real pleasure to drink“. While most thought this wine went with the food well, as several noted, perhaps, not as interestingly as the other 2. The second offering–2015 Sella Mosca Vermentino de Sardegna “La Cala”–is a dry, mineral scented “country” styled white wine from the picturesque Isle of Sardegna. This is very much the style of wine one would sip at a café or bistro along the Mediterranean basin. Yes, the lemony edge of this white & its innate minerality/slight salinity really highlighted the scallop preparation well. The third offering–2012 Domaine Skouras “Anassa”–a wonderfully, bordering exotic, aromatic, refreshing & lively white wine (mainly Moschofilero) from Greece. This too was fashioned in a more country/café style of white wine. While most did not fully understand/appreciate this wine on its own, it definitely created quite a fascination for many when served with the scallop. I think many would agree it had something to do with the wine’s high toned, exotic aromatics & minerality.
COURSE #2 Chicken Cacciatore
With this savory, homey dish, we offered 3 different wines, each for a different intent. The first offering–2011 Paul Mathew Valdiguie “Turner Vineyard”–is a very light colored, pretty, intriguingly perfumed, light to medium bodied red wine, produced from a small patch of 50 to 60 year old vines in Knights Valley, California. Highly unusual to say the least, but still reminiscent of a lighter bodied Pinot Noir, which greatly over delivers for the dollar. The second offering–2013 Sella Mosca Carignano del Sulcis Riserva “Terre Rare”–is another wonderfully perfumed red wine, though much more masculine & rustic than the Valdiguie, which we felt would shed a very different light on a possible pairing. We have quite a fascination with old vine Carignane based red wines, especially at the dinner table. This one is produced mainly from 100 year old, own rooted vines grown in the sandy soils of southwestern Sardegna. It too greatly over delivers for the dollar. The third offering–2015 Cantine Valpane “Rosa Ruske”–is a very provocative red from Piemonte, Italy. The main grape is the nearly forgotten (until recently), indigenous Ruche grape variety. The core of this baby still showcases the meaty, ground, earthy, sandalwood, feral nuances typically found in Piemontese red wines, but with a very pretty, alluring, exotic rose petal quality which is what really caught our attention. As is the case with all 3 wines of this flight, we suggest these more exotically aromatic wines interact with foods quite uniquely in comparison with the more classic, standard wines one would normally consider.