Pair Reception attended a demonstration style dinner in the Gold Country of Fiddletown, California, USA, which was superb! I joined fellow food & wine lovers on this informative and innovative approach to food pairing with wine. Dinner was prepared by Chef Glen Johnson from Under the Canape Catering and the winemaker talked briefly about the wines being paired. This amazing event was held May 20, 2017 at Distant Cellars. There was opportunities to network other fellow diners over passed appetizers, meet the winemaker, and tour the winery. However, I was so busy interacting with the other guests I didn’t have time to inquire about touring the winery. There was plenty of parking. The event seated approximately 30 guests. Cost of the event was $75.00 per person, and the time frame was from 6pm-9pm PST, although I ended up staying until 10pm. The combination of consuming amazing food pairings with red wine blends, along with the special comradery established with fellow food and wine lovers was extrodinary! This was a fascinating way to learn what food goes with red wine. Here’s a sample of their food and wine pairing menu:
Sesame Seared Tomba Tuna
in crisp wonton cup with wasabi, microgreens, and Red Tobiko roe
baby heirloom tomatoes, pearl mozzarella, basil chiffonade, and a balsamic gasique
The Sesame Seared Tomba Tuna & Caprese Skewers were served as a “Pass-a-Round” appetizers for a crowd to the attendees as we networked with one another. They were delicious and both provided a nice pairing match with the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. The light dry Sauvignon Blanc taste paired perfectly with the acidic flavor the tomatoes, pearl mozzarella, basil chiffonade, and a balsamic gasique.
The Winemakers Salad
A salad of California baby wild greens and spicy arugala dressed with black truffle oil. Accented with heirloom tomatoes, english cucmbers, marinated artichoke hearts, fire roasted red pepper, herbed chevre, toasted pepitas, and an aged balsamic gastrique.
The highlight of this food and wine pairing menu was how well I predicted the appropriate wine pairing prior to when the salad was presented! After the winemaker poured the 2013 Prospect Zinfandel, I tasted flavors of vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, squash, tomatoes and more! Then once I began to consume the salad, I could taste the flavors of the ingredients of vegetables within the salad and could could easily determine a comparable match! The Tasting Analysis I conducted of pairing a random sample of fruits and vegetables with a random sample of wines created a greater understanding of food and wine pairing basics for beginners. The Winemakers Salad could serve as one many snacks with red wine.
The Canape “Surf and Turf” of Roasted Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Gulf Prawns
Northern Californian Angus beef tenderrloin with fresh cracked peppercorns seared and then slow roasted to a perfect medium rare. Hand carved and accented with sauteed garlic gulf prawns, horseradish Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, Delta asparagus speers, a seletion of Californian wild mushrooms (including Brown and White Beech, Baby Enoki, King Trumpet, and Hen of the Woods) and a silky smoth Bernaise sauce.
An absolute fantastic presentation and superb cuisine, Roasted Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Gulf Prawns paired wonderfully with the 2013 Drifter Red Blend. The gigantic black licorice and forest floor undertones on the nose of this Rhone style Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend provided a tremendous balance with the acidic flavors from the prawns, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms. The entire cuisine was slow-cooked, and I loved how each entree was easy to cut and melted into my mouth!
Pots du Creme Au Chocolate and Fresh Brewed Italian Roast Coffee
The dessert chocolate and roasted coffee provided terrific match with the TEN88 Red Blend of Late Harvest Zinfandel, Cabernet Frac, and Pinotage. Both the dessert and Red Blend weren’t too sweet and both offered flavors of milk chocolate, cocoa butter, cream power, & vanilla.
Distant Cellars also provides charitable donations to the National Fallen Fighters Foundation by contributing 30% of all sales of their 2013 Tribute Red Blend wine to the NFFF.
- 2hour 13 minute drive east from San Francisco.
- 1hour drive east of Sacramento.
- 2hour 23 minute drive west of Yosemite.
- 1hour 58 minute drive south from South Lake Tahoe.
The weather forecast for the week leading up to the event called for high temperatures of 60, 70, & 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with low temperatures of high 40, 50, & 60 degrees Fahrenheit. For high temperatures in Celsius that’s 15, 21, 26. For low temperatures in Celsius that’s 4, 10, 15.
Although there is some lodging in Fiddletown, the majority of places to stay are in Plymouth, CA.
Some of the main attractions in Amador County include a Castle, historical landmark, caverns, fair, mini golf, recreational park.
Pair Reception introduces Far Niente and Napa Valley winery Nickel & Nickel to a Winemaker Dinner And Reception! Learn how to pair food with wine by attending this unparalleled dinner in Newport Beach.
Newport Beach, CA, USA, a coastal city in southern California, is known for its large, boat-filled harbor, local beaches, an amusement park, a museum of modern art and more…
This wonderful food and wine pairing event will held at the Waterline Newport Beach restaurant May 26, 2017, 6pm-10pm PST.
Here’s more information on their amazing dinner pairing…
“An evening of delectable wine and food featuring the iconic Napa Valley wineries. Begin with an outdoor reception, followed by a decadent four course dinner specially prepared by executive chef Rachel Haggstrom as we welcome special guests and master mixologist James Woods.”
Pair Rec is your source for finding food and wine pairing events. You can navigate through our site with amazing efficiency to learn of the latest, greatest wine and food pairing tours, events, education and more!
Pair Reception introduces the Meritage Spa and Resort’s signature winemaker dinner series in Napa Valley. The event features a welcome reception, and six course wine pairing meal with exquisite live music. The food and wine pairing dinner will be held in Meritage Resort’s amazing wine cave, located in the famous Napa Valley wine region. The cuisine will be paired with wines by Napa’s Peter Michael Winery. The date for this fascinating event is scheduled for June 2, 2017.
Let Pair Rec direct you throughout our site for more information on food and wine pairings.
Here’s several quotes from the Meritage Resort’s winemaker dinners organizers:
“The Meritage Resort and Spa and Peter Michael Winery have partnered together to create an exceptional experience for connoisseurs of exquisite wine, cuisine and music. This special reception and six course dinner will feature five rare Peter Michael wines, a welcome glass of Dom Pérignon Brut and a classic Manhattan with an “icy” dessert, plus live music during both the reception on our Vineyard Deck and dinner in the Estate Cave.”
Here’s more information on this wonderful event…
Here’s more information on the Meritage Resort’s 2017 Masters Winemaker Dinner Series: “Each event features a multicourse dinner expertly paired with the best in Napa Valley wines from well-known names like Silver Oak and Schramsberg to boutique winery and cult favorites like Peter Michael, Paul Hobbs and Palmaz.”
The purpose of this food and wine pairing analysis is to help you identify the characteristic flavors of certain fruits and vegetables, and determine how they pair with certain wines. I believe the first phase in establishing a food and wine pairing match is to first determine the flavors in the wine and then experiment with how those flavors can be matched with flavors found in fruits and vegetables. I therefore took a random sample of fruits and paired them with two bottles of white wines, the 2016 MBali Chenin Blanc/Viognier priced between $2.00-$10.00, and the 2016 Halleck Vineyard Dry Gewürztraminer priced between $40.00-$50.00. For the red wines, I chose the 2014 Trade Joe’s Coastal Syrah priced between $2.00-$10.00 and the 2012 Mora Estate Valpo priced between $40.00-$50.00, and paired them with a random selection of vegetables.
I first indicated the fruit or vegetable and then stated whether it Was a Match with the wine, Not a Match, or Close to a Match. In conducting the analysis, I first tasted a small portion of fruit and vegetable and then consumed a small taste of the wine. To obtain a better analysis, I then tasted another small portion of the fruit and vegetable, but rather consuming another small taste of wine, I spit out the wine into a bucket. This is to not become intoxicated by the wine.
These were my findings…
MBALI CHENIN BLANC/ VIOGNIER
BUTTER – Not a Match – I couldn’t taste the buttery texture of the Chenin Blanc/Viognier in relation to the buttery aftertaste finish of the Butter. Here’s some amazing nutritional fun facts on Clover’s Unsalted Butter!
PAPAYA – Not a Match – The Papaya was a little to sweet for the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
WATERMELON – Close to a Match – The Watermelon had a mineral taste comparable to the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
CANTALOUPE – Match – The light fruity texture of the Cantaloupe blended well with the light fruity texture of the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
HONEY DEW MELON – Match – The light fruity texture of the Honey Dew Melon matched perfectly with the light sweet texture of the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
BANANA – Match – The light fruity sweet taste of the Banana blended well with the fruity sweet texture of the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
STRAWBERRY – Not a Match – The Red light dry fruit texture of the Strawberry over-powered the fruity taste of the Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
BLUEBERRY – Not a Match – The dry aftertaste of the blackberries black dry skin over-powered the fruity Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
RASPBERRY – Match – The aftertaste of the fruity red skin of the berries blended well with the aftertaste of the fruity Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
APPLE – Not a Match – The fruity apple slightly over powered the fruity Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
CHEESE – Not a Match – The sweet silky cheese didn’t cut heavy enough into the fruity Chenin Blanc/Viognier.
My conclusion is that the MBali Chenin Blanc/Viognier is a superb wine that pairs better with lighter vegetables although everyone’s palate is different and your pairing analysis may different than minds.
HALLECK VINEYARD DRY GEWÜRZTRAMINER
BUTTER – Not a Match – The Dry Gewürztraminer was to dry for the butter.
PAPAYA – Not a Match – The Papaya was a little to sweet the Dry Gewürztraminer.
WATERMELON – Not a Match – The watermelon was a little to sweet for the Dry Gewürztraminer.
CANTALOUPE – Close to a Match – The dry texture of the Dry Gewürztraminer was comparable to the light dry finish of Dry Gewürztraminer.
HONEY DEW MELON – Match – Although semi-sweet, the Honey Dew Melon had a dryer texture that matched the light dry texture of the Dry Gewürztraminer.
BANANA – Match – The banana’s fruity texture blended very nicely with the Dry Gewürztraminer aftertaste.
STRAWBERRY – Match – The light dry fruity red texture of the strawberry match well with the dry finish of the Dry Gewürztraminer.
BLACKBERRY – Not a Match – dry fruity black skin finish of the blackberries over-powered the dry texture of the Dry Gewürztraminer.
BLUEBERRY – Not a Match – The blueberries dark skin aftertaste overpowered the fruity Dry Gewürztraminer.
RASPBERRY – Close to a Match – The red skin fruity Raspberries came close to matching the dry soft Dry Gewürztraminer.
APPLE – Not a Match – The fruity apple really overpowered the Dry Gewürztraminer’s light dry finish.
CHEESE – Not a Match – The sweet silky cheese was to heavy for the Dry Gewürztraminer.
My conclusion was that the Dry Gewurtzatramier is an excellent wine with interesting food pairing matches with the vegetables I had selected. As you may conclude by my pairing analysis, the Dry Gewurtzatramier pairs better with heavier fruits although everyone’s palate is different and your pairing analysis may different than minds.
RED WINE PAIRINGS
MORA ESTATE VALPO
CHEESE – Match – The soft creamy texture of the cheese balanced well with the soft tannin structure of the Valpro.
CARROT – Not a Match – The carrot was to strong for the Valpo.
APRICOT – Match – The red fruity skin aftertaste of the Apricot balanced well with the soft tannin structure of the Valpo.
SQUASH – Match – The green pepper aromas of the squash balanced well with the soft tannin structure of the Valpo.
ZUCCHINI – Match – The spices of the Zucchini blended well with the spices of the Valpo in the aftertaste. The aromas of the Zucchini overpowered the Valpo initially, but in the finish the spices of the Zucchini matched the spices of the Valpo.
CUCUMBER – Close to a Match – The soft melon flavors and taste of the Cucumber almost stood up to the soft tannin of the Valpo.
SWEET POTATO – Match – The sweetness of the sweet potato balanced very well with the soft semi-sweet aftertaste of the Valpo.
CASHEW – Match – The buttery creamy sweet taste of the cashew balanced well with the soft tannin semi-sweet aftertaste of the Valpo.
My conclusion is that the Valpo matched well with many of the vegetables that I had selected for this pairing analysis although everyone’s palate is different and your pairing analysis may different than minds.
TRADER JOE’S SYRAH
APRICOT – Match – The Apricot’s red soft skin aftertaste balanced well with the dark tannin structure of the Syrah.
SQUASH – Almost a Balance – The below green pepper aromas and taste pf the squash almost stood up to the soft tannin texture of the Syrah.
SWEET POTATO – Match – The sweet aromas of the sweet potato balanced well with the soft dark tannins of the Syrah.
CASHEW – Match – The soft creamy semi-sweet taste of the cashew balanced well with the dark soft fruit aftertaste of the Syrah.
My conclusion is that the Syrah matched well with many of the vegetables that I had selected for this pairing analysis although everyone’s palate is different and your pairing analysis may different than minds. The fact that it was tasted unchilled didn’t make a difference in how I perceived the pairing analysis.
Ever get angry & frustrated by a lack of knowledge of how food pairs with wine?
Here are 32 remarkable food & wine pairing suggestions that are guaranteed to exploit your strong desire to learn how to pair food with wine.
“A slightly sweeter vintage than previous years, the 2015 Dry Riesling is a perfect balance of honey-glazed fruits (mandarin and lemon zest) and cool mineral tones on the nose, while honeydew, pear, and the slightest touch of grapefruit rind delightfully charm and twist into a crowd pleasing clean finish.”
“Let’s see…it’s fantastic with spicy foods:”
Pad Thai or Red Curry Thai
Chinese Five Spice ground turkey with zucchini noodles and stir-fried vegetables
Pineapple Jalapeno sausage topped pizza from a local favorite Flying Pie Pizzeria
BBQ Chili Con Carne
Grilled chicken kabobs
Idaho sturgeon with a beluga lentil cake
Butternut squash puree
An assortment of cheeses (Brie, Dubliner, Cranberry, Blueberry Cherve, Gorgonzola)
And she adds…”Now I’m a sucker for some good Creole food, and personally believe that it goes amazing with…”
Blackened chicken served on a top of a wild mushroom risotto and broccoli
New Orleans style Jambalaya (Andioulle sausage, chicken, shrimp)
Bread pudding topped with bourbon sauce.
Listen to what she has to say about her fascinating food pairing with Coiled’s 2014 Sidewinder Syrah!
“This intoxicating Syrah is dark, sensual and spicy. Behind a tantalizing nose of smokey cured meat, earthy minerality, curiously ground coffee come silly dark layers that elegantly twist into a worm velvety, lingering finish. Such a juicy and lively Syrah pairs with pairs with practically any dish. Impress friends and family by serving this food friendly Syrah with cheese of all variety, game day food…”
Classic Antipasti Platter
Bacon wrapped stuffed with gorgonzola
Sausage and mushroom pizza
Vegetable and bacon bruschetta
Baked brie with canberry berry topping
Prime rib/beef tenderloin with a balsamic reduction
Dark chocolate almond bark with dried cherry bits
Carmel sea salt Gelato
Don’t forget her 2016 Winter Banter Zinfadel pairing!
“Looking for a unique after-dinner drink? This botanically inspired fortified wine is just that. In collaboration with a mixologist from Boise’s 8th street district, Preston (winemaker) crafted a fine wine beverage that consists of a Zinfadel based with organically infused brandies. With 17.5% ABV this rich digestive is sinfully boozy, and has a mesmerizing nose with profiles of butter orange, toasty hazelnut, cardamon, ginger and subtle vanilla. Enjoyed at room temperature, or even heated (like the German holiday wine) Glugg. As it is described as a dessert wine:”
Dark chocolate truffle with bits of cinnamon & espresso
Marble and white chocolate cheesecake with a chopped date and hazelnut crust
Chocolate bark with dried cranberries and hazelnuts
And last but not least, her 2016 Nouveau Red Table Wine pairing. These remarkable food & wine pairings are amazing!
“Presenting the first of its kind, that we know of, to be produced in Idaho…drum roll please!!! Now this is not your everyday Beaujolas released in less than a week before Thanksgiving, our Cinsault Nouveau is a beautiful fresh, fruity young red wine. With notes of Pomegranate, water berry/cranberry, and tart raspberry this wine complements a wide variety of dishes, especially this time of year (December). Some of our staff favorites so far is to pair a glass of Nouveau along with…”
Braised or roasted venison/beef/lamb/chicken/duck with roasted with roasted root vegetables and Gouda mashed potatoes
Pulled pork or even more coarsely ground cates (i.e. rilletes or folie) with grilled french bread with pickled red onions
Robust Wintry Stews
Ziti or Lasagna
Wood fire roasted pizza with a meaty topping
Hot Indian curry
New York style cheesecake
Chocolate covered pomegranate seeds with freshly cracked with smoked sea salt on top
Here’s more wonderful information on Coiled Wines…