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.