It was a lovely cool fall night for our Customer Advisory Board Fall food and wine pairing. Chef Todd Goldian and Chief Wine Officer Mary Watson-DeLauder created a perfectly balanced, comfort food menu with braised meat, toasty pumpkin highlighting cinnamon, ginger and sage herbs from the garden.
The first course was a beautiful plate of Pumpkin Ravioli with Sugar Pecans and Pumpkin Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and Brown Sage Butter. This colorful dish had a perfect blend of soft, crunchy, savory and sweet without tasting heavy. Mary paired the dish with SCHLOSS VOLLRADS KABINETT-GERMANY, a dry Riesling that had a touch of sweetness, but a long mineral finish. This light wine is grown on about 80 hectors (about 200 acres) of dry land in the mountains of Germany. The strength of the German Riesling when compared internationally is that it contains little alcohol but an abundance of flavors.
The second course was Paella with Tequila Chorizo, Pork Belly (both from Springhouse Farm), and Carolina Prawns. Saffron is the key spice in any Paella, a Spanish dish of rice, peas, seafood, chicken or pork. Chef’s combination with Pork Belly and the head-on Shrimp had a bit of a kick, but was tasty without being overwhelming. Thank goodness this was a small portion. Mary paired the CHARLES AND CHARLES ROSÉ-WASHINGTON, which was salmon in color with a light and dynamic palate with a tangy bright finish. Mary explained that Rosé had disappeared from the marketplace once White Zinfandel came on the market, but they have come back strong particularly from Columbia Valley area in Washington state. This particular wine was light, tart and was a nice compliment to a complicated dish.
The third course was Slow Braised Short Ribs with Buttermilk Polenta, Charred Brussel Sprouts and a Cabernet Reduction. The short ribs had been cooking for 4 hours in the oven in a wine sauce, while the polenta was creamy and cheesy, the charred Brussel sprouts were crisp, and a lime green color. All were topped with microgreens from the local CEA Farms. The rich flavors of the meat and polenta paired beautifully with the NICK GOLDSCHMIDT FIDELITY-CALIFORNIA. From the Alexander Valley, the Fidelity is a deep garnet color that is nicely balanced with red and dark red fruit flavors with soft tannins in the finish. This seemed to go down way to easy.
We finished the night with a Wild Turkey and Ginger Cider Float. A combination of ice cream, cider, and cinnamon sticks topped with a flavorful Ginger Ale was a calm retreat to the night. Shots of Wild Turkey where available as Chef talked about his first Wild Turkey shared with his Grandad.
Chef’s Tables can be arranged as a private event or as part of a meeting or training session. It’s a great way to say thank you to board members, speakers or customers. Email Paula Safran to arrange a holiday Chef’s Table today.