Monday, March 14, 2011

Comfort Food Gourmet Dinner - 12 people, 3 courses, 10 bottles of wine and cocktails

On Saturday night we had another gourmet dinner club event. The theme was comfort foods, and I was so comfortable and more than satisfied by the time the evening ended!

First Course - Appetizers
  • Deviled Eggs - Cheddar cheese, bacon, mustard, and mayo
  • Asian Wings - Peanut butter, lime, ginger
Cocktail Pairing
  • Arnold Palmer - Firefly Iced Tea Vodka, lemonade
Fabulous and absolutely refreshing!!! I was SO EXCITED to have wings! The deviled eggs were also PERFECT!

Second Course - Salad
  • Deconstructed Romaine salad with crispy bacon, crumbled Gorgonzola, and Gorgonzola dipping sauce
Wine Pairings
  • Devil's Corner Pinot Noir 2008, Tasmania
  • Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2010, California
Whether folks used their hands (taco-style) or forks and knives, everyone agreed that the dressing was a keeper! I got the idea for this salad at Uchiko, where they served baby Romaine leaves upright in a small drinking glass with bacon on top and dressing on the side.

The first wine we had with the salad was the Devil's Corner Pinot Noir. See my previous tasting notes for it here. Everyone seemed to like it, and it went very well with the salad.

The second wine we had with the salad was the Girard Sauvignon Blanc, which I included just for kicks and as a contrast to the red pairing.

Aroma - melon, clean
Taste - melon, crisp, clean, good acid

Another winner! I notice, though, that white wine never goes as quickly as red wine!

Align Center

Third Course - Main Course
  • Meatloaf in individual portions (à la Ina Garten)
  • Roasted Vegetables (new potatoes in various colors, onions, bell peppers)
  • Macaroni and Cheese (à la Martha Stewart)
Wine Pairing
  • Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, CA
  • Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, CA
The main course was absolutely fabulous! Individual meatloaf patties, roasted potatoes and veggies, and white Cheddar/Gruyere mac-n-cheese really hit the spot - talk about comfort food!!!

The two wines paired with dinner were both Cab Sauvs, and for good reason - this very hearty dinner needed hearty wines!

The first wine was a Cab Sauv from Louis M. Martini.

Aroma - dark fruit, dark chocolate
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate, a little hot, moderate tannins, black currant

This wine is 14.2% alcohol, which explains the slight taste of heat in the wine. The wine went well with the main course - love the dark chocolate and currant notes!

The second wine was a Cab Sauv from Alexander Valley Vineyards.

Aroma - dark fruit/plums
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate, moderate to strong tannins, cocoa finish

Such a nice wine, and a great pairing with the main course!

Fourth Course - Dessert
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake with Crème Anglaise and Strawberry Coulis (in the honey bear)
Wine Pairing
  • Silverhorn Merlot 2005, Napa Valley, CA
How much do I love flourless chocolate cake? Let me count the ways...
The richness of the cake was definitely enhanced by the cocoa notes in the wine, although ironically, this was not the wine Mel chose to pair with the dessert. TT and MT had originally brought this Silverhorn Merlot to pair with the main course, but we ended up having it with the cake, which was a really wonderful spontaneous pairing!

Aroma - dark fruit, dark chocolate, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate, soft tannins, long dry finish with dark cocoa, super smooth

Again, the tiny bit of heat on the nose can be attributed to the 14.1% alcohol content of the wine. A very nice choice - from Central Market, according to TT and MT.

I always love the aftermath pictures! What a FANTASTIC evening! Bravo, NS and RS!!!

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