Friday, October 28, 2011

Caymus dinner

Mr. Lush and I (along with Mrs. G) went to the Caymus Dinner at a local grocery store, Schnucks. (actually, the dinner featured the Wagner Family of wines, including Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon & Conundrum, the Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Meomi Pinot Noir, and the Mer Soliel Chardonnays)

The menu:
The winemaker/owner, Chuck Wagner:
The food:
The smoked trout paired well with the unoaked Chard (the Silver), really brought out the flavors, but it was really smoked butter bomb with the oaked Chard. The shrimp paired better with the oaked chard, but it wasn't nearly the spot on pairing as the trout.

I missed taking a pic of the Coq Au Vin, but it was far better with the Belle Glos Pinot; the Meomi was really heavy vanilla/marshmallow. (I've had other vintages and its not the same, so its possible it was too young - it was a 2010)

The dry aged ribeye was also fantastic. (although of course I wasn't able to order it my preferred "purple rare" ;) it was exceptionally tender - we used a butter knife to c ut it! It was paired with (shocker!) the Napa Cabernet (cheaper one; runs about $60ish) and the Special Selection ($110ish), both 2009. The Napa Cabernet was also pretty heavy on the vanilla, but it was young, so one hopes it would mellow and balance out over time. The Special Selection Cab was great - although of course it needs age as well- it was a more typical "cabernet sauvignon" with dark fruit, casis, etc. We've personally never had luck with the heavy vanilla going away with age, but its worth noting that we haven't had a ton of them - we're talking 3 or so, max. The Special Selection was better with the ribeye, but both were good. (we splurged and bougth a bottle of the Special Selection; the dinner was a good deal and we got a 6 bottle mixed pack so we got it for 10% off)

And for dessert- POPCORN ice cream with the Condunrum. (It was AWESOME!)

Here's us with the winemaker:

Mr. Lush bought a bottle of 2003 Caymus back in 2007, and I asked him when we should drink it. He said to email him - he'll go home and have some and let us know. (man, do I wish I could just pop home and open a bottle just because!!) When we visit Napa in January we hope to see Chuck again and of course, have some more Caymus!! All in all, good times!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rappin with Andrea Robinson

As promised, here’s the info on the Cheese Seminar at the NYC Food and Wine Festival.

The Cheese Seminar was led by Laura Werlin and Andrea Robinson. Now, I’m not sure if they were trying to top Mark’s sabering, but this seminar started with Andrea rapping. Yes, RAPPING. Luckily, I had a much better view of her and got a good shot.


Awesome, right???

Here’s the pairing menu – now, they told us that some of the cheeses might pair better with other wines, so this would be an experiment for all of us and to find what we liked. And it was – some pairings were spot on, some paired better with other wines (in my opinion) and some just didn’t pair perfect with anything.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sushi Seminar - with sabering!

Earlier month I had the pleasure of joining (the future) Mr. and Mrs. V at the New York City Food & Wine Festival. We attended two seminars, sushi and cheese. I’ll tell you about the sushi seminar first; stay tuned later this week for the cheese seminar.

The sushi seminar starts off with a bang-literally! Mark Oldman attempts to saber a bottle of bubbly and before he gets a chance, the cork flys out and shoots across the room! HA! Now, I’ve been lucky enough to see a couple successful saberings in my day, but I was happy that he decided to chill another bottle and give it another whirl later in the seminar. Note: Sabering can be very dangerous. The bottle must be very cold and you must hit the bottle at the exact spot, otherwise it can shatter and explode in your hand; I’ve seen the aftermath of that and it’s NOT pretty. Also, the force of the bubbles shoots the top – and the freshly cut glass ring-out ward, so make sure to point it away from anyone or anything. Here’s the video of the successful sabering: (I apologize for the bad angle- he was pointing the bottle towards the brick wall.

Ok, back to the food and wine. Here’s a copy of the menu. The pairings were perfect, wonderful – of course, some of the wines I didn’t care for without the food, but they were really very well paired.

And, here’s a door hanger that sums up Mark’s thoughts on wine – drink bravely. (so try something new, forge ahead into unchartered territory, pair things together that may not work, etc) LOVE IT!!!!