Another sterling event.
We were “guinea pigs” of Chef Kirk Weiss’ and his kitchen team’s creativity. We really suffered – NOT. Unless you are talk about weight gain. Nick Attard, WSET Certified Advanced, stepped up to pair an interesting selection of wines with this wide range of cuisine.
Fried green tomatoes with crushed black pepper and olive oil.
The rosé is from the Loire valley and was made with Cabernet Franc red wine grapes. Clay and rock – flinty taste in the wine. Tomatoes are difficult to pair with. The wine had enough acidity to match the tomatoes.
Chef was passionate about the parsley. Acquired at a small vegetable stand near Chef’s home The locations of several of these stands will be in the next Bend in the River.
RiverBend cheese sticks served with Marinara sauce
These sticks evolved because Chef hates mozzarella sticks and he was getting requests for a cheese option on the menu. Used a combination of nine cheeses.
The white wine also comes from the Loire (and the same subregion Touraine), The grape variety is Chenin blanc. 60% of the production of the region is this wine. The red is a Canadian wine, Gamay Noir, from the Grange of Prince Edward County. Fermented in stainless steel and finished in French barriques (no oaky impact on flavour).
Flat Iron Wagyu beef tacos with smoked pepper aioli.
Chef, “Really freakin’ out on this one.” The meat product is extremely marbled (and expensive). Discussion about aging – not really a factor for this beef – for starters aging reduces volume and at the price point why would they? No need for additional breaking down of tissue in Wagyu beef. A traditional Japanese beef. Tacos made in-house.
Pairing was a French wine – Crozes-Hermitage. The appellation is in the northern Rhone area of France. Sub-appellation of Hermitage. 100% Syrah. Grows in rocks on steep slopes. Some saltiness and graphite, plum and black fruit. Good story – Hermitage relates to a French knight who returned from war and set himself up on the top of a hill and never came down. “Hermit on the hill.” This wine is produced through a wine co-operative – sourcing all grapes from the region. Sustainable practices are used. This is a 2015 vintage and drinking quite nicely.
Char grilled scallops with shredded crab Hollandaise.
“Train of decadence continues.” Rich but light at the same time. Great melding of flavours.
Another wine from the Loire valley. Muscadet sur lie. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety and grown in the Pays Nantais region. Aged on lies. Fresh, young and vibrant. Available on the wine list at the Club. Excellent with seafood.
Deconstructed beef (veal) Wellington with rich demi glace. Veal tenderloin, mushroom, sliver of Romano and puff pastry.
Take a look at Nick’s two-handed-pour. Chef noted “Inspiring or what”. The two wines were an Italian, super Tuscan (Cabernet Sauvignon and merlot) and a French Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot, Cabernet franc). Super Tuscany is Italy’s Bordeaux style wine grown on the west coast of Italy. Uphill battle to get proper recognition for these wines – first 1984 – Sassicaia. Now there is an IGT Toscana label. Superb wines and the labelling has resulted in an increase in producers and market share. Both wines big and rich and work with the sauce on the veal.
Preference of the group was the Italian wine.
Sponge toffee with cashew, pistachio and chocolate. Chef admitted to being addicted to crunchy bars! Made it the way his mom used to make it, adding pistachios, cashews.
Strawberries got added to the dessert so Nick substituted to a LBV (late bottled vintage) port. The year doesn’t mean the vintage year of the grapes but the year of bottling. Portugal is the only region that does the classic foot treading style for “pressing” the grapes. (Nick did a great demo of the technique.) The wine is fortified with grappa at fermentation. Fruit characteristics, raisiny, from the heat of the Douro Valley.
Nick proceeded to “mark” the trivia results. There was a tie, a run-off and the Barnards walked away with the prize!
The culinary team came out to accept our appreciation for their efforts. Great evening.