Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fun with folks

I spent the weekend hanging out with some cool ladies enjoying wine, nice food, and shopping. We went to this little place in Orlando called the Grape where the store was closed for us to partake in a wine and food pairing extravaganza. Now don't get too excited. We didn't indulge in a smooth red with marrow bones and sea salt or a crisp sauvignon with foie gras. The food was "safe" but tasty and the wine quite excellent all around. Here's the run down...

Jane Ventura, Xarel-lo from Spain. (pronounced ya-ne)
paired with a Greek salad
the wine: crisp, green apples, grassy, clean
the food: fresh, simple, refreshing

Four Sisters Merlot from Australia
paired with Bruschetta
the wine: surprisingly flavorful for a merlot, sharp and sweet, red cherry, ripe berries, velvety, spice
the food: classic bruschetta but warm with melted mozzarella for an interesting twist, sweet and satisfying

MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
paired with Shrimp Remoulade
the wine: vanilla and cherry, raspberry, velvety, smooth and silky with the spiced remoulade
the food: horseradish and lots of garlic to really transform the pinot, light and tasty with a kick

Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay from Sonoma
paired with Crab Cakes with red pepper aioli
the wine: butter, smelled like wetness, soft oak, mellow
the food: my crab cakes are better, sorry but I'm a crab snob since I've had an endless supply all my life

Zolo Cabernet from Argentina
paired with chicken quesadilla with sundried tomoato aioli
the wine: very dark, velvety, plums and blackberries, firm tannins, slightest chocolate
the food: the feta and provolone were interesting touches as was the flatbread instead of a tortilla but probably not the best to pair with such a rich wine

McWilliams Dry Riesling from Australia
paired with a cream cheese brownie à la mode
the wine: dry yet sweet, jasmine, passion fruit, citrus, clean
the food: I think this is the best brownie I've ever had and the homemade ice cream on top was incredible

The place was fun and had a really nice selection of wines. The Pinot was hands down my favorite but of course they were sold out when it came time to purchase bottles. Who serves a wine for a tasting without having some on hand to sell?! The food and wine came out entirely too fast for all of us. Some of us weren't able to feel our noses by the fourth wine so I'm not really sure how the last couple tasted. It was a great time to mingle and get to know new people while trying wonderful wines. I think I'll check this place out during normal business hours for more good times.