23 July, 2008

Dream Dinner!

But you'll just have to take my word for it as I uncharacteristically forgot my camera! Indigo http://www.indigorestaurant.com/ is described by the SF Chronicle as "one of the best deals around" and I have to agree, agree, agree. I signed up for one of their wine pairing dinners. I know purists sometimes object when the actual winemaker isn't there, but I have to say that Indigo did a masterful job of pairing these excellent and interesting wines.

I had the good fortune to share a table of four with some lively non-BrixChick friends. The first step was a palate cleansing cava, which I of course forgot to write down. It was a nice touch. I had also made my reservation through Open Table http://www.opentable.com/ and asked for the window seat. Lo and behold another very nice touch...we got to sit in the window seat. Between the good table and the sparkler, I was predisposed to being happy! And the hits were only just starting.

Robert Parker waxes ecstatic over the wines of both Kistler and Peter Michael. I just had to see for myself. Let's see...
2006 Peter Micheal Sauvignon Blanc, "L' Apres Midi", Sonoma Paired with Mixed green salad dressed with Ver Jus vinaigrette with toasted Almonds, Laure Chenel goat cheese and nectarines.
WOW! Seriously one of the best pairings I've had outside the French Laundry! Wine was the color of lemon citrine and beautifully balanced so that it brought together all the flavors of the salad. Delicious!

2003 Kistler Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley plus bonus wine: Peter Michael Cuvee Indigene '03. Tasting the bonus wine against the featured wine allowed the pacing of the dinner to slow down at that same time as allow us a wonderful opportunity to taste these delightful wines against each other. The Peter Michael was initially tight. It was paler than the other wine. The Kistler burst out of the bottle with a rich golden color, rounded flavors of baked apples and dried pears and a balanced flavor with a tail of acidity. Initially, I found the Kistler to be the much better wine. These two were paired with Seared Day Boat Scallops over Caramelized Apple Risotto with a Hazelnut Brown butter Sauce. Once the Peter Michael opened up, it had rich flavors of dried pears and hints of pineapple. Both were delightful with the scallops.

2002 Kistler Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley was paired with a beautiful Wild mushroom tart with grilled red onions, truffle cream and a balsamic reduction. The wine was a lovely example of Russian River Pinot with the complexity that comes from the cooler climes as well as tart, bright bursts of Bing cherry. The only silence the whole evening at our table came when they delivered this feast for the eyes...Golden flaky pastry coaxed into a turnover shape with tufts of wild mushroom peeking out in a pool of lush balsamic sauce. Tasting both together, the slight acidity of the wine paired sublimely with the unifying truffle cream sauce. Texture, taste sight, sound---just imagine the aromas, this pairing clicked on every sense. Yum!

2004 Peter Michael "L'Esprit Des Pavots", Knights Valley (45% Cab Sauv, 33% Cab Franc, 17% Merlot, 5% petit verdot) . The wine had a lot more tannic grip, which we supposed was meant to pair with the grilled beef tenderloin and support the sides: sweet potato puree, roasted broccolini, green peppercorn sauce and truffle butter. After the exceptional Pinot, this blend had a tough time comparing. It felt a little thin, despite its dark ruby color. The meat was a little less rich than it needed to be to stand up to the tannins in the wine. However, the sweet potato puree with its dollop of melting truffle butter was the third chorus girl from the end who steals the show! Delicious!

Shotglass of Black Muscat of unknown provenance. At this point in the meal, we were a bunch of rowdy girls and I was calling for Botrytis! Our gracious server brought us all bonus shots of a delicious black muscat. There was no room for coffee or tea. An appropriate finale, Molten Chocalte cake with vanilla whipped cream and bing cherries. The cake was dense and rich and packed with dark cocoa flavor. It unimaginably achieved a lightness. Perfect halves of perfect bing cherries formed the third part of the triangle in the bowl. Since we had a little left of the Kistler Pinot, we tried it with the bing cheries. The last perfect bite to a dinner that I will dream about!
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