18 May, 2010

There's an App for that - Preview of food pairing experience at Newsome-Harlow

With a chill in the air and a song in our hearts, several intrepid bloggers ventured to Springtime Murphys, a rapidly evolving food and wine destination town in Calaveras County.  If you have never been there, a treat is waiting for you! My favorite wine club, Twisted Oak (see if you can spot me in the pirate/wench group shot!) is there.  But since I have been visiting them for the super fun Goings On,  I have discovered additional atttractions that keep me coming back.  Scott and Mel from Newsome-Harlow, generously previewed their food and wine pairing offering, "There's an App for That..." so that visitors to the tasting room can experience new dimensions to the wine by tasting it with expertly paired appetizer portions. 
We started out with some lovely whites, a Sauvignon Blanc and an amazing bone dry Muscat.  Both had lovely aromas and flavors.

With the reds, the pairing began in earnest.  First up was the
2007 Calaveras County “Train Wreck” Red Wine: a red blend (46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah) with a gorgeous dark color, lively fruity and spice aromas and nice balance.  It was paired with a cocoa/coffee/Siagon Cinnamon rubbed Tritip.  The robustness of the wine was delicious with the grilled meat.  Spices in the rub picked up flavors in the wine.  Yum!
2007 Calaveras County Zinfandel: Lovely dark rich Zin which paired perfectly with the Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball.  Notes of fennel in the wine were matched with notes of fennel in the sauce
2007 Dalton Syrah: Paired with a Savory Cheesecake of Polenta and Gorgonzola, I was so overcome I just noted, "amazing pair"
2007 Petite Sirah: Using fruit from both the Dalton and El Portal vineyards, Newsome Harlowe produces an inky, perfumey wine with lush tannins paired with an extravagantly delicious Chocolate Lavender Tart. 

All in all an informative survey of the wines and what to pair them with.  I asked Melanie what tips she had for us at home on successful pairings.  She said to start with the wine and an open mind.  Taste the wine for flavor elements, for example "blueberry".  Then imagine the food back in.  Think what you would put with the components you identify if it was the actual ingredient.  Select ingredients that complement the scale of the wine.  Don't put a big, bold wine with ingredients or elements that are out of scale.  Imagine.  Experiment.  Improve.  Good advice from a gifted chef!

After being treated to that fabulous lesson, I can only hope they add it to the permanent offering!

To find out more and to plan your visit, check here:
Or if you are looking for something to do this weekend consider
Calaveras Passport Weekend.  For more on this and other great wine happenings in NorCal and beyond check out Norcal Wine:
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