Ranting about the Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience a while ago (well, a while ago for me, in my blog-time, it was only two posts ago) I referred to a wine tasting that was actually worth my time. Then I neglected to refer you, dear reader, to the information where you might attend that worthwhile wine tasting.
First off, I don’t like shilling for somebody or something on this here blog. But I do review restaurants, and I recommend them if they don’t suck. So that’s what I’m gonna do here. Recommend something that is very worthwhile if you want to learn about some good wine, and what you might eat with it.
For 30 bucks, this is what you get at "A Wine Affair": Look at that photo. That there is thyme seared rack
of lamb with peppercorn demi-glace. Paired with a 2002 Unison Red Blend (a merlot, cabernet-sauvignon and syrah blend—this month Australian wines were featured). And you can have more than one of those. More than two. Or three. But be polite; make sure everyone else gets to sample, too. But stuff keeps rolling out of the back of the house; I’ve been to two of these, and they don’t run outa stuff. Good stuff. Thirty bucks, folks. Just 30 bucks, unless you’re lazy and don’t make your reservation early. Then it’s $4o at the door. Still a bargain, when you consider the Food & Wine Experience was $60, just to get into the main floor.
That’s not the only thing you’ll find there, of course. Every month is different: Last month was dessert wines, the month before featured wines from the Robert Hall Winery. Everything is paired with food, courtesy of Three Sons Signature Cuisine, a high-end catering company. The executive chef is Benjamin McCallum, and he’s cruising the floor with his wife, Jodee. It’s a casual, very non-snobby affair, and, as I mentioned, you LEARN something.
This month was a group of Australian wines, and here’s some of the other pairings:
• 2004 Piping Shrike Shiraz with venison cassoulet and crispy corn bread (or, if yer not hankerin’ for deer with this wine, there was an eggplant and fennel seviche on a large butter crouton).
• 2001 Martinborough Pinot Noir with a crispy duck confit wonton, or with a wild mushroom strudel.
• 2004 Penny’s Hill “Red Dot” Chardonnay/Viogier with a baby spinach salad with a hard-boiled egg, pancetta and carmelized shallots.
• Framingham Dry Riesling paired with caramelized peaches with cobbler and crème fraiche.
The wines you like you can order at the event at a discount (yay!) from Quality Wine & Spirits through Lowry Hill Liquors. The wines I ordered this time around were the Unison Red Blend, a sauvignon blanc, and the dry Riesling. The Riesling was interesting, ‘cause here in the states we’re more used to the ultra-sweet variety. This Riesling had much more versatility, I think.
Next month (April 13) is “Pinots from the Pacific Northwest,” and May 11 features Italian wines from Piedmont, Tuscony and Sicily. The events are held at the St. Anthony Main Event Centre from 5:30 to 7:30, so there’s plenty of time to hit Nye’s around the corner afterward for more cocktails. Check ‘er out. It’ll learn ya.