Sunday, August 29, 2010

German Wine Dinner

Friday, August 27, 2010

Delius Restaurant in Signal Hill hosted a dinner this evening., All the wines were from Rudi Weist Imports and Nancy Deprez was the rep. Nancy originally worked at the Wine Country before she was offered this job. So at the table I sat at was Nancy along with Randy & Dale Kemmer, owners of the Wine Country. Educational evening.

This dinner was sold out with a waiting list. The food as always at Delius was first rate. There were 2 substitutions on the menu. Originally we were having pickled herring, but since France takes the whole month of August off as vacation and the country shuts down, the fresh herring did not arrive and it was substituted with trout. The other was the venison. Someone apparently wrote down veal on the meat order for the purveyor.

First Course: Pickled Trout with salt roasted Yukon Gold potato, baby carrot and mustard crisp. This was served with a 2009 Hans Wirsching Silvaner Trocken, Iphofer Kronsberg.

Second Course: Sauteed Sweetbreads with a cauliflower/salsify ragout and curried radish salad. Wine was a 2008 Pfeffingen "Pfeffo" Estate Riesling, Kabinett .

Third Course: Cinnamon Scented Duck Breast with black bean/pear chutney and carmelized onion duck jus. A 2008 Becker Pinot Noir, Pfalz accompanied this dish

Fourth Course: Pan Roasted Veal Loin with mushroom and root vegetable terrine, baby arugula and carrot/thyme puree. Served with 2007 Scnaitmann Lemberger, Wurttemberg.

Dessert was: Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake with Blackberry Gelee.

There was not a thing I did not like about the menu or the wines. All were very good. My favorite wine of the night was the Silvaner. I probably should buy some but I am on a quest to downsize my wine accumulation. I am out of room and have too many cases sitting in back of the couch. Time to drink.

August Gathering of The Wino's

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today's gathering of the winos was our annual "Zinfandel" tasting. Doug always has the same theme and it is always when the weather heats up.

Zinfandels and Pinot based sparkling, champagne or Rose wines.

I brought a 2008 Clos Pepe Rose of Pinot Noir. There were quite a few sparklings & Rose's. I think people are starting to think like me. Hot weather is not the time for a big heavy, high alcohol wine.

I did taste a couple of the Zins. A 1995 Pedroncelli, Mother Clone, Dry Creek, The 2004 Norman, Mephistopheles, the 2007 Anglim and the 2008 Rockwall, Jesse's Vineyard.

A good turnout and a lot of food. I filled up on appetizers.

Himilayan Grill

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CJ's Wine & Dine met tonight at what is becoming a favorite restaurant of mine. The Himilayan Grill in Sunset Beach.

18 of us dined outside tonight. It is the middle of what should be summer and we are still waiting for it to arrive.

We started out with 4 appetizers.

Samosas - deep fried pastries filled with potato, peas, onions and spices.
Vegetable Pokoras - mixed vegetables mildly spiced, dipped in a light batter and deep fried.
Chicken Momo - steamed dumplings filled with ground chicken, vegetables & served with home made tomato achhar (spicy salsa)
Lamb Thupka - a hearty soup of Tibetan style noodles cooked with lamb cubes, mixed vegetables and herbs & spices.

The entrees were:

Chicken Vindaloo - boneless chicken and potatoes in a hot curry sauce
Shrimp Saag - shrimp sauteed & cooked with spinach, herbs & spices
Mixed Vegetable Korma - mixed veggies in a cashew curry cream sauce with Kashmiri herbs
Rack of Lamb - marinated with garlic & ginger & cooked in a tandoori oven

We also had Naan & garlic Naan (bread) along with Raita (yogurt with cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes)

Of course everyone brought a bottle of wine. I brought a 2005 Huber Chardonnay and a 2008 Stolpman Originals Syrah.

Next month its off to Cafe Bizou in Pasadena. Have not gone to that restaurant before because if the distance. I'm not one for driving through heavy traffic after eating and drinking. Not sure if I will make this one or not.

The Factory BYOB Dinner

Tuesday, July 17, 2010

The Factory Gastropub in Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach,, hosted their monthly BYOB dinner tonight. The theme was Central Coast wines. There were 14 of us again. Tonight there seemed to be over booked and the service was very slow. The owners were away celebrating their anniversary and it did show up in how the food arrived from the kitchen.

The food was good as always but tonight it seemed to be not enough. No bread was ever put out on the table and frankly I left hungry. The food I thought was not substantial enough for absorbing the wine and I had to stop drinking early because I could feel myself getting over the edge.

First course was a plate with heirloom tomatoes, figs and balsamic dressing. It was good but very light.

Next was two mushrooms stuffed with something. They were not large. The biggest being about the size of a half dollar.

The main course was a piece of white fish on a bed of couscous, quinoa and another grain. Very tasty but very small portion.

Dessert was some sort of pudding/mousse concoction. Tasty and light.

I hope this does not happen again. I like this place and I like the idea of the BYOB dinner. I have reservations for next month so I will give it one more try.

Champagne & Sparkling

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wine Country is Signal Hill hosted a Champagne & Sparking tasting tonight. Have not been to a seminar for awhile at this establishment. The place was sold out. A large crowd. They were short handed so it took some time for everyone to get their pours. Several different cheeses were set out along with crackers and bread

12 wines were poured. A Champagne and a similar sparkling to compare. Interesting comparisons and some wines I was familiar with and I knew about. Others I had not a clue and I still don't have a clue.

There was no dialogue about the wines. It was just pour and drink. I did like the Camille Saves Champagne (naturally because it turned out to be the most expensive). But I suppose if I want to learn about this wine I will have to do my own research

Clos Pepe Release Party

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Left early this morning to head up the coast to the Lompoc area. Two events today. Palmini grand re-opening and Clos Pepe release party. Took 3 hours driving because we took the coastal route. But it is so much easier on the brain not to hassle that 405/101 drive. Makes me much calmer when I arrive at the destination.

After breakfast in Lompoc we headed over to Palmini. They have enlarged their tasting room and the big day was upon us. Lots of wine being poured along with some library wines. Good nibblies were put out (we probably could have skipped breakfast) and some of the best "Truffles" I have had made by a small candy store in Santa Barbara.

Next stop was Clos Pepe. Time to pick up my 2008 wines and order the 2009's. Fortunately we were early enough that we got to park close to the house. No walking up hill on a dirt and gravel road. We were greeted by Cathy Pepe, got our glass and tray and made a beeline to the first tasting table.

Steve Pepe was pouring the Chardonnays. This year they produced 2. One is the traditional "Homage to Chablis" which I really like. The other was a barrel fermented in neutral oak. This Chardonnay was softer in mouth feel and will pair well with chicken and veal. The Homage is crisp and will go well with seafood.

Next we were off to taste the new Pinots and a few of the older one's also. The 2009 release will be stellar. I hope all the Pinot producers in the area have the same great year as Clos Pepe seems to have had. I was impressed. Steve & Wes did good.

Ate lots of wood fired pizza, cheeses, grilled vegetables and nice warm fresh from the oven cookies.

The optional BYOB theme was "aromatic whites". Again most everyone came through with a bottle and there was a lot to taste.

About 4:00 o'clock we headed across the road to Huber Vineyards to see Norm & Traudl. Tasted their wines and picked up 3 cases of Pinot (I thought). When we got back and I was pulling out the wines I discovered than Norm Huber gave 3 cases of Dornfelder instead of Pinot.

That is a whole other story about trying to get these wines exchanged. Good trip, long day. Glad tomorrow is Sunday.