The team at the Wine Dispensary was honored to be a part of Archway’s annual fundraising event; this year’s 21st Anniversary was a fun and casual wine pairing dinner at the Wash Park Boathouse.
The tables are set and tasting glasses are ready as guests begin to arrive. We paired one red & one white (or rose) with each of the three small plate courses prepared by the acclaimed Three Tomatoes Catering. We met with the Chef several weeks prior to the event to consult and evaluate the menu - it’s preparation and ingredients. Next we picked out about 9-10 wines that we thought would fit well, and attended a tasting in order to narrow down our selections. Here’s what we came up with:
Grilled Gulf shrimp with brown butter grits, Creole spiced green beans, and honey smoked tomatoes
Broadbent Vinho Verde, Portugal
Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna
With the Vinho Verde, crisp flavors of grapefruit and tart cherry balanced out the creamy grits, while watermelon jolly rancher and a hint of mint surprisingly became more apparent with the acidic and honey flavors of the tomato. The Cannonau had wonderful aromas of pencil shavings, fresh flowers, and rain water and brought to the tongue baked rhubarb, vanilla, charcoal, and citrus rind. The alcohol level was not so high as to overpower the shrimp, though the subtle flavor brought out the char in the shrimp and smokiness of the grits.
Timbale of classic paella with fragrant saffron rice, chicken, spicy sausage and grilled shrimp
Campo Viejo Rioja
The Albarino displayed aromas of rubber cement, key lime, sourdough, and fresh cut grass, and the flavors were very powerful for wet stone, lemon curd, and vegetation. This wine was definitely strong enough to pack an equal punch to the saffron rice & spicy sausage, creating a completely new flavor in the mouth. The Rioja smelled of leather, baked currant, toast, and wild cherries with sensations on the tongue of coca cola, dark chocolate, and even a medicinal cough drop. The Albarino was probably a slightly better suited pairing, but this hearty wine definitely held up to the multiple proteins and potent rice.
Sliced beef medallion with roasted garlic & Pecorino pastry, baby greens, and green peppercorn mayonnaise
Franciscan Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Napa
Fleur du Cap Pinotage,
This was probably the crowd’s biggest surprise of the night – a California Sauv Blanc with the final and most heavy course?? This wine had delicious aromas of asparagus, vanilla, raisin, and butter. Definitely on the tongue we got pear, mineral, and red delicious apple. The green peppercorn mayo really made this pairing come alive in our mouths! The Pinotage was also another big crowd pleaser, as not a lot of people in the crowd had tried South African wines before. But in the nose, we got grilled steak, cedar, raw vegetables, and baked fruit. Upon tasting, we discovered strawberries, charcoal, black pepper and oak. This wine also created a 3rd flavor with the robust beef, aromatic cheese pastry, and again, that amazing green peppercorn mayo!
Our three sommeliers wandered around the room pouring and chatting about the different experiences guests were having with each taste. The guests all had such glowing words to say about what a fun event it was, and we were so glad to be a part of their entertainment, enjoyment, and all in support of a wonderful cause!
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