Wine Country Agenda: Spring Food And Wine Pairings To Taste NowAuthor:Annette Hanami
With fair weather and a bounty of fresh ingredients upon us, explore these top Wine Country destinations that deliver the taste of spring with exquisitely paired food and wine.
Beyond Veggies + Vino At St. Supery In Rutherford
The simple name Veggies + Vino belies the very upscale experience that awaits guests in this customer-focused tasting at St. Supery. The concept of the tasting was initiated by CEO Emma Swain, herself a vegetarian, to show just how well wines pair with fresh, seasonal vegetables prepared in thoughtful and flavorsome bites.
Spearheading the program is F. Scott Tracy, former long-time Wine Director at Michelin star La Toque restaurant whose wine program was oft-nominated for a James Beard award. With his well-honed palate, Tracy develops tasty bites that sing with a range of 100% estate St. Supery wines, describing the pairings to guests with clarity and prose.
On a recent visit, we tasted delicious pairings such as creamy hummus with kale and green garlic with a bright 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and a knock-out, full-flavored Mongolian eggplant with a powerful 2010 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Petit Verdot. Fortunately, St. Supery provides detailed recipe cards for all the bites.
What adds to the luxury experience, in addition to the sheer expertise offered in this program, is the customization they offer for guests. The tastings are private and can be held in any number of spaces in the modern, two-story visitor’s center or even out on the covered patio. Accommodations are made for special diets.
The St. Supery Veggies + Vino program ($40per person up to a group of six) is offered daily with 48 hours advance reservation from March 21 through November 21.
Visit: 8440 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford
Divine Food And Wine At Jordan Winery In Healdsburg
No visit to Healdsburg Plaza would be complete without a brief drive to Wine Country and Jordan. Their beautiful 1,200 acre, oak-studded property, elegant tasting rooms, and attention to detail make every guest experience a special one.
The exciting flavors Executive Chef Todd Knoll creates for food and wine pairings begin in the estate’s one acre garden, his respect for the ingredients shown in Kaiseki-style presentation.
The one-hour Library Tasting ($30/per person) includes Jordan wines paired with artisanal cheeses and the just-released 2013 Jordan Chardonnay paired with coffee-roasted beets and heirloom carrots (very top photo). The 90-minute Winery Tour and Library Tasting ($40/per person) includes artisanal cheeses, the Chardonnay pairing, and the just-released 2011 Jordan Cabernet paired with heritage pork tenderloin with spring onion and sunchoke puree.
Jordan tastings are available Monday-Sunday with advance reservation. The Library tasting is offered at 10am and 2pm, the Winery Tour And Library Tasting at 11am.
Visit: 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg
A Royal Tasting At Castello di Amorosa In Calistoga
For an Italian take on food and wine that is also fun and entertaining, head to Castello di Amorosa, where you’ll start off with a tour of their medieval Tuscan-style castle before sitting down in the private Royal Apartment.
The tour and tasting is led by their charming sommelier Mary Davidek who devises the pairings with Castello di Amorosa’s classic, food-friendly Italian varietal wines as well as prepares some of the delicious homey bites based on her own recipes. The new spring tasting includes a spring pea pesto and goat cheese crostini paired with the 2013 Pinot Grigio and Italian meatballs paired with the 2011 Napa Valley Sangiovese. In this tasting, you’ll discover a variety of their wines paired with five bites plus a sweet finale.
The two-hour Royal Food & Wine Pairing ($75/per person) is offered by reservation Friday-Sunday and by appointment during the week.
Visit: 4045 North Saint Helena Highway, Calistoga
Spring Pairings At Food And Wine Pioneer Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars was on the forefront of food and wine programs in Napa Valley under the influence of Co-Founder Dolores Cakebread, Master Gardener and past president of the SF chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Brian Streeter, Culinary Director, has led their well-known cooking classes, food and wine pairings, and private events for 25 years, utilizing the fresh ingredients grown on the estate’s lovingly tended garden.
Cakebread’s spring tasting include four pairings such as their 2012 Chardonnay Reserve with crostini of garden carrots, fromage blanc and dukkah, and the 2012 Cakebread Pinot Noir paired with portobello fries and Meyer lemon aioli.
The Wine & Food Pairing ($45/per person) is offered Thursdays and Fridays at 11am and lasts for about 90 minutes including a brief tour of the winery.
Visit: 8300 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford