Aperitif - Cherry Blossom Cocktail
Pink in color, I sipped and was immediately reminded of cherry 7-up. The fizz, the flavors, it all was light and refreshing with that slight imitation flavor you sometimes get when using flavored products. It was made of vodka, sake and Nuvo - a good sipping beverage.
First Course - 2009 Folonari Soave served with Asparagus Crostini
The wine was clean and crisp, perfect for the crostini that we were served. A lightly toasted baguette had the perfect crunch, and was topped with a homemade ricotta of TPC whole milk and goat cheese. The creamy cheese was the perfect accompaniment to the thinly shaved asparagus. The perfect spring vegetable was dressed in lemon-mint vinaigrette. I loved the sweetness of added honey with the asparagus. Simple, refreshing, perfect.
Second Course - 2009 Dom. Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier served with Salmon Nicoise
I loved the bottle - it had braille on it which we learned was for a family member of the winery. Sharp, berry smelling and tasting, it was paired with cured Atlantic salmon. A dijon mustard-cured salmon was slightly salty, but creamy on the palate. Served with deeply roasted green beans and gold potatoes. The earthy potatoes were paired perfectly with a subtly salty olive vinaigrette and shaved manchego cheese.
Third Course - 2009 Renato Ratti 'Ochetti' Nebbiolo d'Alba served with Basil Crusted Duck
What my friend Rachel dubbed as a 'friendly' bottle, this was a sweeter red that both red-wine lovers and non-lovers alike could share. The duck fat was rendered before being finished in the oven to a perfect medium rare. Crunchy panko was mixed with basil and covered the duck for a perfect crunch and smooth texture. This was served on a creamy sunchoke puree. Sunchokes are similar to the sweet taste of a parsnip, which was great with the chanterelle jus, rich in rosemary flavors. Even my friend Melinda, who had never eaten duck before, finished her dish wanting more.
Final Course - 2009 Dom. de margui 'Vin De Pays Du Var' Rose served with Rainbow Sorbet
The wine wasn't memorable, but the kumquat sorbet was. We were served three different sorbets: lime, kumquat and raspberry. The raspberry was sweet, the lime tart, and the kumquat just right. Perfectly cleansing, I really enjoyed the flavors. These were served with shards of an almond-sugar cookie, both crunchy but soft, thick with the almond extract flavor.
A great evening with many flavors. I loved the variety: some cheese, seafood, protein and a dessert. Everything was light - exactly how Spring should be in dishes. Thank you again for a wonderful evening Steven and all the staff at Tastings!