Going to any wine dinner always has a negative effect on The Budget™. So when I saw the flyer for a J. Lohr wine dinner at Marché Bacchus for just a little over $100, I jumped at the opportunity. Budget be damned.
The dinner was, of course, delicious. Here are the wines and how they were paired with the dinner. There were four courses and six wines. That’s the perfect ratio.
For the Reception, the wine was the J. Lohr Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc (91 pts). While I usually find many American Sauvignon Blancs kind of heavy and, frankly, barely palatable, this is one of the exceptions. Along with the typical Sauvignon Blanc characteristics of grapefruit, key lime, and gooseberry, there’s a touch of white pepper, bell pepper (itsy), and dried grapefruit peel. There’s not a hint of cat pee, and it has a wonderful mouthfeel.
First Course – October Night Chardonnay
Citrus Grilled Prawns with Herbed Garlic Butter, served with 2015 J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay. The prawns were delicious, even though the dish was a little cooler than I expected, and we felt that they may have been waiting for service just a bit too long. That said, it paired perfectly with the Chardonnay. The Chard was oaked but not oaky (if that makes sense), with baking spices, tangerine, vanilla, citrus peel, and green apple.
Second Course – Fogs Reach Pinot Noir
Duck Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms and Black Plum Sauce was our first disappointment. Not because it didn’t taste good – it did – but because the duck filling had just a tad too much salt. The excess salt threw off what could have otherwise been a perfect pairing. Although Pinot Noir isn’t generally known for plum in its taste profile, this sauce and this wine made for a stellar pairing!
The wine itself was delicious. It was proudly California, and would not be mistaken for a Burgundy or an Oregonian Pinot at all. It was darker than expected, with raspberry, dark baking spices (anise, nutmeg), black cherry, and cranberry notes. There was an old-world minerality, along with light vanilla and caramel notes from the oak.
Third Course – Cuvêe St. E Bordeaux Blend and Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
One Dish! Two wines! There is absolutely nothing bad about that!
The dish was Cajun Lamb Chops with Cabernet Reduction, Parsnip Puree, and Garlic Braised Greens. First of all, the dish was delicious! The lamb chops were, for me, perfectly cooked, and the Puree, which I’d never had before, was stellar. Naturally, I loved the greens. Dayum, that was a great dish!
Both wines made for an interesting and ideal pairing. Naturally, the St. E Bordeaux was softer, as it is based on the St. Emilion (Right Bank) classic blends. Instead of the expected Merlot, however, it is primarily Cabernet Franc.
On the other hand, the Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet was unapologetically Cabernet, with prominent but silky food-pairing tannins, surprising acidity, and pure deliciousness.
Ultimately, despite the St. E Bordeaux usually being Debbie’s favorite, it ran a close second place for her while I found the E to be ideal with the dish.
Dessert – Tower Road Petite Sirah
The Chocolate Custard Bread Pudding was decadent. it was drizzled with chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. The Petite Sirah was not a sweet wine at all, but it was the ideal pairing for this dessert. Although it didn’t have chocolate notes as you would expect in a Merlot (which also pairs well with chocolate, by the way), its earthy notes, along with blackberry and black tea, do a wonderful job of complementing the chocolate.
The dinner was a pleasurable and satisfying one and worth more than the price. However, my purchase of several bottles afterward more or less blew The Budget™. Oh well.
Oh, by the way! There was a small crowd (is that an oxymoron?) cheering the Vegas Golden Knights for the win. While Marché is far from being a sports bar – the bottles of wine take up most of the real estate – it’s still a nice neighborhood place to come and hang. The Vegas Golden Knights are the best team for a place like Vegas ever! And this is coming from a gal who enjoyed the Philly Flyers (the Broad Street Bullies) in the early 70s when they were kickin’ butt and taking names.
Enjoy the slideshow of the food! And watch for more, um, *interesting* posts coming soon. For those who know me, you know that I hate microwaves. I just bought one.
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