Monday, July 26, 2010

Terra Waconia - Wine Dinner Review

Last week we attended Terra Waconia's first Wine Dinner. Chef Craig's focus was on really letting the fresh, locally grown food carry the day, so seasonings and sauces were held back a touch to let food itself really show through. Tracy developed the wine pairings, and overall things were a home run.

Here's a review of the dinner:

1st Course - Tomme chesse with olives, honey, and almonds paired with Eric Bordelet organic cider. While we didn't expect to see a cider with a wine dinner, the sparkling start worked very well with the sweetness of the honey and salty olives.

2nd Course - Chicken heart, mellon and veggies paired with Blue Cove Viognier. The Viognier was just OK at its coldest and alone, but once warmed a bit and taken with the chicken it worked better than I thought it would. I'm not a big organ guy at all, but the fresh heart was surprisingly tasty.

3rd Course - Crios Rose of Malbec paired with a fresh vegetable plate. The Rose was clearly the wine surprise of the night. A great bottle to have while sitting on the deck on a summer night. Outstanding.

4th Course - Domaine de Font Sane Cotes du Ventoux paired with lamb ribs. On this course, Craig completely knocked it out of the park. Simply the best lamb I've ever eaten, and by a long, long shot. Literally pick up the bone and gnaw on it good.

5th Course - Bodegas Olivares Monastrell "Altos de la Hoya," paired with beef tenderloin. Chef Craig solicited some groans from the room when, in introducing this dish, described that he actually met the cows we'd be enjoying, but folks, that's where food comes from. The meat was fork-tender, done perfectly and the wine big enough to really compliment the wonderful red meat.

6th Course - Broadbent Rainwater Madeira paired with fig tart with blue cheese ice cream. When I saw this one on the bill of fare, I figured this would be the one course that would not appeal to me. I couldn't have been more wrong. We'd tasted the Madeira previously, and thoroughly enjoyed it so I knew I'd be OK there. But figs? Blue cheese ice cream? Well, count me among the converted. The fig tart was incredible, and the ice cream obscenely rich and flavorful. You wouldn't want to eat much more than a tablespoon, but those bites are really outstanding.

Overall, it was an superb inaugural wine dinner for our favorite restaurant. We can't wait for the next one.

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