One the of the coolest things about having a blog are the invitations that you receive from wineries to attend wine dinners and events. Bloggers are starting to gain credibility as a media source and because 1,800 of you have logged on since I began Dallas Wine Chick in February, this blog has built some fast “street cred.” So, let me start with a big thank you to all of my readers (especially the 1,780 of you who are not related to me in any way).
Mirassou Winery and Stephen Pyles teamed up to host a media dinner last week and I had the chance to attend with one of my favorite friends and bloggers Write for Wine who happened to be in town from Seattle at a work event. I was vaguely familiar with Mirassou wines, which you’ve probably seen at your neighborhood grocery store, due to their large distribution and value.
We were hosted by the delightful David Mirassou, who is the sixth generation of one of America’s oldest wine making families. My husband always says when he likes someone that they “are someone you’d want to sit down and have a beer with to talk.” David is one of those guys – funny, unassuming, likeable and just an all around good person. Even though he addressed the crowd with every wine poured, he took the time to sit down at every table so we could ask him our questions and he kept us laughing with his stories. And, a bonus for me is that he and my uncle Mike are dear friends.
We started with 08 Mirassou Pinot Grigio as an appertif. It was crisp and fruit forward. It was served with an amuse bouche of cured hake, caviar and a confit of pine nuts with a balsamic gelee. Delightful match.
Next step was the 08 Mirassou Sauvignon Blanc paired with sea scallop “migas” with spring pea emulsion and chorizo. Recently, I have been surprised at how well sauvignon blanc pairs with spring peas. This wine was my personal favorite of the bunch.
We moved on to the 08 Mirassou Chardonnay matched with a butter poached lobster with corn milk-green chili custard, hearts of palm and black garlic cream. I tasted green apples, tropical notes and it was very food friendly (and how can you not get friendly with lobster?)
The rest of the group ate sous vide pork tenderloin with masa cake and texas strawberry-pasilla gastrique with the Mirassou Pinot Noir, but they substituted lamb for me due to a pork allergy. I tasted cherries and a bit of pepper. Super interesting fact – the Mirassou family (his great, great grandfather) was the first to bring over pinot noir cuttings from France.
At this point I was stuffed, but the food kept coming. A foie gras “forest” with shaved chipotle brioche and carmelized figs was paired with a 08 Mirassou Merlot. This was the smoothest red to me and I liked the spiciness, big fruit, hints of vanilla and balance. Definitely a fabulous pairing.
The 08 Mirassou cabernet sauvignon was paired with a cherry salsita-stuffed waygu shortrib with Dallas goat cheese-chimichurri tamale. I am still dreaming of that tamale. And, did I mention I was stuffed beyond belief two courses ago?
Our finale was the 08 Mirassou Riesling with mango-semolina croquettes with coconut-marcona almond sauce. The fruit in the dessert paired well with the tropical notes in the wine. Truly a “wow inspiring” dinner with value wines that held their own with the food. And , did I mention that all wines are under $12?
Since Summer seems to be the month of weddings, here’s my Dallas Wine Chick insider tip. Mirassou is hosting its 6th annual “I Do with Mirassou” contest where brides- and grooms-to-be can enter for a chance to win $10,000, plus a trip to San Francisco to meet with Food Network Chef Aida Mollenkamp and David to plan a custom wedding menu, complete with food and wine pairings. To find out more, enter by June 27, 2010 at www.mirassou.com/ido.