Debbie Gioquindo, Lisa and me

In my last blog post, I talked about my top 10 discoveries from the Wine Bloggers Conference, but posted #11 referencing another post next week.  Today is that post where I get to talk about my friend, Lisa Mattson, the communications and marketing director of Jordan Winery.

If you haven’t been to Jordan Winery’s majestic chateau, located in the heart of Sonoma, it takes you straight to visions of Bordeaux.  The bloggers lucky enough to have signed up for the Jordan dinner began with a caviar pairing seminar in Jordan’s barrel room with from Tsar Nicoulai and specialty blinis crafted by Jordan’s Executive Chef, Todd Knoll.  I had never paired caviar  with any wine beyond champagne and it was fascinating to learn that our 4 glasses of wine and 5 caviars could be such a match made in heaven.  Yes, even Cabernet works with caviar.  Who knew? Jordan is known for its food and wine experiences and they are an exercise in elegance, but this caviar tasting upped the ante.

The seminar was led by Lisa and Tsar Nicoulai’s Otto Szilagyi.  The caviar farm, which is located about two hours from the winery, is farmed sustainably.  Lisa talked us through the wines.  We also had the opportunity to try Jordan’s NV Cuvee, a brut champagne produced by AR Lenoble.

We then moved to dinner where 60 of us enjoyed a 5-course feast and here was our food line-up:

Abalone and Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil Poached Alaskan Halibut with 2015 Jordan Chardonnay

Grilled Mary’s Duck Breast with Olive Oil Confit, Chanterelles and Pomegranate Duck Jus with 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company Square, Matos Cheese Factory St. George, Moonside Creamery Lunetta, Membrillo, Jordan Bee Pollen and Sonoma Wild Honeycomb with 2003 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

We even got parting gifts from Executive Chef Todd Knoll that included Comice Pear Gingerbread with Tsu Li-Infused Alambic Brandy Syrup, Macarons and Chocolate Truffles.

Lisa’s Dallas visit that included good friends including Blogger Michelle Williams (two from right)

Now back to Lisa.  I consider Lisa a good friend and one of the most talented people that I know in the wine industry (and in marketing).  When the Wine Bloggers Conference was scheduled in Sonoma, Lisa planned to do a fun lunch at her house prior to the fires.  Unfortunately, she was one of the folks personally hit in the destruction.  Instead of worrying about rebuilding her own life, Lisa worried about how to help others.  She shifted into #sonomastrong mode and scheduled a blogger power lunch at the Bird & Bottle, owned by Mark and Terri Stark, who lost Willi’s Wine Bar in the Tubb’s Fire.  The lunch featured wineries that were impacted by the fire or made a big difference in the lives of those effected by the fire.

 

 

 

The food was incredible, the wines were fantastic and it was special to sit around the table with some of my favorite people in the world.  We raised money for Sonoma’s Toys for Tots Program.  I was happy to come back and challenge my Dallas Wineaux crew to donate and we doubled the money raised during the lunch.

Thank you, Lisa, for your love for Sonoma, the community and for all you do for everyone around you.  I’m honored to call you a friend.