July Wine Dinner… at the Lucerne Inn…

By now, you know that I host a Wine Dinner at the Lucerne Inn every month. This month my co-host was my good friend Sigrid Coffin of Easterly Wine. I absolutely love hosting dinners with Sigrid. We are both “restaurant people”. We have very similar taste in wine, and food, and the “planning” for us is almost as much fun as the “execution”… On this particular evening we had a wonderful group of guests. Many of them were there for the first time. 34 people sitting at the same table, family style, enjoying a delicious meal, on a beautiful night… Our first appetizer course… Mini Quiche with Roasted Fennel and Smoked Salmon as well as Summer Sausage,Melon and Cheese Kabobs… was paired with Hugo Rose’ Sparkling Wine from Austria… Sigrid and I are both Rose’ fans, so this was a foregone conclusion… Light, crisp, dry, Rose’ sparkling wine made of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt…a great way to start the evening… Next course… Seared Scallops over Fresh Corn Puree with Raspberry and Chipotle Coulis…we both commented on how perfectly the Scallops were done and how well the flavors worked on the plate…the wine paired perfectly as well…2013 Broadbent Gruner Veltliner from Austria… Gruner Veltliner is a fantastic compliment to Scallops,Shrimp, and Lobster. Ripe fruit, elegant notes of lime, peach, and green apple with a crisp dry finish. We have carried this wine in the store for a few years, and now it comes in a 1litre bottle! A perfect summer wine in a larger bottle with a screw cap? Yes! Next course…Arugula Salad with Grilled Peaches, Almond Goat Cheese and Prosciutto with a Jalapeno/Ginger Vinaigrette…a lot of flavors going on here…and Sigrid, who isn’t afraid of a challenge chose a red wine… 2012 A l’Ombre des Fontaines Cotes de Rhone…now, you might be thinking…Red Wine with Salad? Well, it worked…The Goat Cheese and Prosciutto definitely scream for a fruity medium weight red. The spicy qualities of the arugula and vinaigrette were offset by the sweetness of the grilled peaches making this a surprisingly delicious pairing…after a sorbet intermezzo… we moved on to the main course…Pork Osso Bucco with Wild Mushrooms, Parmesan Polenta and an espresso braising jus…wow…just wow! And, so was the wine… I like to pair Spanish Garnacha with Pork…it always works… Sigrid chose 2012 Coto de Hayas Garnacha Centenaria… Centenaria means 100…and that is how old the Vines are…Old Vines produce concentrated fruit and boldly flavored wines… and this one did not disappoint…we opened it really early so that the tannins would subside and the fruit would shine through. This wine could be cellared for years…or decanted and enjoyed tonight…just like we did…our dessert course was Tiramisu…and instead of Pairing a “dessert wine” with it…we choose to “change it up” a bit… Sigrid and I share a fondness for the exceptional aperitifs that have come into the market in the past few years…so we served Cocchi Rosa Americano with a splash of soda… This refreshing “aperitivo” from Northern Italy is made of the Brachetto grape and a secret blend of herbs for just the right amount of bitterness… to cleanse the palate, and soothe the soul…another wonderful night at the Lucerne Inn… Our next Wine Dinner will be on August 14th…the second Thursday of the month…see you then.