Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Treat

All I really wanted for my birthday was for Larry to go to the airport and retrieve my cell phone that I stupidly left at the security checkpoint last weekend. Lost and Found is not open early, late or even during lunch and I just couldn’t figure out when I could get there. He graciously granted my birthday wish and retrieved the phone for me. I promised him I'd tell everyone it was the best present ever.

But we had already planned to attend a dessert and wine pairing at J.Lohr Winery for my birthday celebration before the cell phone fiasco, and I wasn’t about to suggest cancelling that. We’d never been to the winery, located conveniently near downtown San Jose and I was looking forward to the event.

It turned out to be a wonderful evening. We were greeted by Lawrence Lohr, the Director of Wine Education and his wife Emily. While everyone gathered, they served a savory nut mix along with a rosé and a viognier. When we were seated at the table, I was beside Steve Lohr, the COO. I was impressed that it was such a family operation they would actually be at the evening's event.

The pairing menu consisted of :

Plum and Marscapone Trifle                                   
2009 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay           

Apricot and Blueberry Spring Roll
2009 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguie

Chocolate Goat Cheese Ice Cream
2008 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

Blackberry Pot de Crème
2009 J. Lohr Gesture Zinfandel

Cherry Upside Down Cake
2007 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Peach and White Nectarine Galette
J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling

The desserts were created by Chef Jaimie Casey of JC Culinary who was recently featured in an article in the San Jose Mercury News. She graciously shared all her recipes with the attendees and her loyal followers assured everyone that her creations were easily reproducible.

I usually think of serving dessert wines with dessert rather than some of these wine selections. One reason these pairings worked so well is that most of the desserts were not excessively sweet. I was quite surprised by the trifle/chardonnay pairing, but the wine was used in the dessert recipe and since it was an unoaked chardonnay it complimented the fruit nicely.

All the desserts were fabulous. The chocolate goat cheese ice cream was quite unique. I am not a huge syrah fan, but the rich and creamy ice cream reduced the bite of the tannins for me and made the pairing quite enjoyable. The cabernet paired with the cherry upside-down cake had a lovely cherry bouquet which enhanced this pairing. The cabernet sherbet served with the cake was a magical touch.

As much as I loved all of these, I guess I’m still a sucker for the sweets. My favorite dessert was the Peach and White Nectarine Galette paired with the Late Harvest Riesling. I wrote FABULOUS! in my notes. It was the perfect ending for the evening. We had such a great time, we will definitely return for more of their pairing events in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I can just imagine how well a late harvest riesling would go with any peach or nectarine pastry. Mmmm. Lucky you to have such a fabulous food and wine pairing celebration. ;)