Last week I attended LA CONFRÈRIE DE LA CHAINE DES RÔTISSEURS wine dinner and glass seminar at the Josephine S Leiser Opera Center in Ft Lauderdale. Our host was Eileen Rolnick, Bailli of the Ft Lauderdale chapter of Chaine. Vienna Cafe and Wine Bar were the Chefs for the evening. I was in gastronomic heaven because of their creations.
The evening started with a Edmond Barnaut Champagne Grande Reserve Brut Grand Cru. Pale yellow in color, dry with a touch of melon. This Champagne went beautifully with the tasty bites of sautéed Bay scallops with Citrus, Cambridge smoked salmon with speck and basil and apple cider glazed pork belly with cabbage.
We then attended the Riedel Glass Seminar. I always knew the glass has an impact on the characteristics of the wine, but I was blown away by the difference in the taste and nose just by switching the wine to a different glass. There was a tasting mat at every seat with 5 assorted glasses. the first was called the joker, this was your thick, small stemmed wine glass you would get at your local pizzeria . The remaining 4 glasses were Reidel. The Riesling Grand Cru which we tasted the 09′ Argyle Riesling in. The Vinum XL Montrachet glass with 07′ Stonestreet Chardonnay. The Vinum XL Pinot Noir Glass with 08′ Russian Hill Pinot Noir. The Vinum XL Cabernet Sauvignon with 08′ Conn Valley Prologue. After tasting each wine in its “proper” glass, we switched them around to other non varietal specific glasses. At one point we had the wine in a little plastic tumbler. I had to chuckle to myself because at this stage in my crazy life I find myself using something like that more often than not. You really should not lay by the pool or go to the beach with a beautiful expensive crystal glass. I am telling you the glass makes all the difference in the wine. Now if you have a swill like wine and you put it in a good glass it will still taste like swill. On the contrary, if you have an amazing wine and you drink it out of the plastic tumbler, you are missing the best part of that wine. So lesson learned, don’t drink your good bottles out of Tervis Tumblers and make sure to get yourself a nice set of varietal specific wine glasses. You will enjoy your wine so much more. The wine store will thank you. We all received a beautiful set of Riedel glasses.
After our seminar we went upstairs to the Ballroom. We started with a 09′ Domaine Corsin Pouilly Fuisse paired with Poached Maine Lobster in Vinaigrette, chilled leeks with eggs mimosa. The lobster just melted in my mouth. House Made Duck Terrine with pistachio and blackberry compote came out next. This was not visually appealing to me. I am turning over a new midlife leaf and trying things I would normally not. Well thank goodness for my new-found awakening, this was AMAZING! Once I had a smile on my face a few others admitted they felt the same way and were so pleasantly pleased. The wine that was chosen for this dish was perfect. 07′ Domaine Serene Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Evenstad Reserve. In contradiction to what I said earlier, this wine tasted fabulous even out of the non varietal specific, non crystal glasses. It was my favorite of the evening. By now I am feeling more than comfortable. Between the wine we had earlier and all of the tasty bites up to now, I think I can have no more. That is until the Roasted Beef Tenderloin and Braised Rib Eye Cap appeared before me. Served with roasted potato with chevre and Vidalia onion marmalade, red pepper vinaigrette roasted haricots vert. Paired with 09′ Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank. This was a big wine that held its own next to the flavorful beef. We were truly blessed from above when the dessert arrived. A Hasley Tort, chocolate shortbread with creme caramel and apricot ganache with a dark chocolate and toasted almond biscotti. Paired with Pacific Rim Framboise. The tort was magnificent. Many of the guest were gathering their things and I felt a little rude because I was trying to savor every last bite. The wine was lip licking delicious, but a little too jammy for the tort. It went very well with the biscotti. The raspberry was a perfect match for the dark chocolate
I highly recommend a trip to the Vienna Cafe and Wine Bar for dinner. The food was outstanding. I can imagine the menu and wine list to be superb.