Friday, August 21, 2009

Wine Merchant - Wine/Cheese Pairing 8/21

I debated whether or not to go to Wine class tonight after a VERY long week, but since I had to miss the week before, I felt I had earned the right to go and treat myself. Although I probably didn't really need to treat myself after not working out all week long!

As always, it turned out to be the right choice because three of the best cheeses were served. Epoisses du Bourgogne, Saint Marcellin (both super creamy French cow's milk cheeses) and then Midnight Moon (a firm goat's cheese).

I could not lick the plates good enough let me tell you!

This was the first time I have had a Gewurztraimner in a class...that was a nice treat for me although everyone else thought it was too sweet. hehe

OH...we also got to have the "Maserati of Ham" again: Iberico

And so glad that I finally watched Sideways because we had a Merlot and the wine expert made the reference to Merlot. It actually was not bad....smoother than the other reds.

I also learned a lot in this class...like you shouldn't rinse out your glass with water as I always used to do! It's better to put wine on top of wine!

Provisions Wine and Food pairing

Officially, I attended the second Provisions Wine and Food pairing hosted by @STLWineGirl, otherwise known as Angie. I felt bad for missing the first one so I made sure to come to the second one.

Having a class at Provisions was very different than other classes at Whole Foods and Wine Merchant because we're in the cafe section of the store. With the high ceiling and 30 people in the class, it just didn't have an intimate feel and it was hard to hear. Angie is a little bit soft spoken and so the environment just didn't cater to her voice.

Luckily it was easier to talk to the people sitting at my table even though I couldn't discuss the food with anyone else. Discussions were pretty limited and that's usually what makes a class more fun when they're more intimate.

Anyway, on to the food! I will say that wine and food pairing classes are a little more enjoyable in that you get a full meal for your money and get to try incredible meals. These are meals you'd have to be pay top dollar for in a restaurant. So I always feel like it's a very unqiue experience.

This class' theme was Tour of Europe so each course had a theme from a different European country. We started out with the most amazing Austrian Potato Pancake. It was more creamy than like hash browns, as I am used to. It almost was a dessert it was so smooth! Then with the caramelized onion-pear chutney....to die for!

This was served with a Kurt Angerer Gruner Veltliner Kies. I forgot that I'd had a Gruner Veltliner before...it's also known as the "asparagus wine" because it's got a mineral flavor to it and it is the best wine to take on the strong taste of the veggie. Although it is a crisp wine, the mineral after taste isn't my favorite.

My favorite wine was definitey the Vouvray. I hope to keep saying it until I remember!

Here are the other menu items;

Sea Scallop in a Puff Pastry - so rich! But a little fishy
Chanterelle Risotto with Lamb - Excellent
Spanish Paella with Monkfish and Chorizo
Portuguese Chocolate Tart - TO DIE FOR!!!!!

The chocolate tart was SO tiny...I licked it in small portions so as to savior it. Of course it came with a port, which I just cannot drink.

But Angie's class definitely taught me a lot. Usually I think, light food, light wine...such as serving white wines with fish and then red wines with beef, veal, or lamb. But Angie taught me that contrasts can sometims work too. So if the wine is a bit too harsh or too much tannin...then the food will bring it down. So the combination of the two is better than the portions separately!

Momos Ouzaria Taverna

I am finally getting time to write about my dinner at Momos from several weeks ago. I wish I had written sooner while the food was still fresh in my mind. The main thing that I have not forgotten was how much I ate...way too much. Momos serves its meals tapas style, which for me and my friends, is like when they bring the buffet TO you!

This was our second tapas type meal in a row and the Food Adventure Club was definitely more experienced at sharing our meals. Although I am now thinking that the meals were much smaller at Ice Kitchen and therefore, we over-ordered at Momos. Everything we ate was super filling and I know I had "treat tummy" for quite awhile the next day.

But when you're at a Greek restaurant, you have to start with the Greek salad. One friend ordered an extra side of Greek olives too! (They're too salty for me and watch out for the pits!) I didn't realize it too had a Greek name: ELLENIKI

I don't think any of us ordered any of the cold side dishes or "mezes", although I did eye the cheese sampler.

We each ordered a couple of hot side dishes as warm up before the main meal. This is where we made our mistake because we all were plenty full after splitting some of these dishes. I believe we had the SPANIKOPITA as well as the TYROPITA (THREE CHEESE SPANIKOPITA) , sea bass, and meatballs. Everything was delicious. The sea bass was the biggest surprise. Light adn not fishy tasting! Crab cakes are always a favorite too.

My friends ordered gyros and they both were huge. This was meant to be our "main course" dinner but I had already ordered the Grilled Lamb Kabob as my main course and wasn't planning on helping out. Well, both of them needed help!

And to make matters worse, we each ordered our own dessert to try! OY! You KNOW I got the chocolate tort (super soft and rich) and my second favorite is the baklavah.

All this food also caused us to have an overweight bill as well. Hopefully we will use more restraint for the next FAC meal!

In addition to all the eating and drinking, other highlights include flirting with our waiter and dancing with he belly dancer, whom I recognized from other events.