Category: Events

“The Art Of Wine & Food Tasting Series: Wines That Go Both Ways”—Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, August 26, 2010

Art of Wine & Food

Art of Wine & Food

If wine can be considered an art form, then it makes perfect sense that the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale would play host to an event billed as “The Art Of Wine & Food Tasting Series: Wines That Go Both Ways.”   This is an ongoing monthly event with this particular one focusing on wines that transition from the summer to fall.   The tasting/pairing event offers patrons the opportunity to sample wine and food in an austere environment like MOA Fort Lauderdale.

Host Stephanie Miskew, a South Florida food and wine blogger, offered three wines to pair with delicious food prepared by local chef John Paul Kline. The 50 or so in attendance began the night with a 2008 Morgan “Metallico” (not the heavy metal band’s own private stock) un-oaked Chardonnay, paired with a deconstructed lobster bisque. The Morgan is comparable to a French Chablis (according to the wine maker) and is a lighter Chard than

Deconstructed Lobster Bisque

Deconstructed Lobster Bisque

a lot of the notorious “butter bombs” that have become a staple of California Chards. There were hints of floral, grassiness on the nose; the taste, crisp and aromatic, with noticeable green apple and pear on the palate. The lobster bisque was sweet and spicy, and proved to be a nice accompaniment to the light, un-oaked Chardonnay.

The next wine on the menu was a 2007 Benziger “Sangiacomo Vineyard” Carneros Chardonnay, paired with a green apple chicken curry and tomato eggplant chutney. The Benziger had a sweet aroma, with some pineapple notes and a hint of citrus. It was a sharp contrast to the Morgan Chard, though given our food pairing, the Benziger paired remarkably well with the spicy sweet curry in the chicken and chutney. Though I preferred the Morgan in terms of taste, the Benziger was a good choice for this particular food item. It

Green Apple Chicken Curry w/Eggplant Chutney

should be noted that between pairings, one of the hosts made his way through the tables offering patrons additional pours of each wine sampled, though despite our best efforts to get his attention, extra pours never came. Damn.

Our final wine sampling of the night was the 2006 Bearboat Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, paired with a chilled duck crostini with mushroom duxelles and black plum. The Russian River Valley produces some incredible Chardonnays, and given its cool climate and favorable terroir, is also the perfect location for growing Pinot Noir grapes. The Bearboat had strong hints of blackberry, cassis and dark cherries. The taste was clean and elegant, slightly more tannic than some Pinot Noirs we’ve tasted, but finished with a velvet feel on the tongue. This is a great Pinot Noir value ($22 retail) that should not be

Duck Crostini

Duck Crostini w/Mushroom Duxelle

overlooked. The crostini, with a generous slice of duck and topped with mushrooms duxelle, was by far the best appetizer of the three we sampled that night, and paired very well with the Bearboat Pinot Noir.

Overall we were pleased with the event, though for the $30 per person charge I feel like there should have been one or two more wine and food pairings, though it didn’t tarnish the event in any way. Still, a few extra wine pours would have been nice.

Dogfish Head Beer Tasting at Morton’s Steakhouse

Off centered ales for off centered people...

Several weeks ago we decided to attend a Dogfish Head beer tasting at Morton’s Steakhouse, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Blake, a Fresh Beer Inc Rep, craft beer Jedi-In-Training and an all around highly evolved individual, hosted the event.  Having lived in Delaware, we were already very aware of Dogfish and had been lucky enough to visit both their Rehoboth Beach Brew Pub and the Milton brewery.

We were running a little late to the event, but once we arrived we were greeted warmly at the door by Valerie, the event’s coordinator.  We were issued wine glasses (what, no mugs?) and our Dogfish Head tasting was underway.

Midas Touch

We started off with the Midas Touch (9.0% ABV).   Dogfish uses an ancient Turkish recipe that is apparently the oldest-known fermented beverage in the world.   We picked up a definite sweetness with hints of honey along with a slight earthiness.    Notes from Dogfish: Pair with Pan-Asian dishes, risotto, curries, baked fish and chicken.   Wine Comparison:  Sauterne and Champagne

Raison D'etre

Next up was the Raison D’Etre (8.0% ABV).   This is a Belgian-style Brown Ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast.   There is a slight sweetness again but many more layers in this complex beer.    Notes from Dogfish: Pair with wood-grilled steak.

Moving on to the 90-Minute IPA (9.0% ABV) we were definitely starting to appreciate the Dogfish way.

90 Minute IPA

This beer was hoppy but not as much as you would think.  It had a nice balance of the bitter andsmooth.   Notes from Dogfish: This Imperial IPA was brewed to be savored from a snifter per Dogfish’s website.   A big beer with a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate.    90 Minute IPA was our first continually-hopped beer, which is a method of hopping that allows for a pungent, but not crushing hop flavor.

Palo Santo Marron

The final beer for the evening (and our favorite) was the Palo Santo Marron (12% ABV).  We definitely picked up caramel and vanilla in this brown ale.  Notes from Dogfish: An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels.  This beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted.  Palo Santo means “holy tree” and it’s wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.   Wine Comparison:  Oak Aged Cabernet   Food Pairing Recommendations:  Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar

Lamb Chop & Assorted Cheeses

Morton’s pass around appetizers to accompany the event were plentiful and very tasty.  We dined on  several mini flat bread pizzas topped with Salmon; grilled lamb chops, tenderloin sandwiches, four beer friendly cheeses and tuna tartar served on thinly sliced cucumber.   Also, a big shout out goes to  our new friend in the biz, Blake.  He was very generous with the pours and offered a lot of background on each of the beers and shared a unique blending of the the Palo Santo and 90 Minute IPA.

Most, if not all, of the guests in attendance appreciated the beer 101, if not the beers themselves.  At the end of the event we had a chance to talk more in detail about beers we enjoy with fellow enthusiasts.   The extra post-event beer pours were much appreciated, too.

Tenderloin Sandwich

Our only “beef” with the event, and it’s a minor one, was how many glasses of unconsumed beer we saw sitting on the tables.  I have no problem with leaving a half-empty mug of Bud or Coors (hell, I’d leave those full). I take umbrage at anyone who would leave a sip, swirl or swig of a fine craft beer like Dogfish Head behind. Are these people crazy? You can’t muster up the will power and stamina to finish even the tiniest bit of beer sitting at the bottom of your glass? That’s blasphemy in our house.  This was a quaint event that had good food, great company and of course, outstanding craft beer.

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