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
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 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.