We're back on the road. That means more opportunities for wine-and-food pairings. This time I'm going to make a conscious effort to take notes. Or at the very least beg the sommelier to send me a copy of the pairing menu. We're off to a grand start. Our first stop was Cibo, in Austin, Texas. Absolutely spot-on dinner. Between the chef, Will Packwood, and fellow wine geek Greg Steiner, the pairings were palate perfect. And the following evening at Mark's American Cuisine in Houston was no different. Thank you, Saree Mulhern, for your skills. Pork belly and versions of pork dishes have been dominating the top pairing spot for the 2005 Caduceus Nagual de la NAGA. Close second is truffle cream sauce with fresh pasta or gnocchi. The 2005 Primer Paso has been going perfectly with scallop dishes and crisp duck. I'm getting hungry. Hope this sort of food waffling isn't too boring for you. I assume this is what blogging is all about, right? Random notes and rants?
Anyway, here is the pairing menu we had at Mark's:
Hearth-roasted Fisher Island oysters, tarragon coulis
Caramelized Cape scallops, sunchoke mousselline (perfect with the pairing)
Crisp Ipswich clam with chile-mint sauce
Paired with Page Springs Cellars Arizona Malvasia Bianca
Roasted Japanese mero, forbidden black rice risotto, croutons of late-harvest squashes with a saffron Pernod sauce
Paired with Page Springs Cellars Arizona Malvasia Bianca and 2005 Caduceus Nagual de la NAGA.
Guinea hen crusted with serrano ham, creamy polenta, roasted elf mushrooms and haricot juane with freshly shaved white Alba truffle (another perfect pairing)
Paired with 2005 Caduceus Nagual de la NAGA
Rosemary and pear sorbet
Kobe steak, Yukon Gold potatoes, petite heirloom carrots, cipollini onions served with natural shallot reduction
Paired with 2005 Caduceus Nagual del SENSEI (excellent pairing)
I believe there was a cheese and dessert course which followed but by that time I was cross-eyed, for more than a few reasons.
The heavens must have been smiling down on us. Not only were these dinners fabulous, but I also had the rare opportunity to meet what I consider to be royalty. Twice in three days I ran into Aubert de Villaine. The first time was planned. He has been out promoting HdV (Hyde de Villaine, his joint partnership with Hyde Vineyard) throughout the States. I met him at their tasting in Austin. The second was by pure chance—Hyde was having a private function the same night Todd and I were dining at Mark's. For me, a rare and memorable evening indeed.
Jason M Meyers — Medford, NY — November 26, 2007 7:00pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — November 27, 2007 8:19am ET
Tyler Mcafee — Houston, TX — November 27, 2007 12:40pm ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — November 29, 2007 2:34pm ET
Kristin Dagg — Portland, OR — December 3, 2007 3:23pm ET
Sara N. Cobb — December 4, 2007 4:49pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — December 24, 2007 6:24pm ET
Nicholas Kampf — Phila, PA — January 4, 2008 8:31pm ET
Jim Fishwick — Audubon, NJ — June 6, 2008 8:22am ET
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