It is a shame that some real boors have taken the pleasure out of food and wine pairing by elevating it into the strata of the upper class elite. What a goddamned shame because one of life's little joys is the simple pleasure of experiencing a well balanced meal regardless of social standing. It is true that some restaurants offer pairing dinners that are packaged in confusing exclusivity, but every-now-and-then one comes along that is as right for the taste buds as it is easy on the wallet.
That California's Central Coast Wine Country stalwart Halter Ranch Vineyards happens to be involved is an ethical plus.
Renowned for the organic products and sustainable practices, Halter Ranch is also one of the more even-keeled wineries in California. Slowly gaining a reputation for consistent varietals, Del Frisco's Grille and its sommelier, Elissa Pablo, have wisely chosen from their flagship lines in an inspired five-course pairing customized by the restaurant's executive chef Michael McLaurin.
But before we reveal the intended courses and their liquid dates, here's something to keep in mind: the experience can be had for a paltry $85 per person, and that's a steal on wine alone.
The chef will open with a simple prosciutto arugula flat-bread accompanied by the Côtes de Paso Blanc and will follow it with smoked pork chops with apple butter and polenta; the partnered wine is the Côtes de Paso Rouge. Both of the wines are grenache-based and blended with various grapes like roussanne and picpoul in the former and syrah and mourvèdre in the latter. Grenache or garnacha as it is also known, is the grape to enjoy this summer.
The third course will feature lamb with sautéed kale with wild mushroom Bordelaise and will be paired with the 2011 cabernet sauvignon. The fourth course will pull an American stunt on the plateau de fromages et la salade with a grilled cheese and roasted tomato bisque with their award winning Ancestor wine before closing up proper with a heavy crème brulee cheesecake and an intensely fortified dessert syrah.
And hey, it's set at a price most of us can actually afford -- for a special occasion, at least.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. For information and/or reservations, please call 561-557-2552.
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