On Tuesday, Clean Plate Charlie showed a little love for the craft beer to be offered at Thursday's fifth-annual New Times Pairings. The beer camp makes a very compelling case, but it's not the only cause to consider: Wine, for obvious reasons, is one of the biggest draws for Pairings. So what can oenophiles expect this year?
Andrew Lampasone, proprietor of Fort Lauderdale's Wine Watch (winner of the 2011 New Times Best Wine Shop), is charged with the considerable task of selecting wines for the VIP reception that kicks off at 6 p.m. as well as working with restaurants to develop pairings for the general-admission area.
More than 20 wines are expected to be available to sample during the VIP reception, among them: N.V. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rose, a 2008 Stratton Lummis Cabernet Sauvignon, Stratton Lummis' the Magician, a 2008 Cain Concept Napa, Justin Vineyard Isoceles 2009 Paso Robles, 2008 Newton Puzzle Spring Mountain Napa, and the 2008 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Te Koko.
During the general-admission main event, look for match-ups like Ideal Fusion Cuisine's tuna tartar served with Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir. Bravo Ristorante's pollo scarpariello will be matched with a sangiovese/malbec blend, the 2010 Ferrari Carano Siena Sonoma. Gran Forno Pronto (new to Pairings this year) will serve a chicken pesto sandwich paired with a 2008 Domaine De La Chique Cotes Du Roussillon. Also new to Pairings this year is Rebel House, which will serve crispy lamb belly with green mango kimchee, "rebel hoisin," and spicy peanuts alongside a 2009 Pali Pinot Noir Riviera Sonoma Coast.
Knucklehead Burgers will offer up mini Kh bragadocious sliders made with a blend of filet mignon, brisket, and chuck and topped with melted sharp cheddar and smoked pecan bacon. Their sliders will be paired with the 2010 Justin Vineyard Sauvignon Paso Robles. 3030 Ocean will serve a torched cobia matched with a 2009 Firriato Altavilla della Corte Grillo Sicily, while Darrel & Oliver's Cafe Maxx's blue crab "cream puff" and napa slaw is served with a 2008 Grgich Hills Chardonnay Napa.
With more than 40 restaurants/vendors/food specialists participating and more than 50 wines on offer, this is just a small sampling of what awaits at Thursday night's event. In addition to food, wine, and beer, specialty liquors will be sampled as well. The event is 7 to 10 p.m. at the Broward County Convention Center. Advance tickets cost $50 for general admission. VIP ticket holders get in at 6 p.m. for the special reception, and those tickets are $90. Add $10 to each ticket if purchased at the door. Note: Presale ticket pricing ends at noon Thursday. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID to gain entry to the Port.
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