A trio of uniquely themed wine dinners are taking place in area restaurants this coming week. On Tuesday night, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar hosts Red Rapture: The All-Red 90+ Wine Dinner. The event highlights five red wines from around the globe that have been ranked 90 or above this year by Wine Spectator, paired with a menu of all red foods created by Executive Chef Russell Skall, in conjunction with Director of Wine Marian Jansen op de Haar. Sample match:Lobster Ravioli with a Lavender Cream Sauce with Clancy’s Barossa Australia, 2004 (90 pts.). Guests are invited to dress in their best red attire, and to bring enough green to cover the $95 per person cost.
On the same evening (tomorrow night), at 7:00 p.m., La Cofradia, the beautifully appointed Coral Gables establishment, will be serving a special dinner that pairs chef Jean Paul Desmaison’s Peruvian/Mediterranean cuisine with wines from the Rocca Family Vineyard. Eric Grigsby and Mary Fran Rocca, the husband and wife owners, utilize organic and sustainable farming practices for their Yountville and Napa vineyards. The four-course menu is priced less holistically: $95.00 per person.
Thursday evening brings a winemaker dinner to Azul at Mandarin Oriental. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., the four-course menu prepared by chef Clay Conley will be matched with Catena Zapata Wines from Argentina. Sample course: Foie gras, chestnut sauce, and cranberry gastric with Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon. Co-hosting the event with Azul’s sommelier Cynthia Betancourt will be Jimena Turner, wine educator for the Zapata, who will interact with the oenphiles in attendance. The dinner, which includes a lavish reception, is $300.00 per person -- “all-inclusive”. A spokesperson for the hotel assured me that all-inclusivity is not inclusive of a night’s stay at the hotel. Must be pretty good wine. --Lee Klein