On Wednesday, February 18th, I had the honor of presenting wines for the second year to one of radio station’s, KBEM, ‘RestauranTOUR Jazz Dinners’. The event, which was held at The Red Stag Supper Club, showcased a wonderful four-course menu featuring an array of international wines and local sustainable food. Kim Bartman, owner of The Red Stag and other local goodies ~ Bryant Lake Bowl and Cafe Barbette, hosted the group for the second year as an avid supporter of the station.
The dinner guests, a really fun group of individuals with enthusiasm and passion for food and wine, enjoyed the sounds of a local jazz musician while sipping their way through a wine menu that consisted of 4 international wines. From a new Italian Prosecco (Astoria Lounge) to a beautiful little Cotes du Rhone from French producer Chapoutier that I had chosen for the dinner’s main entree, the wines showed perfectly with each dish. Kevin Barnes, marketing and development director for the station, emceed the event while I spoke of each wine with the courses served.
I am reminded when I do local events of this nature that my new community is truly one with a great deal of passion for their local programs. I sat with a delightful couple, Hendrika and Charles, that shared many stories with me of their yearly travels and beautiful acreage of land that consisted of a zillion vegetable crops, a forest and a couple of friendly outdoor cats that they had adopted. They had enjoyed many wines around the world and had a wonderful sense of passion for life that was purely magical.
Another highlight to my evening was an introduction to a new wine by name of Havens. Havens, located in the Napa Valley, produces a number of highly allocated products that is released yearly to their wine club. Members of the jazz dinner, Katie and Peter, had brought a bottle to share with their table. As we got to talking about wine, they offered me a glass to taste. Peter, a collector of fun wine and a Havens wine club member, and I shared a great conversation of a few new California wineries. The wine, a blend of Cab and Syrah, was a nice juicy treat. Soft and gooey like the inside of a toasted marshmallow, the body shared a smokey note true to its Syrah component while leaving a nice little velvety crunch to its outer edge ~ making it perfect to pair with the chocolate cake that was served for dessert.
The pairing of the night, however, an AMAZING spinach salad with bits of roasted pear, smoked yellow raisins, bleu cheese and puffed wild rice which I paired with a fresh, crisp Italian Pinot Grigio. Absolutely delicious, I can only think that I’ll be heading back to the Stag soon for more of the same!
Another new crowd of faces for me and always a great adventure. I’m constantly reminded of why I settled back to the Midwest after living many years on the west coast, and it has everything to do with the people. Thanks to everyone who attended ~ it was a delightful evening!