Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The tasting

I felt like I had just arrived at Disneyland. They gave me a badge and handed me a wine glass… I looked up and all that was there was wine as far as the eye could see. On Monday, Craig and I attended the Family Winemakers of California 2007 Tasting. 2 days and 150 different wineries showcasing their latest vintages… Sunday was opened to the public, but Monday was purely for the wine trade. It was a wine fool’s paradise. Held at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco which sits on the bay across from Alcatraz, it was a gorgeous day. Truly, it was like hitting the wine lottery; making our way up and down the aisles, swirling, sipping, savoring, swallowing, occasionally spitting and ultimately swooning when we had found a wine that bewitched us. I only wished that we had more than one day so we could take our time, break for lunch, a stroll in the city or ride on the bay...but this was a serious undertaking (at least for Craig).

Our friends, Chef Bret and his lively wife Debora meet us at Fort Mason and away we went. For nearly 5 hours, we wound our way around, first drinking Pinot, then Chardonnay, then Cabernet. Around 6, we were half looped and in desperate need of food, so we decided to crash our dinner reservations early.

Debora and Bret had made reservations at La Folie, a charming French restaurant on Polk Street. Known for its Prix Fixe dinner offerings, it is city dining at its best. All the stress I endured that day was due to making menu decisions. First, you can go with a 3, 4 or 5 course meal. Then, there were five to seven choices within each course offering and some chef’s offerings not listed… I seriously thought about asking how much our bill would be if we ordered the entire menu…. I wanted EVERYTHING; we all did.

I finally settled on the five course meal:

Goat Cheese and Fourme D’Ambert Terrine with Baby Pickled Beets, Toasted Walnuts and Frisée Salad

The Seared Day Boat Scallop resting on Celeriac Puree finished with an orange beurre blanc

Baby lobster resting on English pea ravioli finished with a vanilla butter and toasted almonds

Seared Rib Eye with baby Chanterelle and Shitake Mushrooms resting on arugula risotto
finished with shaved black truffle

Peach Melba incased in meringue with an Earl Grey Sabayon.

Craig had an amazing chocolate fondant that incased the most delicious vanilla ice cream.

We also were presented with two Chef’s amuses; one of Duck Soprasetta with a fingerling potato and Frisée salad and the other of “scrambled eggs” with fresh black truffles. They had a fabulous intermezzo of fresh cantaloupe juice and they finished off our meal with a Chef’s offering of sweet bites.

It was a great day and a wonderful way to end our evening. And with our bellies full of amazing food and wine, we made our way home and back to reality.


buffalodickdy said...

Wow! You couldn't get a meal like that around here at any price! San Fran has to be one of the worlds best spots for cutting edge culinary offerings....

doggybloggy said...

what a spectacular event....

Dan said...

Gosh life is rough sometimes huh? :)

Sounds like a wonderful 2 days. Oh ... and those sweets in the last photo? Gimme! Gimme!

Anonymous said...

This is a very cool Blog Michelle. Where are all of the pix of Craig?


Tanya Kristine said...

nice pix. you do a lot of fun things without me.

pinknest said...

ohmygoodness this is wonderful! looks so fun. i love your lovely state of california and its wineries. yes yes.