Frank Family Vineyards Wine Pairing Dinner – September 20, 2016

I went to this spectacular winery a few years back when I was doing a story about Napa and Calistoga. The winery is very close to Calistoga, where I have so many childhood memories thanks to my Father. Frank Family Vineyards is just so special, it is in the most picturesque part of the Napa Valley, with gorgeous vista’s around the property, it is a must visit when your in wine country.

Frank Family Vineyards gave me some gorgeous wines to cook with, and they are also on my sponsorship page. When I heard they were doing a wine dinner at Fig and Olive in Los Angeles, I just had to jump on board. The dinner was in their garden room at The Fig and Olive, a very wonderful backdrop for all of this spectacular food and wine.

Here’s what I had:

Passed Hors d’Oeuvres:
One Bite Crab Cakes, Lemon Mayo, and Cilantro Squash Tapenade, Hen of the Hood Crostini Manchego, and Duck Prosciutto Crostini.
Paired with: 2012 Sparkling Brut Rose, on the nose, perfumes of fresh strawberries and warm, toasted Brioche rise from the glass. This wine is dry and mouth-watering from the first sip. Fine bubbles and crisp flavor of tart yellow cherries, green apples, and wild strawberries coat the palate, and it’s vibrant acidity.

First Course:
Hamachi Crudo, Preserved Orange, and Basil Oil.
Paired with: 2013 Lewis Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay “Carneros”, their “Lewis Vineyard” Reserve Chardonnay is pale straw in color and has scents of roasted almonds, citrus flowers and rich Meyer-lemon meringue. This full-bodied wine is lively on the palate, showcasing concentrated flavors of peach, pear and lychee balanced by sweet vanilla and a hint of cedar. The wine’s stunning finish will have you dreaming of the finest French Crème Brulee. 10 months in 100% new French oak barrels. 100% Lewis Vineyard, Carneros, and Napa Valley.

Second Course:
Allen Brothers USDA Prime Ribeye, Burnt Leeks & Romesco.
Paired with: 2013 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon,
on the nose, aromas of briar and blackberry, dark cherry, vanilla, cloves, and leather emerge from the glass. The full-bodied wine envelopes the palate with tannin and flavors of blackberries, cloves, and coffee. The finish is incredibly long. A wine that can be enjoyed now, but will benefit from 5-10 years in the cellar. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot. 20 months in 50% new French oak barrels and 50% once- filled French oak barrels

Third Course:
Selection of Cheeses and Condiments.
Paired with: 2011 Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, the attack is full of intense black fruit aromas and savory notes of roasted meats, rosemary and black pepper. Sweet new leather and roasted espresso are revealed as the wine opens. On the palate caramel and vanilla combine with the firm tannins and juicy black fruit giving a long lasting finish.

Fresh Black Mission Figs, Whipped Lavender, and Honey Cream.
Paired with: Late Harvest Chardonnay, the wine radiates purity and opulence with its yellow amber hues. Intense aromas of dried apricots, quince paste and hints of pear lead into a wet stone minerality, classic of botrytized wines. The palate is beautifully balanced with layers of spice and honey; that mingle with exotic incredible richness, and provides a seemingly endless finish.

Really you could not have asked for a better evening, the great company of my friend Leon and the folks we met along the way, everyone having their own wine stories. Most of the people know and have been to Frank Family Vineyards so they knew the kind of quality this event wood bring, in both the food and the wine. Edward Skupien, who is VP of sales, gave me my golden ticket to attend, and I am very grateful! I feel so blessed that I am able to drink delicious wine and outstanding food, but it is just too hard for me to write about everything in descriptive words, because everything was truly a miracle. Fabrizio Nocilla who is Fig and Olive’s sommelier knew exactly what he was doing, the pairings were dead-on, and the food hit all of the right notes, I truly was in heaven!

* Note some content was taken from Frank Family Vineyards.


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