There are few things I love more in this world than wine.
And tonight was a fabulous evening to add to my mental wine collection!!
A dinner to get to know the winemaker at Jefferson Vineyards, Andy Reagan, and his wife Neeley. Plus Chris, who works at Jefferson, and his girlfriend, Allison.
We started the evening with appetizers – olives, crackers, spreads, and a platter of radish and rosemary baked almonds and baguette and butter!
And of course, some wines.
Andy poured us a blend straight from the tanks– Chardonnay, Traminette & Riesling
Andy divided the meal into a number of courses – beginning with Tuna seared with Bacon and his famous (onion-free!) cucumber salsa!
Served with the 2009 Jefferson Pinot Gris – an outstanding wine pairing! The spicy peppers in the salsa MADE me drink more of this bright acidic wine!
Our second course (all prepared by Andy himself!) was a spinach salad with tangerines, goat cheese, avocado, walnuts and BASIL!!! I am telling you: add basil to your next salad. This was amazing, and I think I had 3 portions!!
We broke out the red for the entrée course – a smoky lamb with herbs paired with the 2005 (that was 6 years ago!) Petit Verdot
Andy smoked the lamb with oak chips, which infused into the meat. There was no sauce necessary – all the flavor was just…there. I LOVED the pairing on this one – with the oak coming from all angles!
For dessert we munched on Italian pizzelles!! They were so good! We also brought some chocolate cups and chocolate stout to share with dessert.
But our real dessert came when Andy took us into the barrel room and popped open the barrel corks.
Have you ever tasted such a masterpiece? I asked him if he was offended when people were so quick to dismiss the price of wine. There is SO much work that goes into a bottle of wine! He said he wasn’t offended and that people eventually learn over time (as we have) about the complexity of wine. It’s almost like in the beginning you don’t realize that there IS anything better so you buy and drink the cheaper stuff. But you get what you pay for, and while I do believe there are plenty of great wines for not much money, from my experience in the wine industry, I haven’t had a bad bottle of wine that was priced higher….
Three cheers for grapes!!!!