Three years ago I came back from a class at the Culinary Institute of America's Professional Wine Studies Program. The week long class inspired me to learn more about wine, but in Minneapolis, and with a full time job, there were limitations to the extent I could learn at a more professional level.
So I gathered a group of wine loving friends and made them a deal: If you pick a theme, I'll research it, pick wines and create a tasting for the group. Over the next three years, we studied grape varietals, regions, sparkling and even beer. We've all gotten smarter about wine and we've kept a great group of friends together that would have long lost touch with one another without it.
Lately it's getting more difficult to to get us together as we're going through a stage of weddings and pregnancies. So for our last club meeting we chose to meet at a local restaurant, Corner Table. It's a great venue for a wine club because every Thursday night is Vinyl + Vino. Bring in your own wine and pay only $1 corkage. Bring in you favorite vinyl record and they'll spin it. But these are the not main reasons you should check out Corner Table. Chef Scott Pampuch is absolutely passionate about working with local farmers to bring in sustainable, high quality local products. And the results are phenomenal.
For this wine club we didn't have much of a theme; just bring something you like. We started our evening off with a bottle of Chateau D'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose, which I've written about before. It was a perfect match for the nosh plate we ordered.
This plate was as good as it looks with housemade potato chips, goat cheese, pickled mushrooms, housemade chorizo and rhubarb moutarde.
Our next wine was a 2009 Trinchero Sauvignon Blanc. This white is from the Calistoga area of Napa and is full of grapefruit, lemon and grass flavors. We did find the wine to be fairly alcoholic for a sauvignon blanc, at 14.2%.
However, it was a good match for a number of our dishes:
This asparagus and mushroom pasta with a light butter sauce was fantastic!
A tasty asparagus soup was a nice accompaniment to a great salad with duck confit.
Isn't this stuffed trout with aspargus gorgeous!
While we were waiting for dessert, Chef Scott brought us a taste of Austrian Zweigelt, something we had never tried before. What a treat! It's a light, fruity red with cherry flavors that make it a perfect summer red wine. I have to apologize for the photo (below), I took it rather quickly and apparently was a bit shaky.
Desserts were equally fabulous with a rhubarb crumble, a chocolate cake and chef's choice.
Above is the chef's choice dessert which was a rhubarb crepe, a shot of boxelder sap with maple syrup and bee pollen, and a grown up s'more.
This new iteration of our wine club could not have been more fun and we could not have felt more welcomed at Corner Table. Thanks to Chef Scott and staff for a very fun and memorable evening. See you in August!