I believe I said that last week was pretty darn good. Tonight, that was topped. Please keep in mind that this report is based on my tastes and impressions. I'm not a professional wine taster, but sure appreciate the good stuff in wine and food.
We had a representative from the winery, Flora Springs Winery, with us tonight. A family-owned winery in St. Helena, CA; begun by Flora and her husband. Flora is now 100 years old and still active; her son owns the winery and her grandson is in charge of operations. The winery has been in operation for 33 years.
Our menu was thoughtfully paired with selections from the winery by the chef of Scalo Nob Hill. Note that the price will be going up. My spouse and I were speculating what such a dinner would cost in San Francisco, CA, or New York, NY and came up with $75 or $100 per diner. Tonight's dinner was $22.50 before tax and tip. The cost will be going up to a mere $27.50 next week. Still an amazing bargain, considering the quality of wines and food that are paired together. Many thanks to Scalo and its wine distributors for this generosity, and, for tonight, to Paul Trioni, from the Flora Springs Winery!
The salad was a simple and savory green apple and endive salad with a honey dijon vinaigrette dressing. This was paired with a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc in the Sancerre style. with the grapes coming from Oakville. While still nicely dry, there were melon components in the taste and this paired very nicely and smoothly with the salad.
The second course was a delicious and fresh tasting shrimp and avocado spring roll with a nicely bold soy and ginger dressing. This was matched with a 2010 Chardonnay with minimal oak, from the Carneros area of Napa. (By the way, the Flora Springs Winery owns all the land the grapes are grown on and do not buy grapes for their wines.) I could pick up tastes of baked and fresh apples with a clean crisp fragrance in the glass. This wine was not over-powered by the savory sauce served with the spring rolls and the tastes held true during enjoying the spring roll.
The main course was braised beef cheeks served with mushroom risotto, a red wine jus, and slivered fresh scallions. This was served with a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine for which the Floral Springs Winery is most known. The cheeks were tender, the risotto deeply flavored and both were well matched to the Cab. Honestly, one could drink this Cabernet with hamburgers and have a delightful combination. This cabernet sauvignon was 100% of the cabernet grape from the Rutherford region in the Napa Valley. In the glass there was the fragrance of deep red cherries with a hint of roses (yes, roses!), along with a hint of tobacco and leather. On the tongue, the soft tannins were present but not dominant, leaving a pleasantly dry finish and the hint of roses and leather persisted to the end.
Dessert was a most delicious and smooth chocolate creme brulee, served with a 2009 Merlot. This was a blend of 97% Merlot and 3% Malbec. Definitely tastes of dark cherry and black pepper on the tongue, a most satisfactory companion to the richness and smoothness of the chocolate creme brulee. A hint of smoke on the finish that delightfully completed the taste.
If you have the opportunity to enjoy one of these Wednesday Wine and Dines, I think you will be pleased. The reservations fill up quickly; your best bet is to sign up for the weekly notifications and reserve as soon as you can (at the Scalo website -- yummy education on the plate and in the glass).