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03.04.2005

Vinography/Manresa Wine Dinner Recap

Several of you have e-mailed me asking for details on the Story Wine Dinner that was held a couple of weeks ago in conjunction with Manresa Restaurant, so I thought I'd post a small re-cap here. Short story: it was a heck of a lot of fun, a great meal, and definitely something that I hope to do again.

The dinner sold out at a capacity of 26, but we ended up having six last minute cancellations so in all we ended up with twenty people, including myself.

I had selected five wines and in an afternoon of tasting and talking Chaf Kinch and I came up with a menu to match them, based around the idea of dishes with stories, with a couple of the dishes being made up on the spot by Chef (with a little encouragement from me).

Here's the final menu with wine pairings:


Gougeres

Foie gras and cumin caramel
2000 Domaine Marcel Deiss, Gruenspiel, Grand Cru, Bergheim

Soup of local shellfish with oysters and urchin
dungeness crab beggar's purses
2002 Domaine Henri Pelle, Clos des Blanchais, Menetou-Salon

Roast squab with olives
Slow cooked onions with chard
2001 Domaine du Galet des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes

Roast lamb rib-eye and braised shoulder
in a provençal style
2000 Domaine Alain Voge, Cornas, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

Caramelized pineapple cake and yogurt panna cotta
Both perfumed with bergamot
1996 Domaine Pichot, Vouvray, Moelleux

Coffee and tea

alder_story.table.jpg


I was VERY pleased with how the pairings turned out. The collaboration between myself and Chef Kinch resulted in some fabulous combinations of flavors. We told stories about every dish and about each of the wines, and some of the folks attending shared funny or interesting stories about their experiences with a particular type of wine, etc. It felt much more intimate and fun than most of the wine dinners I've ever been to, which was very much the point.

If you're interested in attending the next one, let me know by leaving a comment here, and I'll make sure you're the first to know about it.

Photo courtesy of Stellah Deville.

Comments (9)

Michelle wrote:
03.05.05 at 2:49 AM

I would love to... too bad for the moment I don't life in San Francisco. Of course, if you find yourself in Singapore in the next few months, please drop by.

david wrote:
03.05.05 at 11:29 PM

This was truly unique, a much more fun format than the usual wine dinner. I can only hope that we do another one because it offers endless possibilities for food and wine pairings. I look forward to doing it again. Alder is a great host and lots of fun to work with.
Cheers.

enoch choi wrote:
03.06.05 at 10:00 PM

love to go to the next one. i need to know by the 1st week of the month before the date -- schedule's set then.

dawn wrote:
03.07.05 at 8:13 AM

Speaking of interesting wine stories . . . From the Soif Wine Bar update, I was quite surprised to read the following entry: "As one might expect from a man who acquired his winery through a leg-wrestling match, this wine is rich and elegant with full flavors of apricot, honey, crème brûlée & almond paste. And, it is an excellent value." Of course it was the leg-wrestling match reference that gave me pause. The wine -- Confit de la Colline Côtes de Bergerac 2001 (100% Semillon).

Fatemeh wrote:
03.07.05 at 11:02 AM

Alder -

I was SO sad to miss this. Next time, hopefully there won't be so much other stuff impinging on the bank account!

- Fatemeh

teri wrote:
03.07.05 at 12:51 PM

Wonderful write-up. A question for you. For my husband's 30th birthday - an 11 AM lunch at French Laundry or dinner at Manresa? We had the best meal of our lives at FL and have never tried Manresa. Love to get your feedback on this.

Molly wrote:
03.07.05 at 4:11 PM

*sniff* we were some of the last minute cancellations. I was at work until 10:00 so there would have been no way. Next time, sounds great. A little later would be nice too for those of us that travel from afar...

Alder wrote:
03.07.05 at 7:13 PM

Wow. Teri. I don't feel comfortable being entrusted with such a decision! So I'm not going to answer other than to say that the food at Manresa is certainly great, but it’s a different experience than the French Laundry. Both restaurants are fantastic, especially if you're ordering the Chef's tasting menu, and both have a nice romantic ambience that's appropriate for a birthday dinner.

Take a look at my reviews of each restaurant, and then the decision really has to be yours!

Manresa

French Laundry

Sorry. Hope that helps a little.

Greg wrote:
03.07.05 at 7:38 PM

The evening was magical!
The story from David Kinch involved squab and breaking down and weeping.
You'll have to attend the next Vinography dinner at Manresa to hear the amazing stories--I'm sure that Kinch has lots of great stories. Another story involved drinking Chateaeuneuf-du-Pape and frolicking in Amsterdam (or was it Copenhagen?). Nuff said.

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