Combine the high-energy of Ted Plemmons of Paso Robles’ Cass Winery and the savory gourmet small plates by Chef Erin Sealy of San Diego’s Wine Pairs and you’re in for a delightful wine-filled, palate pleasing evening!
La Costa Wine Company in Carlsbad recently hosted its second “Pop Up” 5-Course Winemaker Dinner, and has already created a loyal fan base. Pop up dinners are trending now and are akin to a fancy food flash mob, often held at unsuspecting venues such as wine bars, parks or even in parking lots. Often these venues have no kitchens, so much of the food is prepared ahead of time and hand-carried to the event. www.lacostawineco.com
Ted greeted guests zealously and was very excited to showcase his five hand-selected Cass Winery wines that would surely compliment Chef Erin’s menu.
Ted has been an integral part of Cass Winery for over 15 years, and now manages the vineyards in Paso Robles for owner Steve Cass. He commented on the Old World style winemaking philosophy at Cass Winery,
“Cass Wines taste exactly what the vineyard gave us! ”
With all the players in place, and the foodies and wine enthusiasts standing by, the festivities unfolded.
Kicking off the dinner with a crisp, citrusy and floral nosed Cass 2015 Viognier, Chef Erin paired a Chimichurri Shrimp on herbed baby greens and arugula with grilled fresh peaches and fennel.
Next was Pots de Duck, a shredded roasted duck over herbed risotto, blackened Shiitake mushrooms, sweet potato and Havarti cheese, encrusted in a butter pastry topped with Crème Fraiche and expertly paired with a heavenly neutral oak Cass 2014 Grenache, redolent of fresh strawberries.
As if the food and wine couldn’t get any better, Chef Erin rolled out her famous Shi Shi Tacos ~ a crispy spice rubbed pork belly, baby kale, nutmeg, Camembert cream, blackened Portobello, blackberry Crème Fraiche marvel. Naturally, the Cass 2013 Mourvedre beautiful accented the blackberry jam notes of the dish and was well-received.
One of the crowd’s favorite dishes was the 18 Hour Slow Roasted Sage Stuffed Pork on soft polenta with sofrito sauce, carmelized eggplant and smoked mozzarella cream dotted with fresh oregano and chives.
Perfectly paired with the Cass 2013 GSM, the lush Syrah nicely complimented the carmelized eggplant and richness of the entrée with raspberry and blackberry fruit.
Last, but certainly one of the best wines was the Cass 2013 Vintage Ted, a select barrel blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, and Petit Verdot. Heady aromas of Mulberry, black cherry, cigar box, Cassis and violet enhanced the Black Pepper Espresso Braised Tri Tip with cream cheese, chives, mashed red skins, glazed with Chef Erin’s highly touted Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam.
Dessert was simple but definitely amazing ~ Dark Chocolate Soft Brittle with dried Bing cherry, hazelnut, salted butterscotch caramel, espresso bean, black pepper and sea salt.
For private parties or to find the next 5-Course Winemaker Dinner, contact Chef Erin Sealy through www.winepairs.com
And, to experience Cass Wines in living technicolor, www.casswines.com