Monday, May 4, 2015

Tablemakers at Kendall Jackson Winery

On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of enjoying an evening full of incredible food and wine, in the company of some truly lovely people, at Kendall Jackson Winery. The dinner was a part of something new they're calling Tablemakers, which is based on the concept that dining should be thoughtful. It doesn't have to be perfect; it should instead be about good food and good drink and good people all coming together to share in the joy of a meal. Now that's a sentiment I can get behind. I'm all about the simple, unfussy meal. Delicious ingredients presented thoughtfully, not pretentiously. Food that feels good to eat, and meals that spark conversation. And boy, did Saturday's event deliver!

Farmer Tucker with some gorgeous produce
(and our gorgeous dining area behind him)

We began with wine and a stroll through the gardens - including the lovely sensory gardens, where we plucked herbs to smell and taste as we tasted our wines. Farmer Tucker told us about the foods grown on the property, really kickstarting my summer garden drive (we'd spent the morning tilling our soil, but haven't decided what to plant yet this year). I'm especially inspired to plant peas, after snacking on fresh pea shoots that we harvested ourselves! Dining in the very garden in which our meal was grown, harvested and prepared? As our hosts said, "It doesn't get more farm-to-table than this."

I was so in awe of our beautiful surroundings and so delighted to be sipping my wine that I neglected to photograph the first half hour or so. won't see the trout caviar on oyster lettuce (holy crap I could eat this all day - OYSTER LETTUCE AND TROUT CAVIAR YOU GUYS) or pea shoot arancini or fennel "creamy cold soup whose name I've forgotten". Trust me, they were tasty.

Others in attendance were photographing like mad (which reminded me to bust out my camera), so check out the #kjexperience and #tablemakers hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and see for yourself! Luckily, our dinner menu included the wine pairings, so I can let you know what we drank as we ate :)

The gorgeous place settings. Major kudos to the design team!

First course: Seared scallop, estate carrot, fava beans, pea tendrils, celtuce, savory granola
First wine: Vintner's Reserve Pino Gris
First reaction: The scallop was perfect. Just, like, imagine the most perfect scallop on Earth. That's what it was. And the sauce was so delicious I mopped it up with the grape skin flour bread that was studded with olives. The wine was crisp and fresh and cool, a perfect counterpoint to the seared scallop.

Second course: Estate lamb loin, morel mushrooms, turnips, kale spring onion soubise
Second wine: Grand Reserve Merlot
Second reaction: Jesus. This lamb. Thank you for your sacrifice, tiny one, who was humanely raised about 200 feet from where we ate you. The lamb was perfectly cooked - and the morels were a special treat. The sauce, again, perfectly balanced. And I'm not usually a Merlot girl, but this Merlot was really great. Just sweet enough, just dry enough, and it went with the lamb like they were made for each other.

Third course: Baserri (Barinaga Ranch), Midnight Moon (Cypress Grove), Dry Jack (Vella Cheese Co)
Third wine: Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Third reaction: The cheese was a nice complement to the richness of the lamb. I'm not sure what the compotes were (I'm guessing fig) but they were lovely, as were the nuts. Of course the cab was nicely balanced, and went with the cheeses. I mean, obviously. And yes, I started to eat my cheese before I took the picture. Oops.

Dessert course: Peas n' carrots, yogurt sorbet
Dessert wine: Vintner's Reserve Late Harvest Chardonnay
Dessert reaction: The sorbet was refreshing, but the peas n' carrots was the star of dessert. That moussey situation was just right, and I probably could've gobbled up a whole lot more of it if they'd put it in front of me. Really hit the spot. I wasn't a huge fan of the Chardonnay - a little sweet for me, but that's a dessert wine for you!

Bonus course: Assorted chocolates
Bonus wine: Something magical and I don't even know what it was but it was delicious and thank you Chef for pouring it for us it was absolutely stupendous.
Bonus reaction: Always stick around to chat with your hosts, friends. Delightful conversation about gin and Chicago and wine and gardening and why Northern California is the best. I mean, it is.

We left with a goody bag that included two bottles of wine, a corkscrew and a copy of A Man and His Mountain...and thanks to the generosity of Farmer Tucker, Will and I also left with a giant box of gorgeous produce. Now we just have to think of some amazing ways to use it! Any ideas? Hit me up in the comments!

I know it's been a hot minute since I made an appearance over here at KKS, but I was so inspired by this meal that I had to show it off. Work has been nuts for the last few months, immediately following the craziness of that wedding I planned, so the blog has taken a backseat to the priority of self-care and making some space in my life for just breathing and living. But Spring is here, which means you'll start seeing some garden photos soon, and hopefully some more blogging in general as well. Here's to Spring, and a renewed joie de vivre.

While I was granted complimentary media access to this event, my opinions and thoughts are all my own, and I was not otherwise compensated or required to write this post. Thanks to the Kendall-Jackson Team for a great evening!

No comments:

Post a Comment