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Tag Archive | "Vintages 2.0"

Paella Times 2; Celeb Chef Tesar at Granary; Wine!


paella soul food half cropWhile the Paella Challenge at the Pearl isn’t happening until March, you can get a mouth-watering preview of some paella action — and learn how to do it — at GauchoGourmet’s cooking and tasting event, Viva Paella, this Saturday, Feb. 21.

Viva Paella will be from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. featuring chef James Canter, Aurelia’s Chorizo owner Leslie Horne and members of the San Antonio Chef’s Cooperative. Learn how it’s done and get samples of three different paellas.

GauchoGourmet is at 935 Isom Road. Phone: 210-277-7930

The cost is $10 if the ticket is purchased by Friday or $15 at the door on Saturday. Ticket price includes tasting of paellas and chorizo. Ticket also may be purchased online here. www.gauchogourmet.com/events.html

The Pearl Paella Challenge

It’s coming! The fifth annual Corona Paella Challenge is coming March 9, bringing a day of live entertainment wines and sangria from Spain and of course, the paella competition. This contest, running from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. brings together chefs from  from San Antonio, across the United States and Mexico. They’ll be turning up the heat on their paella cookers to create these sumptuous dishes of rice, vegetables, seafood and more. The proceeds benefit the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.

Ticket Prices:  Adults: $50; Those under 21: $25.

The ticket price includes entry into the event, samples of paella and other treats from the chefs as well as beverages (beer, wine, sangria, sodas and water). Items from vendors who may be on site are purchased separately.

Visit here for more information on participating chefs and a photo gallery from last year’s event and other information.

granaryGranary announces dinner with John Tesar of Top Chef Masters

Excited to officially announce we are taking reservations for our March 17 Chef Collaboration dinner!

Chef John Tesar (Top Chef Masters, Spoon Bar & Kitchen) will join forces with The Granary chef/owner Tim Rattray to serve a seven-course Surf & Turf tasting menu — including lobster pastrami. Drink pairings will be available.

Reservations can be made here.  (Cancellation within 48 hours of the dinner subject to fee.)

Seatings are at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

 

where y'at pieter sypesteyn1Where Y’at? At Feast

Feast, 1024 S. Alamo St., is bringing its Guest Chef Series back on March 3.

Chef Pieter Sypesteyn of Where Y’at food truck will be serving up a Lundi Gras dinner.  That’s Fat Monday, folks, and it’s the day before Mardi Gras.

“This may be the last Guest Chef dinner for a while, so I wanna go out with a BANG!” Feast chef Stefan Bowers says. “Don’t mess around! Call and purchase in advance and get a $10 break. Its going to be a night of amazing food, white lightning’s and hurricanes. Right in your back yard! Take the next day off and come tear it up!”

Tickets are $60 at the door or $50 in advance. Call 210-354-1024.

San Antonio wine educator and seller, Woody Del LunaDallas Wine Competition judges

San Antonio wine educator and seller, Woody Del LunaDallas Wine Competition judges

San Antonio wine expert at Dallas wine competition

Woody de Luna, wine educator and owner of Vintages 2.0, was one of the judges at the Dallas Morning News and TEXSOM Wine Competition, the second-largest in the nation.

The competition was Feb. 17-18 at the Irving Convention Center.

In the photo at right, from left to right are Tim Gaiser, MS of San Francisco, Dilek Caner, MW of Dallas, Woody de Luna, CWE of San Antonio, and Debbie of Zachareas of Napa & San Francisco.

Crumpets French Wine Dinner

All of the wines in this month’s wine dinner at Crumpets are from France. Two are from the famous Bordeaux region, two from Cote d’Azur region in southeastern France and one from the historic city of Carcassonne in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, southern France bordering Spain.

The dinner is $70 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Call for reservations at 210-821-5600. Crumpets is at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road.

Courses paired with French wines:

Crumpets is nestled in a sylvan section of town.

Crumpets’ woodland setting

Domaine Sarrail Cite de Carcassonne Blanc
French Onion Soup

Chateau Burgrave White
Vol au Vent St Jacques

Chateau Burgrave Red
Goose Liver Terrine

Chateau du Trignon Rasteau
Entrecote Café de Paris

Chateau du Trignon Muscat
Mocha Éclairs

 

 

 

 

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A Winning Combination: Chefs & Cellars


Chefs and Cellars wine glass

San Antonio chefs paired up with cellar masters Sunday night for an event staged by Culinaria every year near the beginning of the fall season.

This winning combination invites wine collectors to bring out rare and wonderful bottles to share while chefs and their crews do some pretty fancy footwork marrying food to wine.

This event, at $300 per ticket, is one of Culinaria’s most sought-after and usually sells out early. Surprisingly, it doesn’t call for dressing up — business casual is the stated attire. But there’s nothing casual about the expectations of the guests who gathered in the skills kitchen of the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio.

Our table had high expectations of (as well as confidence in) our cellar master, wine expert and Vintages 2.0 owner Fernando “Woody” de Luna, a longtime wine writer and certified wine educator as well as wine retailer who recently marked 35 years in the wine business in central Texas.

Ceviche of Clams and Mexican Bay Scallops

Ceviche of Clams and Mexican Bay Scallops

De Luna is respected especially for his great knowledge and appreciation of Old World wines, especially the Rieslings of Germany, Alsace and Austria, the wines of France — especially Burgundy and  Champagne — as well as Spanish Rioja and Sherry and Italy’s Tuscany and Piedmont.

Our chef, Jesse Perez, is the chef and owner of Arcade Midtown Kitchen at the Pearl. His menu reflected his love of Southwest and interior Mexican flavors and spices, locally sourced ingredients, such as Bandera quail, Mexican sea scallops, lamb and more. His starter was a Ceviche of Clams and Mexican Bay Scallops, a cool but crisply flavored mélange of tender, marinated scallops with a chamomile and green-apple sauce, brioche crouton and citrus.

While one might expect that the chef and cellar master had put their heads together over many tastings and discussions to come up with the pairings, Perez simply asked for the wine list, brief explanations of what de Luna planned to bring — then did some footwork on his own.

“There are two ways to pair wines with food — you can contrast the flavors or match them,” Perez said at the beginning of the meal. His decision was to match them. Hence, the chamomile and green-apple flavors in the ceviche, which echoed the bright, crisp flavors of the Pierre Gimonnet Brut NV Blanc de Blancs Cuis 1er Cru Magnum.

Lineup of wine from Woody del Luna of Vingates 2.0

Lineup of wine from Woody de Luna of Vintages 2.0. Photo courtesy Vintages 2.0

De Luna’s first offering for the evening and was not one of the big-name brands of the Champagne region. Rather it was a grower Champagne, which means it is a product of the men and women on their own estates, growing their own grapes, as de Luna described. This was a beautiful, balanced sparkler well-suited as an aperitif all by itself, as well as a worthy companion to the bright colors and fresh seafood in the appetizer.

Fernando "Woody" de Luna

Fernando “Woody” de Luna

The courses continued with similar success. Bandera Texas Quail with Smoked Chile was served with a spectacular and rare 2010 Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Tradition Kamtal Magnum, from Austria. The wine was dry, yet the fruit gave an impression of sweetness that was a good foil for the dark chile sauce as well as the spicy bite of a white bean hummus.  The food was well thought out — and a delicate little chicken-fried quail leg-quarter was a table favorite. But in this case, the wine was the wonder: Its complexity of flavor, acidity, vinous characteristics and more cascaded over the palate and unfolded “like a waterfall” as de Luna described it. “I love the purity of wines in the Old World,” he said. It was sheer gold in a glass.

Butter Poached Cold Water Lobster and Prawns

Butter Poached Cold Water Lobster and Prawns

In the next course, Perez came back with a lovely Butter Poached Cold Water Lobster and Prawns, an excellent choice for the 2006 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir Domaine Billaud Simon Chablis, France Magnum.

Chablis is a wine that, for me and most other Old World wine enthusiasts, is one of the best expressions of the Chardonnay grape. (The other being blanc de blancs Champagne.) The elegance of this Grand Cru wine, dry yet so full in character, vibrant minerality and other expressions of the famous terroir, showed that a Chardonnay doesn’t have to sparkle to be a classic accompaniment lobster.

Also, as de Luna pointed out, this wine, which comes from vineyards at the northern limit of the region, is one of only seven vineyards allowed to carry the Grand Cru designation.

While the lobster in this dish was sweet and tender, even this classy crustacean was nearly upstaged by Perez’s inspiring (as in, let’s go home and make some now) Gazpacho Blanco and Toasted Almonds that provide the brothy foundation for the dish. The “untraditional garnishes” included some unusual grapes that Perez had picked up at Central Market that day, called ‘witches fingers.” Dark and purple they were — and elongated. But their witchy presence was an artful addition to the white gazpacho.

Perez chose lamb — barbacoa, chop, loin and belly — for his third course. The rich meat was surrounded with an array of grilled and roasted vegetables that added color and tamed the fattiness of the course. The tender and flavorful barbacoa seemed to be a table favorite — “I’d buy a couple of pounds of this and take it home for breakfast tacos,” said one approving guest.

Chef Jesse Perez

Chef Jesse Perez

Spain was the Old World region from which De Luna chose his wine. A 1998 Gran Reserva 904 La Rioja Alta, Haro, Spain, Magnum was the kind of red wine that lamb wants — as the Spaniards know so well. The wine was a sleek version of this famed Spanish red, robust and smooth and was compatible with each of the versions of lamb on the plate.

We ended this culinary cruise with a cheese board, Sweet and Savory, which ranged from an excellent ricotta cheesecake brownie to the chef’s selection of cheeses, fruits and nuts. A fun surprise was to find a bit of dark, fragrant honey in the comb that was provided by one of our table mates, Robert H. Holliday. His longtime hobby of beekeeping added an intensely sweet ending to this meal.

With the cheese board came de Luna’s second Riesling of the evening, the 2001 Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese Gold Kapsule Weingut Monchoff, Mosel, Germany. The “Auslese’ in the name lets you know that this is one of the sweeter styles of the wine, and with the rich cheeses and nuts, it was a fine match.

As the evening drew to an end, the various tables, set up throughout the kitchen and dining areas, each  custom  decorated by the hosts, gave out with loud cheers for their wines, chefs and crews. It was praise well-deserved.

Other chef/cellar master teams included chef/restaurateur Jason Dady with Phil Seelig and Hien Nguyen; John Brand, chef of Omni Hotels restaurants Las Canarias and Ostra with Gabriel Guajardo; chefs James Moore and Jeff White with Dr. Richard Becker of Becker Vineyards and Geronimo Lopez-Monascal, executive chef at NAO, with Dr. Joe Becker, Becker Vineyards.

Tipperary Cocktail, from Arcade Midtown Kitchen, a barrel-aged concoction with a supersized, hand-hewn ice cube.

Tipperary Cocktail, from Arcade Midtown Kitchen, a barrel-aged concoction with a supersized, hand-hewn ice cube.

To reach Fernando de Luna at Vintages 2.0, call 210-410-0296.

 

Photos by Bonnie Walker

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Welcome to the Summer of Riesling


Summer is upon us, in case you hadn’t noticed. And that means it’s time for the fifth annual Summer of Riesling celebration.

Never heard of the Summer of Riesling?

We hadn’t either. But we’re always in the mood for a good Riesling. And that’s what this global campaign is about, making sure as many people as possible know the magic — and the endless fun — of a fine Riesling.

Locally, the folks at Godai Sushi Bar, 11203 West Ave., and the Monterey, 1127 S. St. Mary’s St., are taking part by offering Rieslings by the glass to go with their food. If you don’t know how good that is, just taste sushi with Riesling. The combination is outrageously good, as is pairing a bold Riesling with Benton’s Country Ham and pimento cheese at the Monterey.

Throughout the month of July, the focus is on German Rieslings, noted for their great complexity, bright acidity, and a wealth of flavors. Wine merchant Woody de Luna, considered to be one of the foremost Riesling experts in the world, is promoting German Rieslings through his shop, Vintages 2.0, 8603 Crownhill Blvd.

A couple of the wines he’s offering, accompanied by his descriptions:

  • 2008 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett — Classic Mosel delicacy (8% alcohol) with that sorbet tension between fruit and acidity. From the “Sun Dial” vineyard (Sonnenuhr) that is a continuation from Wehlen’s side of this the greatest Mosel vineyard.
  • 2009 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken — From “Heaven’s Kingdom” vineyard (so called because the vineyard is above the village church) this dryish, fresh wine filled with heirloom apple scents and dry Asian spice. Try with grilled scallops.

These are only two of the many Rieslings Vintages 2.0 carries. The shop is open is open Monday-Friday. For information, call (210) 410-0296.

Riesling is a grape that flourishes around the world producing wines that express their terroir in varied and wonderful ways. It grows in Germany, of course, but also in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, California, New York and Texas.. Some are dry and steely, some are fruity with great acid, and some are sweet. All show how versatile the grape can be.

For more information on the Summer of Riesling, click here.

 

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