Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Behind the Scenes at a Wine Dinner

Deconstructed Bagel and Lox

Deconstructed Bagel and Lox

I recently worked a wine dinner at Temptations and wanted to share the behind the scenes fun.

I’ve said it before:  if you love food and wine and want to learn more about the whole subculture of people and pleasures that field encompasses, and you want the opportunity  to try lots of great food and wine you might not otherwise get to – for free – get yourself a part-time job at a restaurant; the learning experience can’t be beat.

Plus, the opportunity to work with talented and creative chefs and sous-chefs, get recipe tips and learn about fancy cooking techniques, get tastes of fabulous food and wine on a regular basis – what’s not to love?

OK, so I thought I wasn’t going to like that deconstructed bagel and lox thing-y above at all, but boy, was I ever surprised — it.was.good. That’s what’s so cool about working a wine dinner — you get to try all the food and all the wine, and we did. This course was paired with Abbazia Novacella Gruner Veltliner 2007, from Trentino, Italy.

And then there was the Duck Paella.  I don’t like duck, I just do not.  But this was the second iteration of duck I’ve had in recent months that I’ve loved.  Go figure.  What I figure is that what a super-talented chef can do with a dish can fo’ sho’ change your mind.  This course of duck, saffron rice, chorizo sausage and spicy tomato stock was paired with the Santa Alicia Carmenere Reserva 2008, from the Maipo Valley in Chile.

Duck Paella, after being inhaled by hungry waitstaff

Duck Paella, after being inhaled by hungry waitstaff

Next was the Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with a Sweet Corn Cake and Blueberry Mourvedre Reduction Sauce, paired with Amaze Mourvedre, Contra Costa County, California, 2006.

And then . . . my favorite course of all — dessert – “The Truffled Trifle,” a chocolate truffle with berries, paired with Marenco Pineto Brachetto d’Acqui, Piedmonte, Italy, 2009.

I wrote about the Marenco Pineto Brachetto d’Acqui on this blog recently, sharing how much I adore it.  It’s a perfect and light-hearted and fun dessert wine, which you all ought to try when you get a chance.  It’s like Welch’s Grape Juice, but with bubbles and alcohol — charming.

The great thing about a wine dinner is, you’ll learn how transcendent great food and wine pairing can be (yes, I get a little carried away), you’ll eat fabulous food and drink fabulous wine, and I bet you’ll have a couple new friends after. 

Desserts in the kitchen, waiting for their debut

Desserts in the kitchen, waiting for their debut


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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


2 Responses to “Behind the Scenes at a Wine Dinner”

  1. Michael says:

    Duck duck duck. I love duck. A gruner from Italy? Wow!

    How was the mourvedre?

  2. Hey there Michael!

    The mourvedre was very good — from what I remember. ; )

    OK, to be completely honest, I don’t actually remember that much about it now, except that it packed a powerful punch, and so I only had a very, very small glass of the stuff. I’m not a very detailed observer of a wine’s nuances as much as I am one to focus mostly on whether I dig it or not, and whether it goes well with the food it’s paired with!

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