Seafood Winemaker Dinner & the girl who drinks mostly Red Wine!
Bert and Ernie said it best – Here Fishy Fishy Fishy! If you hang with me enough, you know I love almost all the fish I see on the menu. So, when I heard about the Winemaker dinner at one of my favorite seafood restaurants – Cutters Crab House in Seattle- I was intrigued. When I found out Kerry Shiels from Côte Bonneville was going to be pairing their wines (predominantly red) I was willing to brave the weekday after work traffic to go.
Fish and Red Wine
Seriously, anytime I get to try fish courses that are made to pair with red wine – I am in!!! So, in the words of my pals Bert and Ernie – Here Fishy Fishy Fishy! Buckle up, this story has 7 courses, yep 7! Did you wear your eat’n pants? I did!
Bucking the norm
This tale isn’t all about red wine, but I love how winemakers and chefs aren’t afraid to break social norms and dare I say pair scallops and salmon with a beautiful red wine. Well, it can be done, and I am here to make you drool over the dinner I got to be a part of.
Rosé and Oysters
Now when you are located where Seattle Cutters is, any dinner at sunset is off to a good start. This dinner they prepared made a clear late winter day in Seattle beyond stunning! Dinner started just as the sun was going behind the clouds on the water.
First up, oysters! Paired with Cab Franc Rose’. There were a few things that stood out on this Rose’ – first thing you notice is it was served just a little cooler than room temperature. Kerry and the team at Côte Bonneville believe the Rose’ flavor profiles really shine when the wine isn’t constricted and is served chilled (as you might find with most Rose’s), the second thing is not obvious but is detailed when the winemaker begins telling the story of this wine. The grapes used for this Cab Franc are grown for the sole purpose of making a Rose’. It drinks like it was made with a purpose and that is special in my book.
Chardonnay and Crab
Next up was a 2014 Chardonnay paired with a Dungeness crab dish. Now all these elements eaten alone are not as good as what the chef did with this dish making it really sing. This dish is what I would name Travel Washington on a plate – Honeycrisp apples, Beecher’s Aged Flagship Cheddar and Chives with the Washington Chardonnay. I will be upfront and say that I typically shy away from white wines, but I was not able to put this Burgundy style Chardonnay down. Its destiny was to be paired with this dish for the world to enjoy. I drank my entire glass of this Chardonnay and I would do it again.
Syrah and Scallops
The third dish was the one I was looking most forward too prior to coming to this dinner. It is the Syrah paired with scallops. The dates and the tarragon added a dimension to the dish that let the scallops stand out and the wine overpower the dish at all. I was in seafood heaven if there ever was one. I was so impressed with the Syrah I rescued two bottles to join my Syrah collection.
Salmon and 2010 Carriage House Red
The salmon laid on a bed of sorghum, Anaheim chile with a kumquat glaze on top. I had never had sorghum this way, I usually eat it as a popcorn replacement. The texture and heat brought by the couscous-like side let the delicate salmon and the wine play nice with each other. The 2010 Carriage House red wine was the perfect match for this plate date.
Duck and 2010 DuBrul Red Wine
I have told you about the glasses of wine I drank every drop of, now here was the dish that left me amazed. The duck course paired with the 2010 DuBrul Vineyard red wine was one of my favorites. I am not normally a big fan of duck, but I ate it all. It was a fantastic dish and cooked perfectly as it lay on a wild mushroom kufteh.
Dessert and Riesling
Last but most certainly not least. Dessert – Nashi pear tarte tatin with Roquefort and paired with the Riesling. Was a nice light airy ending to a fantastic night of food and wine.
With each sip of these wines, you feel like you are getting hugged by a close friend or beloved family member. The passion and care they put into the vineyards, the grapes and the wine pour out of each bottle and it is hard to miss. If you get a chance to drink any of Kerry’s family wines, I can’t suggest it enough!
This dinner was the perfect fit for a red wine drinking fishy eater! Thank you, Cutters and Kerry from Côte Bonneville, for daring enough to put this amazing menu together.