Last night I attended the “debut” of Pulchella Winery’s first wine pairing dinner. Held at Salt Creek Grille Valencia – now serving up popular wine dinners monthly it would seem – the restaurant had to add more seating to meet demand.
Pulchella Winery, for those that don’t know it yet, opened Santa Clarita’s first winery tasting room this past year on Main Street in downtown Newhall. While winemakers Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper attended to all of the dining guests their lovely wives, Megan Lemley and Jennifer Hasper, attended to the wine-ing guests in the tasting room. You can learn more about the wines, wine club memberships (I have one!) and the tasting room hours here: http://www.pulchellawinery.com
The Teaser Invite
From winery co-owner Steve Lemley: “I am sure Chef Tamara Levine will not disappoint with the pairing as her knowledge of wine is just as talented as her creative cooking but… You will have to attend to see what she will bring to the table. Trust me, it will be an amazing evening but, as the last event showed, it will sell out fast so get your tickets now and come join all of us!”
The Menu with Eve’s Tasting Notes
First Course Everyday Red Blend (A good food wine, 60% Cabernet, 30% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel)
Grilled Root Vegetable Cassoulet with Frittelle di Spaghetti (Okay, my cassoulet is like soup, this one was not, and, to add more substance over mine Tamra had fried the spaghetti instead of using boring old breadcrumbs as a topping!)
Wilted Spinach with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing (I thought that the entire pairing, including this tart salad, brought out the fruit in the wine.)
Second Course 2009 Private Family Reserve Blend: Paso Robles (50% Cabernet and 50% Zinfandel, this was a favorite wine of the night for many, including us.)
Short Rib Tacos with Hominy-Butternut Mash (What a perfect summer dish! Told them to please add it to the menu! The homemade corn tortillas added a great nuttiness to the smooth tasting rib meat and mash.)
Charred Tomatillo Guacamole (The spiciness of the wine against the cinnamon we found was really fun.)
Third Course Everyday White Blend (Another favorite for many, Pinot Blanc with a little Muscat thrown in. Almost a full dessert wine.)
Pecan Shortbread with Gorgonzola and Caramelized Pears
Honeysuckle Sorbet (The pears and honeysuckle were aromas and flavors that most guests, and of course Tamra, could detect in the wine. The Gorgonzola cheese was a prefect pairing for dessert wines and did equal justice here. Tamra said she searched all over Santa Clarita to find fresh honeysuckle that she would turn into this sorbet. Loved it as a palate cleanser.)
Who Was Seen
Marlee Lauffer and Laine Hedwell, Chris and Jeannie Carpenter, Robert and Annie Schwartz, Dr. Greg Jenkins, Marca Johnson, Ron and Kym Cappi, Cathy Craig, Francine Danny, Derrick and Maureen McKaughlin, John, Marcy, Morgan and Megan Gonzalez (the family behind the new Poached Pair bakery in Newhall), Jeff and Tamra Levine, Mary Reuschel, Steve Lemley, Nate Hasper, Jennifer Chadwick and Greg Amsler.
What is Next
The next Wine and Dine event will be with Wente Family Estates and is scheduled for July 21. For these new wine dinners guests have the option of the seating inside or on the patio, with reservations beginning at 5 p.m., families are welcome, as are guests that would like to just order off of the regular menu. Reserve now: 661-222-9999.