Holiday Food & Wine Pairing at San Antonio Winery!
Remember awhile back when I introduced you to my new favorite place, San Antonio Winery? Well, this past weekend I was invited to return to this beautiful, one of a kind landmark in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. This time around, I was not mixing measuring cups & cylinders to create the very own, custom “Along Comes Mary” blend (It exists! Being opened this Christmas), but, I was having a remarkable 7 course (YES, 7 courses, including dessert) meal with each plate being paired with what San Antonio does best: wine. And, how perfect that this was a Holiday engagement to get us in the merry spirit.
With the same special concept of my “Make Your Own Wine” event, San Antonio’s Holiday Pairing Class pulled out all of their stops, with renaissance man & winery manager, Dominic Menton, leading this fun-filled luncheon while we enjoyed the final selections from what Menton & winery Chef Greg stated began with nearly SEVENTY different dishes in mind!
From The African Blacked Eyed Pea Salad paired with the chameleon Italian Pinot Grigio from Fontana Gina, to such exotic dishes like The Chinese inspired roasted duck, with a plum sauce & Maddalena Merlot straight from Paso Robles, this 4 hour afternoon was as much exotic, as it was diverse.
Wanting to create plates that were not just the traditional turkey & cranberry sauce, Menton & Greg worked weeks in advance to get these bold, urban recipes just right with the wines we would be served. Whether you’re interested in trying something new this Thanksgiving like Italian Braised Short Rib Ravioli, or are hosting relatives who love Chinese Style Roasted Duck, one thing is for certain: Either of these dishes would require a great, & possibly completely opposite, kinds of wine.
I call Fontana Gina’s Pinot Grigio a “chameleon” as my palette took on a complete new taste after taking a bite of the African Black Eye Pea Salad. When it was first poured, it was definitely a light, floral, white wine. A little too sweet for my liking. Enter our 1st course, & after a sampling, which had onions & cucumber in with the peas, & this wine became one of the highlights of the day for me. Much more smooth, subtle, not the overwhelmingly peach notes that I got at first.
And, did you think one of these 7 dishes would not be turkey?! They not only included, but went all out with the house made mashed potatoes & cranberry sauce. Much like the fruity, gorgeous San Simeon Viognier (Paso Robles), this sauce brought to mind a great, full-bodied RED as a special ingredient was cayenne pepper. Thus, giving it a great pepper-y spice to the staple side dish.
When our next treat arrived, a “Lahmajoon” lamb pizza, some were a bit confused at being informed their first of the red wines to try was a Maddalena Zinfandel (Paso Robles). Zinfandel is, truly, a red wine, & due to the amount of tannins, is just behind Pinot Noir for its bold-ness, explained Dominic.
When it was time for some Short Rib Ravioli, our host got especially excited. Paired with this unique pasta was The San Simeon Petite Syrah. Pumping us all up for it, Menton compared it to mimicking a cough syrup for its ability to coat your throat. It lingers. It burns. It does everything to your palette an incredible, bold. red should do. I am quick to add, that, when the bottle went by my seat, I did not hesitate for another sip!
Like the rest of those who love San Antonio, we all have one thing in common: their Bodega Sangria is also perfection. And, it was a great send off for us before we moved into dessert. Paired with chicken tamales, rice & beans, this plate almost felt like a bit of an homage to San Antonio’s incredible history & their heritage attached to Downtown Los Angeles. While I usually would not be pleased for mini-sized tamales, thank heavens they were, given how much we had enjoyed.
Dessert found us having a sweet teat with Filipino history. Have you ever heard of, or had, a banana lumpia? Basically a fried banana, these decadent bites were such a perfect send off, along with the newest flavor in the Stella Rosa line, Platinum, with notes of green apple, vanilla, and elderflower. Having never had a wine with such strong notes of green apples, it was absolutely divine, & such another wonderful, lavish day at San Antonio Winery! Check them out HERE & make sure to consider one of their exciting events! xo