This past Wednesday I was invited to check out a French wine pairing dinner at Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa which is a restaurant within the Patina Restaurant Group (PRG). There is a special wine pairing dinner called Le Tour De France going on in honor of Tour De France, which is currently happening in France from June 29 through July 21, 2013. Tour De France happens every year, but this year is very special because it is the 100th year of Tour De France! Tour De France is a multiple stage bicycle race that is held in France every year and passes through several neighboring countries. For more information, go to the official website here: Le Tour De France
I was very excited to be invited to attend the special French wine pairing meal at Pinot Provence this past Wednesday, July 10! In honor of Tour De France, the restaurant put together a variety of special dishes with specified glasses of wine to accent the flavors of France. This special wine pairing dinner will also be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, July 17, so make sure to book your reservation quick as I am sure they will fill up!
Upon being seated in our quaint & comfy room full of beautiful French décor, the table was nicely set up for wine pairings with a special map of the wine regions. There were 4 different glasses to encompass each serving of wine that matched the different varietals in order to allow them to breathe properly and have the utmost flavor and aroma.
For the first course, Executive Chef, Alfonso Ramirez (recently nominated as one of the top chefs for the Riviera Magazine) brought to our table a fine porcelain dish with gorgeous vegetables, Dungeness crab, heirloom tomatoes, and basil pistou. Upon setting the bowl down, he delicately poured the tomato gazpacho to gently cover the crabs and vegetables. This was served with a fresh & crisp glass of Rose from France called Chateau de St. Martin Rose 2012. For those of you that know me, I am not usually a Rose person, but this one was pretty amazing and with the cold gazpacho, these literally were a slice of heaven paired together.
Course two included seared scallops, parsley gremolata, & basil scented jus. This dish was my favorite. The scallops were seasoned and cooked to perfection and I savored each succulent bite! Scallops are hard to cook properly, so when you get ones that are cooked to perfection, they are pretty amazing! This dish was served with a Domaine Cherrier ET Fils San Cerre 2011. This glass was a Sauvignon Blanc, yet it tasted like an oaky Chardonnay event though it had been
aged in stainless steel. The flavors of this wine were pretty amazing and our Sommelier; Francois (loved him!!!)shared with us that the soil where the grapes are grown for this wine in Sancerre is made from clay & limestone and is rich in flint and is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Another interesting factor he shared with me that I did not know before was that Fume Blanc is the same as Sauvignon Blanc, but it is aged in Oak. Trust me…when you attend this wine pairing dinner or come to this restaurant, you will also learn a great deal about wines from this fabulous Sommelier! He was literally the friendliest most informative sommelier I ever met in any restaurant!
For the third course we were served a roasted duck breast, celery root puree, summer squash, and duck liver jus with a glass of Grand Enclos du Chateau de Cerons 2005 which was a red French Bordeaux. The duck was succulent in flavor as the tender piece of meat melted in my mouth. The combination of items used by Chef Ramirez caused a joyous pleasure in my mouth that instantly elated happy thoughts and memories of sitting in a café in Paris, France! This dish was done phenomenally well and paired perfectly with the red wine.
For the fourth and last course there was a fresh peach desert prepared for us that consisted of summer peach tartin, brown butter crumble, lavender Chantilly, and Tonka bean gelato with a glass of a sweet wine called Chateau Grand-Jauga Sauternes from the year 2007. These two paired very nicely together as the sweet wine seemed to have an aroma of peaches and apples, so since it was fruity as well, it complimented the desert perfectly. 🙂
I recommend making a trip to this restaurant, Pinot Provence for the last night of the Tour De France Menu that will be held this upcoming Wednesday, July 17. The four-course meal is $70 a person, $100 with wine pairing (believe me…wine pairing is a must) 🙂 Reservation time slots are available between the hours of 5:00pm & 9:00 pm. If you thoroughly enjoy good food and wine, this is one event you do not want to miss. Even if you cannot make it this upcoming Wednesday, check out Pinot Provence soon! It is conveniently located across the street from South Coast Plaza and is attached to the Westin hotel down the street from a variety of theaters, including Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the South Coast Reperatory. Enjoy! See another wine pairing dinner called Sommelier Fireside Dinners happening October & November 2013 here —> SOMMELIER FIRESIDE DINNERS.
The Patina group restaurant, Leatherby’s Café Rouge also regularly caters to feed our students from the Alternative High School program in which I work at a performance of theater and arts called, “Summer at the Center” that takes place every year at the Segerstrom Center of the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. I have dined at the Uva Bar, Catal, & Naples Restaurant in Downtown Disney. I have also dined at the Leatherby’s Café Rouge and on our school field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Patina Group provided catering.
Patina Restaurant Group , has a large number of restaurants throughout the United States and an awesome fact I love about them is that several of their restaurants have no corkage fees when you bring in your own wine! I have written about this in the past, see my article here for details about it: No Corkage Fees.
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