Our hosts, Jim and Linda Slezak, were beyond gracious and warm. From the moment we arrived the when we stepped out the door we all had a great time. I'd highly recommend their B&B to anyone and intend to do so.
We enjoyed a four-course meal with each of us bringing a bottle or two to pair with a specific course. The wines came from all over the world and each was interesting and good in its own right. And hey, they all went well with the food to...
Our appetizer course, which was an unexpected surprise, was spread out on the coffee table in the B&Bs parlor, The highlight for me was the duck-mushroom bruschetta, which was rich, flavorful and just plain delicious. Before the other guests arrived, we enjoyed a bottle of Waters Crest Cabernet Franc that Jim and Linda opened. Then, as others arrived, I uncorked a couple bottles of Lieb Cellars Blanc de Blanc that Nena and I picked up for the event.
First Course: Guacamole Salad with Fried Platanos
Wine Pairings: Strobhof Pinot Bianco "Strahler" 2004 (Alto Aldige) and Tue Bouef "Buisson Pouilleux" 2004, both compliments of Kristin. Both were quite interesting, but the sauvignon blanc was the star here. Unfiltered and funky (in a good way) it's a wine worth seeking out.
Second Course: Sherried Black Bean Soup
Wine Pairing: 2002 Nieto Senetiner Bonarda, compliments of John. This was my first-ever varietal Bonarda and I really enjoyed it. It's so interesting to taste wines like this one after drinking so much Long Island merlot for my writing. Nena is still talking about this wine.
Third Course: Roasted Turkey with Two Moles, Corn Pudding Topped with Chiles in Cream
Wine Pairing: 2001 Mauritson Rockpile Zinfandel, brough by Kori. As much as I enjoy zinfandel to begin with, this wine was a revelation, with much more balance than is typically found. I think this was everyone's favorite of the night.
Fourth Course: Coconut Flan and Orange-Almond Torta
Wine Pairings: Wolffer Estate 2004 Late Harvest Chardonnay and Waters Crest Winery 2004 Night Watch Ice Wine. I'm sure you can guess who brought these...but I just had to unleash a couple more local wines on the group. The Wolffer was excellent with the flan (more acidity to cut through the richness) but I liked the Waters Crest, which is made with frozen gewurtz, riesling and chardonnay, with the torta.
After dinner we were treated to a jaunt out to Jim's observatory. It was cold, but seeing Saturn in his telescope, including the rings and shadows created by its moons, was well worth the frigid night.
Needless to say, I hope this is just the first of many similar events, both at Red Barn B&B and other venues. It was a lot of fun and quite educational. I'd like to thank Linda, Jim, Kori, Tom, Kristin, Josh, John, Bridget and of course Nena for contributing to the event's success.