Did you know Roost in Greenville is having monthly wine dinners? Last Wednesday, my friend, Nina, and I found ourselves at a table of wine lovers anxiously awaiting a special lineup of pours from the Michael Mondavi Family Estate with accompanying fare from Roost Chef, Trevor Higgins.
A little about the wines: The Michael Mondavi family established Folio Fine Wine Partners in 2004. The group is an importer, fine wine agency and producer of great, quality wines. They work with family wineries that span five countries and two continents.
Mondavi should sound familiar to you, if you’ve ever found yourself staring at the wine selection at the grocery store or wine store. The family has been in the wine business for four generations, beginning with Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant, who began a vineyard in Lodi, California during Prohibition. Did you know it was legal for Italians to drink wine with their dinner during Prohibition? In 1943, the family purchased the historic Charlest Krug Winery. Cesare’s son, Robert eventually started his own winery with his oldest son, Michael. Now the tradition continues with Folio Fine Wine Partners.
Our first course of the evening was a lovely bowl of Potato Crusted Scallops with Fennel Vichyssoise, and Truffled Matchstick Carrots paired with the Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay. The scallops were delicious, but I could have sopped up the Vichyssoise with bread all evening. The Chardonnay was a medium bodied nicely balanced wine with a smooth finish. Not as much of the butteriness as I ideally like in my chardonnays but none of that heavy acidity that I’ve gotten from others, so I’d definitely go back to this bottle.
Vichyssoise: Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of puréed leeks (or fennel), onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold but can be eaten hot. (You are welcome.)
Our second course was a Salad of Grilled Macintosh Apples and sous-vide apples (think candied apple slices) with Split Creek Goat Cheese Mousse, Fresh Arugula, topped with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. You know I’m not a fan of goat cheese by itself, and this one, in particular, was a little bitey, but with the rest of the flavors on the plate, it provided a richness that I immediately appreciated. The accompanying wine was an Oberon Sauvignon Blanc. A super crisp, bright and refreshing wine that paired well with the apples.
Third course: Duck three ways. I LOVE duck. Pan seared, roasted, and house made duck prosciutto, with Confit Tomatoes and Roasted Shallot Gratin. All of it was perfectly done, perfectly seasoned. A nice warm, savory dish for fall. The accompanying wine was Merlot. You know I was gripping the table at this one. Would I like it? I sipped. Sipped. Tasted. Nope. A Merlot. It was an incredibly robust Merlot, but I just can’t. Merlot wines are very distinct to me. They are not overly sweet but really grapey? I can’t describe it really. It’s like some people don’t like onions or peas. I don’t like Merlot. But I keep trying…
A beautiful dish of Barbeque Rack of Lamb with Black-Eyed Pea Ragout with Herbs de Provence was placed in front of us next. I’m not a huge fan of Lamb. It’s a little goaty for me, but the meat was tender and lovely. And it came with an Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon. Finally, my favorite, a Cab. I sat back and sipped happily.
Dessert was absolutely beautiful! A S’more Crusted Chocolate Pumpkin Panna Cotta served with a hot cup of West End Coffee. There was a woman sitting across from us who didn’t want her dessert. I think the entire room gasped, and when she offered it up for the taking, there was a flurry of movement. It was quite possibly one of the most perfect endings to one of these meals I have ever had.
If you’re now drooling and would like to take part in the next Roost Wine Dinner, it is going to be Wednesday, December 18th and will be a pairing of delicious food with champagne and cognac. Dishes include Tempura Lobster and Potato Blini with Saffron butter powder, citrus, roasted figs and sorghum, and Sous Vide Oxtail Bourguignon with baby potatoes, porcinis, heirloom carrot adn pearl onion. That’s just a taste of December. The January Wine Dinner is going to be on my birthday, January 15th. You can call 864-298-2424 to make reservations for any of their wine dinners.
A big thank you to Roost for allowing me to come to the dinner and to Chef Higgins for the lovely meal.