As I said in the previous post, I don't really drink much California wine anymore. Not because of poor quality at all but just because my passion lies elsewhere. However, Zaca Mesa is one of the few that get me going. It's so blatantly obvious that ZM looks to France for both inspiration & style. Their wines are beautifully balanced. Chef Ben at Napa Cafe looked to France as well when planning the menu to pair alongside the ZM wines.
The seared walu on the first course was perfectly prepared, super moist & worked so well with the rose & the melon. The sweetness of the melon & the tender fish brought out the fruit & texture of this super yummy pink wine.
Course two was a lovely surprise. I rarely eat chicken because of the multitude of poor preparations & because it seems so boring most times. This was not the case with this chicken. The skin was super crispy, like chicken "bacon", the meat was moist & very flavorful. The sauteed greens were earthy & had a sweet-savory element that was lovely. The viognier just sung alongside this dish. It had great weight but wasn't overly heavy, nice creamy texture but a bright acidity as well.
Two of my favorite things in the world are braised meat & bacon. Put them together & ....well...you get the idea. Braised shortribs with bacon aioli?? Seriously? I want more of this right now, it was rich & succulent & a great partner with the Z Cuvee. The savory -salty-creamy-sweetness of the aioli & the rich meat brought out the texture & spice in the wine. Awesome.
The finale had the other two of my favorite things: syrah & lamb. Now Wellington doesn't necessarily evoke thoughts of France but the technique & presentation did. The meaty-earthiness of the syrah mirrored the earthy flavors & textures of the lamb & the mushroom & the fennel. Absolutely knockout.
I'm constantly surprised by Napa Cafe's food. It's definitely one of the top tables in town.