Monday, May 17, 2010

Mom & Dad In Memphis pt 1

So the parental units came into town recently & we had a rockin good time as always.

On Thursday night we went to the wine dinner at Restaurant Iris with Cooper Mountain Vineyards. Since no one from the winery was able to attend I led the tasting & discussed the wines. We Skype'd in with Dr Robert Gross, owner, founder & original winemaker at Cooper Mountain. It was very cool to virtually interact with such a talented & passionate individual who is cerebral as well as artistic & holistic in his approach to winemaking & wine in general. I thought it was so very interesting to see this man who from the outside you wouldn't expect to be a believer in biodynamic farming. Yet that is exactly what is happening in Oregon. Dr Gross understood long ago that we have to be more responsible in our agriculture. Thats exactly what Cooper Mountain is doing & they are producing some truly spectacular wines that way.

Our amuse bouche was a crab ravigote on crostini paired with a brightly sweet bellini. As the guests arrived I could tell we were all super excited & in the mood to have a good time. As usual, my Mother & Father made friends with everyone there because they are the coolest & nicest people on the planet.

We sat down for our first course & were poured the 2008 Pinot Gris Reserve. I fell in love with Cooper Mountain over their tocai friulano but this pinot gris has quickly become my favorite white wine. It has notes of pear, melon, slate & a moderately luscious texture. Just enough weight to hold up against the melt in your mouth creamy fried oysters that the incomparable Chef Kelly English put out. As soon as our server, Rickie, put down our plates I nearly hit the roof. With Gulf seafood endangered due to the oil spill I was glad to know that I was getting to taste these oysters perhaps one last time. Speaking of our server, she was flawless in her ability to gauge what we needed & described the food expertly.

Next course was a triple creme brie with house smoked salmon "grilled cheese" & olive tapenade paired with the 2008 Chardonnay Reserve. The Meursault-like quality of the chard paired beautifully with the salmon & it's acidity cut right through the cheese. Perfect pairing.

As I made my way around the different dining rooms I could see the smiles on people's faces, hear the "mmmm's" & overheard some fantastic comments about the wine & food.

The main course arrived & we were all salivating. Braised Wagyu beef shortribs over mache choux paired with 2007 5 Elements Series Mountain Terroir Pinot Noir. The earthiness, hints of truffle & mushroom & acidity of the pinot were absolutely amazing when paired with the luscious toothsomeness of the meat. Heaven. Pure heaven.

Our final dish of the night was a creamy, rich & super delicious mousse au chocolat with balsamic strawberries paired with the 2008 Cooper Hill Pinot Noir. The bright elegant acidity cut through the richness of the mousse like a laser. The fresh tart cherry note on the palate matched very well with the balsamic strawberries. Absolutely delicious.

My parents were in heaven. Each course & each wine just lit them up like christmas trees. I was so happy that I was able to share this with them.


Samantha Dugan said...

What a very sweet moment for you to share with your parents Michael...and that dinner sounds amazing!

Michael Hughes said...

Sam-it was so much fun & it made it even more special that my parents were there.