Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Women's Wine Dinner: Cru

Not so surprising, I belong to a women's wine club. We meet every month at a different restaurant for wine dinners. It is not completely self-indulgent since each gathering has some kind of charitable tie-in.

This month 80 fabulously dressed women gathered at Cru in Fort Myers for an amazing pairing by chef Harold Balink. Chef started us out with a spicy crab, avocado and cucumber Napolean that was to-die-for. It had everything; creamy, crunchy, sweet and spicy and went perfectly with the Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling. As the story has it, Smith was a big fan of Chinese take-out and German Riesling. One night while enjoying the combo and watching the movie "Kill Bill" he decided it was time to make his own Riesling and the name (Kung Fu Girl) was so inspired.

Next up was a delicious Spanish Botani, Malaga Blanc paired with a dish chef's Grandma used to make: spinach stuffed chicken with a tomato Ciabatta salad. The winemaker recently passed-on so this his last vintage(crisp, dry, floral). As soon as the third course was put on the table the power went out and the hot waiters got even hotter! We dined by candle light on a pepper grilled Ribeye with Cru sauce and crispy onions. Another phenomenal pairing with a Block 9 Pinot Noir from Sonoma, California. The Pinot had a traditional nose and was a little tight at first but opened up with more fruit, a bit of cocoa and a lingering finish. A little chill on the bottle took out the bite and rounded it out. Loved it!

Finally a dessert course without a dessert wine! We had a Dark Chocolate Bomb; white chocolate mousse and roasted banana sauce, served with a Turnbull Old Bull Red from Napa. I love a big red wine with chocolate for dessert and was not disappointed. The wine had lots of cherry but not lots of tannins. The dessert caused much discussion. It was comforting, like some "old school" cookie or cake treat. I heard the word "Moonpie" a couple of times but that wasn't it....maybe Malamar??? I'll keep working on it and let you know.

It really doesn't matter because the entire event was awesome. The pairings were spot on! Good job Chef! By the way, the power did come back on.....just in time for dessert.

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