Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Sokol Blosser Wine Dinner at Cafe Pasta

This week, I attended the most fabulous wine dinner at Cafe Pasta, hosted by my friend and colleague John Batchelor. John selected some outstanding wines from Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon, and paired them with some of his personal favorite dishes at neighborhood fave Cafe Pasta. I was very impressed with his pairings and encouraged him to do these dinners every other month! Wine dinners are a great way to meet new friends, try new wines and discover new dishes that you might not have had before. And to top it all off, the wines are available at wholesale price, which can save you some mega bucks. It was a really fun night.

We began with Spinach and Artichoke Dip, paired with the Pinot Gris. I'm not a big white wine fan, but this was insanely easy to sip and was the perfect compliment to the creamy dip, studded with huge artichokes. Toasted, buttery pita chips were the perfect vessel for the dip, which is topped with real parmesan cheese. We were off to a great start.

Chicken Picatta over Linguine was paired with the Evolution White, which was the favorite at my table, though I preferred the Pinot Gris. I was impressed with how perfectly the chicken was cooked - it was moist and really delicious with the citrusy, capery sauce. The pasta was nice and al dente, and I appreciated the fresh spinach as a garnish, but also to bring some color to the dish. The more I ate the chicken, the more I appreciated the wine.

One of John's usual go-to's at Cafe Pasta is the Almond-Crusted Salmon, and now I see why. It was so tender and not overcooked, and I don't know how the chef possibly managed a perfect cook for 50+ people! That is talent. The garlicky, almond crust was really tasty, and roasted vegetables like asparagus, peppers, squash and broccoli rounded out the plate. It was paired with the show-stopping Pinot Noir, the flagship wine for Sokol Blosser. It is one of the best Pinots I've ever had, because it's not too light and stands up nicely to the fish. This was my favorite pairing of the night!

To finish things off, we enjoyed "Mom's Cheesecake", which is not your typical NY style cheesecake. This layered a thin ricotta cheesecake atop a light pound cake / angel food - type cake. It was so delicate, not too sweet, and the perfect ending for a big meal. Sliced strawberries and whipped cream accompanied this dessert, and we enjoyed the Evolution Sparkling with this dish. Again, I didn't die for the Evolution like everyone else did, and this was the sparkling version of that, but give me any sort of bubble and I'm a happy girl.

I'll be on the lookout for more of JB's wine dinners, and I'll definitely be returning to Cafe Pasta to get some of these tasty dishes and try new ones, too!

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