Every now and then an interesting opportunity comes along, the timing is right, and Andy and I figure why not?

Last night was that kind of night. Chef Joseph Heidenreich was offering a special five  course meal and wine paring at the JCC.   So here was a chance to taste food from the chef we have heard so much about, without driving downtown.

Adding to the fun, was a chance to spend the evening with several couples we don’t see often enough.   We were ready for a great evening, and Chef Joseph did not disappoint.

The menu featured:

1st Course – Spicy White Tuna Stuffed in Roma Tomato, Frizze and Asian Pear Salsa paired with  NV Anna De Codomiu Cava – The wine can best be described as  a blend between a Chardonnay and a Champagne.  Since I am not usually a fan of Chardonnay I had my doubts about this wine, but not after I tasted it.   This may very well become one of my new favorites.  And the tuna was exactly as promised, fresh sushi grade mixed with seasonings had a little bit of kick that was balanced by the pear salsa.   

2nd Course – Vegetable Empanada with a Ponzi Glaze paired with  2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier  Loved the flaky crust which had a terrific butter aftertaste.  I know there were vegetables in there, but all I tasted was the crust.

3rd Course – Chilled Watermelon and Tomato Soup paired with  Darcie Kent Sauvignon Blanc, Monterey California Watermelon soup? I really like Gazpacho and this was a nice spin on that summer favorite. 

4th Course – Grilled Salmon Garlic Mashed Gruyer, Squash and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil served with  2010 Angelina Cabernet, Alexandria Valley Chef Joseph broke all the rules matching a bold red wine with fish.  I thought the wine overpowered the fish, or maybe the fish didn’t have much flavor?   The squash was a really nice change from potatoes.  

Dessert Course – Bitter Chocolate Truffle Pie with Coffee Spiced Glaze and  2008 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz, Australia Ok, so I always love dessert, especially if it is chocolate. And this was chocolate   The truffle pie was really rich and a perfect match with the sparkling red wine.   I had never had sparkling red before, but I am going to have a bottle or two around to go with chocolate from now on. 

Bottom line, dinner was awesome.  The chef  chatted throughout explaining why he matched each wine and what was in each dish. They offer these wine tastings on a regular basis I am sure we will be checking out a few more!