A beautiful view, incredible food and great company. Add wine and lively conversation, and you’ve got a winner. We found one when Butterfly Restaurant’s Chef Rob Lam served up some fabulous dishes to pair with Jessup Cellars wines from Napa Valley.
Last week I traveled to San Francisco, California to attend the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers annual Zinfandel Festival, and meet with the brains and brawn behind Creative Furnace to help plan an exciting conference for the Fall. As a special treat, we sat down to taste wines from Jessup Cellars, pairing them with beautifully prepared, scrumptious offerings from Butterfly Restaurant, an Asian fusion eatery at Pier 33. Cailyn McCauley and Joel Quigley were also excited to talk about this year’s Pink Out! an annual event celebrating all things Rosé.
We tasted through five of Jessup Cellars’ newest releases; a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both 2011 from Carneros, the 2010 Napa Valley Zinfandel, 2009 Lot 3 Cabernet Sauvignon and Jessup Cellar’s flagship wine; their 2009 vintage of “Table for Four,” Bordeaux-style blend.
Chef Lam started us out with one cold and one hot appetizer; Shiso Leaf Wraps – sweet miso-roasted eggplant, Thai black sticky rice, chili nuts and Ratatouille relish, and Duck Confit Spring Rolls with Chinese hot mustard and honey dipping sauce. We paired these with the 2009 Carneros Chardonnay.
He followed with his Mushroom “Cappuccino Soup” with white truffle oil and Porcini powder. The combination of mushroom and white truffle oil foam worked well with both the Chardonnay and the Carneros Pinot Noir. Next came Vietnamese Chili Chicken Wings with Maytag blue cheese, pickled daikon and carrots topped with cilantro and Shanghai Garlic Noodles, ‘Animal Style’ with Winter vegetables, Kalua pig, shaking beef, shrimp and a poached egg. With so many flavors going on with these dishes, it was easy to pair the dishes with all three BIG reds; the Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and “Table for Four” blend.
As if this was not enough food to make us drift off into food coma, out came Vietnamese turmeric-grilled snapper with sizzling onions, basil, cilantro, dill, green onion and shishito peppers, butter lettuce wraps, rice noodles and Nước chấm sauce. And of course what meal would be complete without dessert? Or two? We shared a Classic Crème Brulée along with Banana Bread Pudding – Mitchell’s Macapuno Ice Cream and Banana Bruleé. This called for a double espresso to make it through the rest of our afternoon.
My favorite of the wines was “Table for Four” which we took back to Thea’s house, and it quickly disappeared…somewhere…into the cabinets. “Table for Four” is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 5% Petite Sirah, priced at $79.
Jessup Cellars’ tasting room is just one block from the French Laundry in Yountville, California. You can purchase their handcrafted, small production wines directly (if you live in a civilized state) from their website. They also have links to lots of Napa Valley eateries, lodging and wine tour services here.
Butterfly Restaurant is located a Pier 33 at Bay Street on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. They are open for brunch on weekends beginning at 11:00 a.m., lunch Tuesday through Friday beginning at 11: 30 a.m. and dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m. with Happy Hour Tuesday through Thursday from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Our lunch pairings included standard menu offerings priced between $7 and $17. Many items on their menus can be prepared vegan or gluten free.
Founded in 2009 by Joel Quigley and Cailyn McCauley, Creative Furnace specializes in integrated marketing and communications, high-concept lifestyle and social media events, and strategic consulting. In addition to Pink Out! they host TasteLive! a premiere online wine and beer tasting community that leverages relationships with writers, bloggers, wineries, restaurants and other venues to promote wineries and brewers. They created and promote Rootstock, an annual wine, food and music festival in Santa Rosa, California. For more information on PinkOut! Rootstock or TasteLive! contact Joel or Cailyn here.
And keep checking back with us at Another Wine Blog for more information on an exciting new food and wine event coming in Fall 2013.