Monday, June 03, 2013

Arborbrook 2013 Winemakers Dinner at Cuvee Restaurant

Last year we rediscovered the great wines at Arborbrook Winery, with our friends Jim and Marion.  Arborbrook Winery is a family owned operation, the brainchild of Dave Hansen, and his hilarious wife, Mary.  Jim and Marion are Wine Club members, and were picking up a wine shipment last fall, when we tagged along.  We were hesitant to join another wine club, but Dave was so knowledgeable and friendly, and frankly, the wine was so good, soon we were signing on the dotted line!  I should note, that I love to cook, and enjoy good wines, but am not an expert in either area. You won't find me pontificating on the balance or complexity of various wines, but I will tell you what I like from a 'lay-person's' point of view.

  One of the perks to being in The Club, is being invited to Members Only events. One such event was held at Cuvee Restaurant, in Carlton, OR, in June.  
Rick and I love food and wine pairings, so it's always fun to experience how each enhances the other.  It's not just about taste, but must appeal to the eye as well. It was a lovely June evening, and we lingered outside in the late afternoon sun, talking and enjoying a glass of ArborBrook 2012 Pinot Gris before entering the restaurant.
The first course was a bonus, not on the menu, and was a selection of Pate', Mouse on a boiled potato slice, and a Spinach filled Won Ton.  I wish I'd paid more attention to the ingredients in this little trio, since they were really good.

Here, Rick and I are toasting a really fun evening!
The Second Course, was a chilled Asparagus Soup with Creme Fraiche, served with MLH Sauvignon Blanc. The wine's slightly citrus flavor didn't over power the soup, and I could see this wine as a favorite with seafood, or summer salads. 
The next course was a light Green Salad with Sesame Oil Vinaigrette and Smoked Trout, paired with a Heritage Cuvee Pinot Noir
The Main Course was an amazing Puffed Pastry Baked Salmon, topped with Spinach and a Chive Remoulade.  It was a total melt in your mouth dish, and I ate every bite, not realizing that there was another main course dish coming!  The salmon was paired with a 2010 Origin 1866 Estate Pinot Noir, which was the table favorite.  You could really taste the berries in this full bodied wine with lots of rich flavors.

I was was having such a good time, I didn't realize this wonderful Cornish Game Hen dish with mushrooms and a reduced wine sauce was next! It was absolutely delicious, even the next day!  It was paired with a Vintners Select Estate Pinot Noir. This is Arborbrook's Premier wine and has a fruity flavor, enhanced by a spicy overlay. They didn't make much of it, only 125 cases, and will age for 10 or more years. It was wonderful, and I hope we have a bottle in our collection!
Finally, dessert was your choice of a Cheese Plate or Creme Brulee-that was a no-brainier!  The Creme Brulee was awesome, a rich, dense custard, topped with a hard layer of caramel.  It was amazing!  I'm very picky about this dessert, since it's often been mediocre when I've had it in restaurants.  However, this Creme Brulee was made to perfection!  It was served with one of my favorite wines, the 2011 Sydney Semillon, which was named after the owner's daughter.
Our hosts, Dave Hanson, Winemaker, and his wife, Mary, who was our spirited evening Moderator.
Kudos to Dave and Mary, and chef, Gilbert Henry for a night of amazing wine and good food! We had a great time and look forward to the Arborbrook July Picnic this summer!  Also, in addition to the great wine, we're looking forward to more fun Club Events!