Last Wednesday I attended my first wine dinner in like a year. I’m not going to lie, I was incredibly nervous. Especially when I found out that dinner was inside the restaurant and not outside on the patio. I had gotten accustomed to outdoor dining around the city. It was a little tight inside but diners were placed far enough that my anxieties dissipated pretty quickly. The staff was incredibly attentive and made me feel safe.

Unfortunately, I did not do any notetaking. I suppose I’m just a bit rusty and wanted to enjoy the meal, the wine and my friend. I do remember the pairings were fun and interesting (you can pair fish with red wine depending on the wine and the seasonings/sauces you use). Also, it is very rare for me to attend a wine dinner and I don’t have to ask for food modifications. That was exciting for me (yeah, I’m that person. Lol)!

*The wine dinner was held at SER in Arlington with Aurelio Cabestrero of Grapes of Spain and Arrowine and Cheese (wine can be purchased at Arrowine)*

First Course:

The Food:  Almond Garlic Soup with grapes and salmon roe 

The Wine:  2020 Mantel Blanco, Verdejo, Rueda

*I remember my friend and I were pleasantly surprised by this wine. It started off tropical and then we got a lot of salinity. My friend remarked that it reminded her of eating a lot of olives. As a non-white wine fan, she was blown away by this wine.

Second Course:

The Food:  Tuna tartare and watermelon with basil and tomato compote

The Wine:  2020 Solarce Rose, Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, and Mazuelo, Rioja 

*a beautiful Rose, cool blend and great for lounging around the pool

Third Course:

The Food:  Torched salmon, hollandaise sauce, garlic scapes and oranges

The Wine:  2018 Finca Luna Beberide, Mencia, Bierzo

*really enjoyed the wine but the pairing not so much

Fourth Course:

The Food:  Grilled duck breast, blackberry sauce, watercress and fennel salad

The Wine:  2015 Vina Otano Reserva, Tempranillo, Rioja

*great expression of Tempranillo, perfect pairing

Fifth Course:

The Food: Pear in red wine sauce, vanilla ice cream and Pedro Ximenez reduction

The Wine:  Bertola Cream, Palomino, Pedro Ximenez, Jerez

Aurelio Cabestrero of Grapes of Spain