How much do you love wine? I bet not as much as I do… My hubby and I do lots of activities together and we rarely stray from one of our favorite activities: wine tastings!
The Westin Beale is one of our favorite hotels. We’ve been coming here since our first wine and oyster pairing with them in May 2011. Last month we found out about their monthly wine and food pairings. At first I was mad at myself that I didn’t know about them sooner and then quickly got over it and got our table!
Bobby Malpin from the West TN Crown Distributing Company is the co-host and specialist who walks us through the wines. This month’s menu stuck with Halloween theme and we’re so excited! Chef Ana Gonzalez is amazing and she brings it in her culinary game. And the best part? Tonight it’s “mystery wines” or they forgot to put the wines on the menu… *shrugs*
Heirloom beets with stripes are the star of the appetizer salad course. Accompanied by spinach and blue cheese, the tangy taste couldn’t have been better; I love vinaigrettes and this one is delicious! And may I mention that this is the first time I’ve eaten a beet?
The wine has a semi-sweet nose and is more dry than it smells. It has a citrus/acidic taste and is a bit muscat on the back end. The pomegranate vinaigrette completely toned down the citrus and made it a much smoother palate and finish. Different than what I prefer but definitely one worth drinking again!
Second course: Jaws! with a SeaGlass Riesling
Crispy shark bites, canton noodles with soy lime chili lime sauce and Asian vegetables. The first and only time I had shark was in China in the winter of 2008. It’s stupid cold over there then… We went to a theater that served dumplings and we were hesitant to try new things. I declared YOLO and decided to eat the shark. The. Best. Thing. Ever.
I haven’t had it since but tonight’s dish is actually mahi mahi…I was excited to find out that this fish is in the same family, so close enough! If you’re ever in the area, you can grab the same dish from the Bleu restaurant, prepared with salmon. The dish (to me) is really spicy. Like my nose was running…so inappropriate. Hubby said it was spicy enough for him to notice it was spicy. I would totally give it 3 flames on a menu. The wine helped to tone down the spice and it’s way better alternative to drinking milk.
The Riesling has a residual sugar taste and is the closest thing to a non-Moscato/sweet wine that I’ve tasted so far! I love sweet wines and avoid dry wines like the plague. With apricots and spicy apple notes, this is one I could absolutely drink to wind down after a long day.
Third course: Poison Apple with a Morgan blend
Red apple sorbet with apple puckers. The chef shared the recipe with us…basically mix grenadine with apple juice and blend it. Winning. This is such a quick and simple dessert and the most delicious thing I’ve tasted in quite some time! It tasted a little peachy to me…I don’t know if that was because of the puckers or the other glasses of wine I had…
Fourth course: Green Zombie
For this course, we were presented with a pistachio-crusted beef tenderloin, set atop a carmelized onion crostini and flanked by a goat cheese gratin and roasted butternut squash purée. There was so much flavor in this dish that it made the entire menu! Chef Ana even hooked us up with chocolate drizzle on the plate!
Fifth course: Floating Eyeball
This dessert consisted of a dark chocolate cherry cake, milk chocolate mousse plated with a white chocolate ganache and raspberry soup. Truly decadent, this dish was the perfect end to the evening. I’m always sad when it’s over but this was truly worth the wait. Save the best for last, indeed!