Readers of this blog know that we visit Eagle Ridge frequently. The wine matches our palette perfectly, and the tasting experience is always relaxed, fun and informative. We’ve been wine club members for years, and its been fun to watch winemaker Jim experiment with different formats for his wine release events. The latest release featured another innovation: a sit-down meal paired with the released wines. Yay, Jim! This was the most enjoyable release event yet!
Visitors to the Eagle Ridge tasting room may be wondering, “where in the world were tables set up for this event?” In most cases, the tasting area is one large rectangle, bounded in the back by rows of wine casks stacked to the ceiling. For this event, Jim moved the front line of casks forward, into the tasting area, leaving a nice, private space behind. Into this space were place the tables, each seating six. Just right for meeting new wine lovers!
Chef Jim Thurman was back, this time presenting an entire meal paired with the newly-released wines. Club members might remember Chef Jim from previous release parties, where he paired finger foods with the released wines. With a broadened scope, Chef Jim pulled out all the stops.
The first new wine was the Eagle Ridge 2009 Petit Sirah. This was paired with a 12-layer lasagna with meat sauce, accompanied with salad and rolls. The balanced, fruit-forward Petit Sirah stood up well to the lasagna, neither shrinking away or overwhelming the cheeses and meat sauce. I was shameless, and requested a second round of both lasagna and the wonderful wine.
For dessert, we were treated to the new Eagle Ridge 2012 MadCait and a brioche filled with brie cheese and a chutney reduction containing the MadCait. Wow! The MadCait maintained the tradition of lovely Eagle Ridge ports more than capable of curing the common cold, and the brioche was the perfect finish to meal.
Jim and Jim, outstanding work! You’ve raised the bar once again.
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?