Recently i had the opportunity to enjoy an evening of tapas and wines with pam and peter dewitz, two regular neighborhood customers who shared their comments and impressions with me on a cold january evening.
Our menu was as follows:
Grilled asparagus and olives w/ la gitana manzanilla;
Paleta de bellota w/ passenau ceps nous priorato '06;
Fresh virginica oysters w/ can blau monstant '07;
Spinach salad w/ pine nuts, golden raisins and manchego;
Grilled baby lamb chops, chicken and pork meatballs all also with the can blau '07; and finally some bocarones and chateau doisy daine sauternes de barsac.
The pairings followed along complimentary lines but some were very contrasting like the bocarones and sauterne, or the ceps nous w/ oysters. As always at mas, we didn't really have an agenda and ordered whatever struck our fancy. Such is the freedom of expression at mas. Viva la differencia!
La gitana manzanilla. Asparagus is always tough to pair but the high alcohol and crisp acidity of the sherry was a good compliment.
Next we switched to a medium-bodied red wine for the acorn pork. The rich marbling of the bellota was beautifully mirrored in the silky, fruit-forward priorato. The manchego cheese that accompanied the paleta or shoulder, added a nice tartness to the buttery cured meat. I could have drunk this red wine all night but we switched to a more full-bodied wine w/ a little more gravitas in terms of texture and finish, the can blau monstant '07, a cousin of the priorato.
The oysters were deliciously pristine, crisp and briny, which was a nice compliment to the black cherry, toasted oak and astringent notes of the monstant. You don't need any condiments for these oysters, a hybrid of eastern chesapeake oysters grown in around the san juans near vancouver.
We followed the oysters with our classic spinach salad w/ pine nuts, mango vinaigretta, golden raisins and manchego cheese, again allowing the sweetness of the dressing to contrast w/ the astringency of the wine for a pleasant palate cleansing. Next was our grilled lamb chops w/ herbal mojo verde, a smoky, earthy compliment to the toasty oak and leather of the monstant. As with all pairings different facets of a wine are revealed by different pairings, all a testament to the skill of the winemakers. We finished the meal with some of our stalwart tapas, the albondigas or meatballs, made from chicken and pork with our smoky, pungent romesco sauce, and our cantabrian white anchovies or bocarones. If you haven't tried these anchovies you won't believe how fresh, clean and delicious they are. They'll make a seal out of anyone!
At last we tried the chateau doisy daine, a remarkable dry sauterne from barsac in bordeaux, from the pre-eminent family of white wine in france. I know, we only serve spanish wine at mas and that is true but this, like the tokai on our dessert wine list are just too scrumptious to pass up.
Posted on 07/16/2014 at 03:54:00 AM