A Washingtonian Drinks California Wine in Texas

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Talk about lucky – I was in Dallas for my job at the PR agency a week ago, which just happened to be at the same time that Mirassou Winery and Stephan Pyles Restaurant hosted a wine tasting and dinner for the media. And my wonderful friend and colleague, Melanie, the Dallas Wine Chick, invited me to join her.

Of course, I said yes. The Mirassou family has been crafting California wines for 156 years, and is America’s oldest winemaking family. Our dinner was hosted by sixth-generation winemaker, David Mirassou, a delightful, affable storyteller, whose great-great-great-great grandfather was the first to bring cuttings of black burgundy (aka pinot noir) to the U.S. from France.

It was quite the evening. David’s Mirassou wines were paired with amazing courses that fully demonstrated why so many people told me that Stephan Pyles is one of the best restaurants in Dallas.

The event began with a crisp 08 Mirassou Pinot Grigio, which was perfect for this Washingtonian trying to deal with the Dallas heat and humidity. Accompanying the refreshing white wine was an amuse bouche of cured hake, caviar and a confit of pine nuts with a balsamic gelee.

My favorite wine was up next - 08 Sauvignon Blanc, with bright flavors of grapefruit, melon and pear. I was shocked to learn that this glass of wonderful costs only $12.00 a bottle. At Stephan Pyles, it was paired with sea scallop “migas” with spring pea emulsion and chorizo. Delicious!

My favorite course came a little bit later – a cherry salsita-stuffed waygu shortrib with Dallas goat cheese-chimichurri tamale. Its mouthwatering richness was offset by a soft 07 Mirassou Cabernet.

Yes, there was much more – a total of seven wines and courses. I highly recommend that you read Melanie’s Dallas Wine Chick post that describes each course and wine pairing in detail. (You’ll also see a delightful photo of Melanie with the winemaker.)

One last note for anyone planning a summer wedding: Mirassou Winery is hosting its sixth annual “I Do with Mirassou” contest where brides and grooms can enter for a chance to win $10,000, plus a trip to San Francisco to meet with Food Network Chef Aida Mollenkamp and David Mirassou to plan a custom wedding menu, complete with food and wine pairings.

Enter now through June 27, 2010 at www.mirassou.com/ido.

Cheers!