Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Adore J. Lohr!

So Ben and I had the privilege of going to a wine tasting dinner featuring J. Lohr Vineyards, hosted by Mt. Airy Liquors, at Brick Ridge Restaurant in Mt. Airy.  We had been to Brick Ridge once before when we moved to Mt. Airy and enjoyed the food a lot but found it to be a bit pricey in general.  At $58 a person, this particular tasting dinner was well worth the price.  We were served five amazing courses with five different wine pairings that I will describe below.

J. Lohr Vineyards are located in Monterey and Paso Robles, CA.  They use sustainable farming measures, have a 3 acre solar photovoltaic tracking system that helps to conserve electricity, and conserve more than 900,000 gallons of water annually!  

Course 1:  Duck sausage with a blueberry mustard paired with the 90 pt 2010 Wildflower Valdiguie.  This pairing was a match made in heaven.  The bright ripe cherry on the palate really emphasized the sweetness and acidity of the food.  The wine could stand up well on its own I believe...very quaffable.  I had never heard of the Valdiguie grape, but apparently it is often mistaken for the Gamay grape, used in Beaujolais. 

Course 2:  A stack of a fried green tomato, salmon terrine, and scallop was paired with the 2009 Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.  The wine was fresh and herbacious with a tinge of juniper and grapefruit on the nose.  The pairing with the salmon in particular was gorgeous.  This particular wine is also special to the J. Lohr family and is named after the late Carol Lohr (the founder's wife).  Two dollars earned off every bottle is donated to help provide mammograms for women in need.

Course 3:  An appetizer of sage sausage and cornbread paired with the 90pt. 2009 Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir.  The wine had a touch of smoke on the nose and was very well balanced and supple.  It was such a cozy pairing when combined with the appetizer.

Course 4:  The main dish was a bison croquette, boar brisket, and venison steak served over mashed root vegetables paired with a very hearty, inky 2008 Tower Road Petite Sirah from J. Lohr's Paso Robles Vineyards.  Being that I am not a meat person, I had a hard time with this dish.  But I can say that my husband really enjoyed it.  I can, however, speak for the wine and say it was one of those full bodied, masculine delights that you don't even mind staining your teeth for.  It reminded me of a berry pie.  Loved it!

Course 5:  Dessert!  We had an apple and apricot gellee with mouse and an apple/ginger cookie with the 2006 Late Harvest White Riesling.  This was heaven in a glass...well two glasses really as the dessert itself was served in a martini glass.  Both the gellee and the wine were rich and sweet and now that I'm talking about it, I am craving more.  The wine was like a golden fruity nectar!

Overall the entire dinner was put on so nicely and I really plan on keeping an eye out for more events like this in the future.  It was a little pricier than our average evening, but the value and the presentation was worth it.  I just can't say enough good things!



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