Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fraiche Wine Dinner, June 28, 2009

This past Sunday, 6/28, the Vinovents wine crew met up for our first visit to Fraiche in Culver City. Wow, were we ever in for a treat. Up until now, we've been learning about and enjoying Italian wine and food pairings at Fraiche's sister restaurant Riva in Santa Monica. This was our first venture into French grapes.

We sat out on the patio, which on a warm summer evening, couldn't have been more perfect. As we all convened and got to see old faces along with meeting quite a few new ones, the food and wine started to roll out.

They started us off with a crisp and refreshing glass of Picpoul de Pinet, 2007, which is a great find when looking for something light and affordable in the warm summer months.

- Picpoul de Pinet, 2007 -

The wine was served alongside delicious arancini and bruschetta, which was some of the best I've ever sunk my teeth into. Perfectly toasted crostini is key, and the tomatoes tasted like they'd been picked off the vine earlier that day.

- Bruschetta -

- Arancini -

The FIRST COURSE was comprised of two salads, farro and mushroom, which were both amazing. They tasted delicate yet substantial, and the flavors from the fresh ingredients perfectly melded together.

- Mushroom Salad -

- Farro Salad -

The salads were served with the Cotes-du-Rhone , Delas "St. Esprit,' 2006, a smooth blend of whites that paired very nicely with the salads.

- Cotes Du Rhone, Delas St Esprit, 2006 -

Onto the SECOND COURSE, which was comprised of three different entrees served family style. There was the Roasted Half Chicken with sicilian caponata, the Rigatoni lamb bolognese, and my favorite, the Monkfish "Francaise," which was served with spinach, white wine, and potato puree. 

- Roasted Chicken -

- Rigatoni Lamb Bolognese -

- THE Monkfish -

The second-course wine was my favorite: Cahors, St. Didier-Parnac 2006. I love me a nice smooth yet robust wine, and this did the trick for me.

- Cohors, St. Didier-Parnac, 2006 -

The THIRD COURSE, dessert, brought us each a perfectly delectable Torta Della Nonna. These beautiful little tortes had a scrumptious vanilla bean custard inside, 

- Torta Della Nonna -

Dessert was accompanied by a glass of Pineau Des Charentes, Domaine De La Margotterie, a French apertif wine with a blend of unfermented grape must and Cognac brandy. 
This was a HUGE hit with the crowd.

- Pineau Des Charentes, Domaine De La Morgotteria -

All in all, it was another wonderful event. I was so happy to see so many new faces. I love to know that there are so many people like me who want to either learn more about wine or just enjoy it with good food and most importantly, fun people.I couldn't have hoped for a better time!

Happy people!

More happy people!

Our next wine dinner at Riva (we're heading back to Italy) is on the books for Sunday July 12.
See you soon!