I recently attended a Spanish Wine Dinner at the Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville, North Carolina. I was impressed with the pairings and was excited to see that a couple of them I’ve never seen before! Chef created some beautiful courses that worked very well with the Spanish wines accompanying each course.
We began with a little time to meet each other over Clos la Soleya Brut Cava from the Penedés region of Spain surrounding Barcelona. The Cava showed a brilliant pale yellow with thin bubbles and a clean nose. It was elegant with fruit and mineral notes. A wonderfully refreshing way to begin the evening.
Our first course was a fall gazpacho garnished with two slices of avocado. The wine was Capitulo 8 Sauvignon Blanc/Verdejo from the Almansa southeast of Madrid. The wine bursts with intense acidity and elegant tropical fruit keeping a very crisp feel. The gazpacho tamed the acidity and highlighted the minerality of the wine very nicely. I wasn’t sure about this pairing when I saw it but the Chef really made the wine shine with it.
Next we enjoyed an antipasto of Spanish favorites including Serrano ham (very similar to Italian prosciutto), chorizo, olives, caper berries, roasted red pepper, Manchego and Pecorino cheeses. Again not a pairing I would have anticipated first for the Chardonnay paired with this course – but, again Chef knew best. Mureda Chardonnay comes from a family owned property boasted the largest organic vineyards in the world (1,200 hectares or about 3,000 acres) around the La Mancha region. Its 100% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel to allow the fruit to show center stage. It is a golden pale wine with pleasant tropical fruit aromas and fresh mineral notes. It’s very fruity with some roundness from malolactic fermentation. The saltiness of the antipasto along with the mineral and fruit of this Chardonnay were very invigorating.
For our main course Chef prepared Rosemary-rubbed Colorado Double Lamb Chops with a Fig Glaze. A stunning medium-rare made it perfect for me while the glaze was inspirational on the lamb. Of course, it complimented the wine pairing perfectly. Our wine, 100% Tempranillo, was Urbina Reserva 2001 from Rioja Alta the Western most region and highest elevations of Rioja. The continental climate, limestone and chalk soils and high elevation create lighter more elegant Rioja. The Urbina family, now in their fourth generation at the estate, have been creating some of the region’s finest wines since 1870. The Tempranillo vines are over 50 years old and are organically grown. The wine is a dark ruby color with a rich earthy nose revealing black cherry, spice and crushed rock. It is supple on the palate with sleek red fruits, lively acidity, marvelous balance and a long pleasant finish. There are many aspects of this dinner to love but this was the hit of the evening.
Chef finished the meal with a selection of dried fruit, Marcona almonds, and chocolates. The evening finished with an usual pairing using Lacrimus REX which is 75% Garncha (from 60+ year vines) and 25% Graciano from Rioja that was aged in American and French oak for nine months. This wine is always a favorite with macerated dark cherries and crème de cassis on the nose. It is full-bodied with sweet ripe blueberry and dark cherry, orange zest and spice. The dark fruit along with the spice create an opulent energetic wine that at the same time is frisky and soothing.
A charming dinner in such a picturesque location can make you truly appreciate relaxing with new friends and relishing our time together.
Laurel Ridge Country Club
49 Cupp Lane
Waynesville, North Carolina 28786
Wines from Veraison Wine Brokers