Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zinful Delights With Inaugural Wine Dinner

If Zinful Wine Bar and Restaurant’s inaugural wine dinner is any indication, there are going to be a lot of happy and well-fed wine lovers in the Toledo area.The Waterville wine bar hosted a French Fusion wine dinner last week that married five of Chef Javan’s wonderful creations with French wines from Vintage Wines.

The wine dinner was the first launched since long-time wine guru Mike Gregg took over as Zinful’s wine manager. Mike says he plans to make the dinner a monthly affair, most probably the last Wednesday of the month.

The first course was roasted cod with pink peppercorns, sweet potato puree, micro salad and vanilla white wine sauce. The puree was superb. This was matched with the 2011 Joseph Drouhin la Foret Bourgogne, a classic French white Burgundy (Chardonnay) with citrus and elegance.

A Marc Bredif 2010 Chinon (Cabernet Franc) accompanied the second course of quail with caramelized brussel sprouts, apple jus, and black garlic fig chutney. Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. The “micro-wings” went well with the rustic cherry and pepper of the wine.

For our seafood course we had grilled prawns with prosciutto chips, potato corn cake and lobster jus. This dish was a work of art, elegantly displayed and a treat to consume. The crisp prosciutto chip was a great addition. The Delas 2009 Cotes du Rhone paired nicely with this dish and was one of our favorite wines. This Syrah-Grenache blend from Southern Rhone is high on the QPR (quality price ratio) scale with big raspberry and blackberry flavors.

The fourth course was petite filet with roasted garlic potatoes, haricot vert served with a red onion reduction that Chef Javon had been simmering for most of the day. I would have gladly paid the $50 price of the meal for this dish alone with the accompanying 2009 Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This is an entrancing wine blending Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. We had a chance to savor a bottle at the Rose and Thistle and were blown away with it then.

Sadly, the wine dinner had to end, but it did so on a high note. We enjoyed a tasty apple tart with caramel and whipped cream. The pairing was a  2009 Yalumba Wrattonbully Late Harvest Botrytis Viognier. Mike explained that although this was a Australian wine, it was using a French grape.

This dessert-style wine features grapes that are hand-picked and left to harvest after they have the “noble rot” of botrytis. The botrytis fungus removes much of the water from the grapes and leaves behind a higher concentration of sugar, fruit acids and minerals. This sweet wine had flavor notes of peaches and crème Brule.

Scoring very high marks for enjoyment, great food and tasty wines, we hope this is the first of many wine dinners at Zinful. This is a sure winner for wine lovers and foodies alike.

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