Terroir Tour Wine Dinner Series at Brick Farm Tavern
Brick Farm Tavern is one of those restaurants you visit and wish you were close enough to frequent more, a sentiment we often have when we travel. For one, we are fortunate to have Brick Farm Tavern within a half hour drive. With their own farm and other locally sources ingredients, the menu is constantly evolving and challenging creative limits of food. Not to mention they have a kill wine and beer list, featuring Troon Brewing.
When we got an email advertising a terroir series exploring France, Spain, South America, Italy, and California we immediately signed up for all sessions very excited at the wine pairings and interpretations of traditional cuisine with local ingredients.
March: South America
Out of the five regions highlighted by these dinners, we have had the least experience with South America. We have flown through mainland Ecuador on our journey to the Galapagos Islands, but I would not say the food was representative of South American cuisine, nor would any one area of the diverse continent. Since this was a wine dinner, our guess for the focus was Argentina and Chile. Expecting a menu of Malbec and steak, we were looking forward to exploring this area with Brick Farm Tavern.
Course 1: Black Bass Ceviche- jalapeno vinaigrette, charred red spring onion, radish, diced papaya
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Kingston Family, “Cariblanco”, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 2016
What a fun dish! Everyone at the table was obsessed with the jalapeno vinaigrette and how the chef extracted the pepper flavor without the harsh spice. Mine was substituted for a mango puree which was delightful reflecting the fresh, light nature of the dish. Under all that goodness was locally sourced bass thinly sliced for the most optimal flavor profile.
Having just returned from New Zealand, we laughed that a Sauvginon Blanc was our first wine. We had become so accustomed to the iconic characteristics of Sauvginon Blanc and this was a very different expression of the grape. It is so neat to explore a region through wine!
Course 2: Lamb Carpaccio- winter greens, sweet potato chip, dried cherry and pomegranate vinaigrette, toasted pine nut, mache
Pairing: Pinot Noir, Zorzal, “Gran Terroir”, Tupungato Valley, Argentina, 2014
Another dish with high presentation points. I loved everything about this dish. The vinaigrette was so flavorful but not overpowering- a perfect balance. The winter greens were fresh and with the chips and pine nuts provide good texture contrast. And that lamb tartare was just fantastic. The lightest sheer on the outside and delicately sliced pieces for maximum taste bud contact.
I think everyone was surprised to see a Pinot Noir on this list so we were intrigued. One sniff and audible gasps could be heard at how unexpected it was- the smell of wet rock, like the cave we explored in New Zealand. The color was darker than most Pinot Noir wines since it was from 2014 and the taste was elegant. A unique wine we all felt privileged to try.
Course 3: Wood Fried Flank Steak- chimichurri potato, roasted shishito, creme fraiche, salsa verde, bordelaise
Pairing: Malbec, Renacer, “Punto Final Reserva”, Mendoza, Argentina, 2015
And here it was- our steak and Melbec. Everything on the plate was wonderful (gave those shishito peppers over the Kevin!), right down to the dollop of creme fraiche. The salsa verde and bordelaise accompanied the perfectly cooked steak to bring the dish the South America flare. The Melbec was a reserva giving it a richer flavor profile, complimenting the heartiness of the steak. Everyone was extremely satisfied with this course.
Course 4: Saffron and Popcorn Flan- apricot jam, toasted almond ice cream
Pairing: Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Echeverria Family, Curco Valley, Chile, 2015
Ok… South America produces all the cocoa, the chocolate supplier for the world! This had to be the dessert where I would get my chocolate extravaganza. Alas, not today. However, as with the other dinners, the disappointment was quickly replaced with an incredible creative dessert. This flan tasted exactly like popcorn to give an element of saltiness among the almond ice cream and the apricot jam- absolutely delicious.
The late harvest Sauvignon Blanc while having a thick consistency as other dessert wines lack the overhaul of residual sugars allowing the flavor of the Sauvignon Blanc to really stand on its own. It was a perfect compliment to this dessert.
Another wonderful dinner with Brick Farm Tavern! Since we just got back from New Zealand, we were honestly considering skipping due to the terrible jet lag but we were so glad we decided to stick with it. We had a great group of people at our table to keep our energy up! Overall this was definitely one of our favorites so far- incredibly creative, full of flavor, and elevated wine experience. They staff are so eager to share their unique wines from each region and they work seamlessly with the chef to develop these dishes. Funny, this was the first dinner without that red start egg appearing. Looking forward to April’s journey to Italy!