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De Tierra Vineyards {Wine Pairing}


I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of De Tierra Vineyards.  But, in my defense, we have a lot of wine here in California. A lot. And we have a lot of good, locally-made wine in California. But De Tierra is now on my radar since they teamed up with one of my favorite restaurants for a wine dinner.

Last night we went to La Balena Carmel where De Tierra matched, and poured, a wine with four courses. Cin cin!

First up: Chef Brad Briske and Team La Balena served warmed olives with fresh bread; grilled octopus, fingerling potatoes, housemade pancetta, and apple mostarda; and baby lettuce, pear, walnuts, and moscato vinaigrette. De Tierra paired that with their 2009 Reserve Chardonnay. It smells of tree blossoms which complemented the apples pieces in the octopus dish and the pear slices in the salad. This golden-hued chard was nicely balanced - not too oaky and not too sweet. Delicious and fresh.


Next, a duo of delicious reds! Pillowy soft agnolotti stuffed with herb ricotta in a Fogline Farm pork sugo were accompanied by a 2008 Estate Merlot. Lush and voluptuous, the merlot started off fruity and finished with an intriguing combination of coffee and pepper. Then Chef Brad's chocolate and balsamic-braised beef shoulder over creamy polenta with broccolini emerged from the kitchen and De Tierra offered up a pinot noir that glimmered like a clear garnet. Though I typically gravitate towards pinot noirs, I was surprised that I preferred the merlot!


And along with an array of La Balena's dolci, De Tierra served their 2009 Late Harvest Riesling. Served in a tall cordial glass, this was a sweet treat to cap off another ridiculously tasty dinner from Team La Balena.


What a fantastic evening with good food, good wine, and good friends!

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