A really excellent wine dinner.

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

I spend a lot of time trying to educate people in my area about wine, mostly for entirely selfish reasons. I want more people to appreciate the wines I’m passionate about so that I can have more access to more of the wines that I really geek out about. Sometimes working in such a small market can be very frustrating. A few weeks ago, at a tasting in Seattle, I tasted the 2009 reds from Pierre Gaillard. My first thought was ‘oh my god, these wines are amazing’, my second thought was ‘I don’t know if I could sell these in Boise.’ The wines are amazing, but of course they’re not cheap. And when so few people in the market even know where the Cote Rotie is, the prospect of being able to sell wines like this gets a little daunting.

So it’s always tremendously gratifying to me when I meet new people who share my passion for wine, and who are working to educate the public. Enter: Wine Director David Carey and Chef Gary Kucy of Rupert’s at the Hotel McCall. In addition to running a great food and wine program at the restaurant all year, they also put together wine dinners during some of McCall’s busiest annual events. Last week were two dinners to kick off McCall’s Winter Carnival. I attended the first dinner, featuring the wines of Boise’s Cinder Winery.

Winemaker Melanie Krause is a Boise native who spent 5 years in Washington as a winemaker for Chateau Ste Michelle before moving back to Boise, convinced that Idaho’s climate had the potential to make truly world-class wine. Hers was one of many new wineries that have been founded in the state since the establishment of Idaho’s first AVA in 2007. Since her first release her wines have received tremendous commercial and critical success, and I have been a fan of the wines since the first time I tasted them.

Perhaps it’s because I knew what to expect from the wines that they didn’t surprise me nearly as much as the food did. Each course seemed very thoughtfully paired with the wine, and the foods were balanced, creative, and beautifully presented.

The winter carnival is over now, and it will be a while before Gary and David put on another of these dinners, but stay tuned, as I will definitely be letting you know ahead of time so you can enjoy the fine work they’re doing.

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