Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dining (and Drinking) with the Masters

One of the very best parts of our Mendoza adventure is having the opportunity to really be a part of the wine and food industries, and to do it in a place where things are booming.

Two weeks ago, Vince and I participated in the first ever Masters of Food and Wine South America. For the past twenty years or so, the Masters event has been held in a gorgeous seaside hotel in Carmel California. The Hyatt recently purchased the hotel, and has decided to take the event abroad…so, first stop, Mendoza, Argentina, up and coming wine region.

The event brings together amazing chefs, in this case from Latin America and the States, to join in a series of food and wine dinners, seminars, pairings, etc. The Vines helped sponsor the event here, along with a number of high-profile partners. In addition to a lovely champagne brunch at the Vines, the highlight for Vince and I was dining at Andeluna with Ken Oringer, chef at Clio restaurant in Boston.

The day was perfect -- 75 and sunny -- and the food and wines were stunning too. Andeluna is co-owned by an Argentine wine making family, the Reina’s, and Ward Lay, of Lay’s potato chip fame (he actually joined us for lunch that day). Pasionado is my favorite Andeluna wine. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cab Franc… and it’s incredibly rich and full. I get a lot of chocolate and spice when I taste it.

On the day of the event, we drank Pasionado paired with roasted lamb, slow cooked over an open fire. Amazing! The lamb was complemented with a starter of ceviche with octopus, shrimp and clams alongside grapefruit, yellow peppers, kefir lime and avadcados… For dessert, we devoured (at least I devoured mine!) a chocolate tart, with Caramel, rich vanilla ice cream and banana coulis.

As I said earlier, amazing…..