Back online. Photos downloaded. ‘Puter is cleaned up for another year. Monitor went South – New monitor! Ok. Enough excuses for being late. This month at The Buzz was pretty good. Sorry that not more people attend this Tuesday night monthly event. Such a great way to spend $20 for dinner and some good wines. 2nd Tuesday and Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm. Dinner was differently good. Quinoa Milanesa for one. An awesome Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup.
The wines were good – I bought one this month a , a satisfying blend of Cab Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Wine ratings for this dinner, is based on a score of , which is a perfect, flawless wine. Very subjective. With that in mind, I rated this a  Here is what else we had and the wines that went with each entrée. Enjoy. See you next month!!! South African 2011 Protea
Actually I liked this. An interesting and enjoyable appetizer.
2014 Arenal Cabertnet Sauvignon
alc. 13.5% good balance and body with a med long finish. great paring  $13.00
Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chick Pea Soup
2012 Renwood Zinfandel
alc 14.5 good paring with the food, I’m just not impressed with the wine. Seems to be a little light in balance and finish  $23.00
California Green Salad
2015 Bonny Doon
Alc 13.5% good balance and finish. great paing with the acid of the salad.  $17.00
Pork and Grilled Peach
2013 Blacksmith Merlot
Alc. 14.2% great finish and acid balance.  $17.00
Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream
(Robin asked for more of the whiskey cream!) This was a super great dessert.
2014 Morse Code Shiraz
Alc. 14.0% one of the better wines for the evening, great paring  $15.00
What did I like best? The
South African 2011 Protea, pictured above, was superb. And then there was that wonderful soup. A little spicy that only added to the excitement of the soup. By far, the best of the evening was dessert. That was awesome! See what you missed if you didn’t attend? Next month is both beer and wine. It’s Oktoberfest! For the men, wear your Laderhosen. For the ladies, wear your Dirndl.
Great to see so many people attending last night. Almost a sell-out crowd! And they all had a really super meal and some great wine p;arings and information. If you missed this one, you missed a great one!
As far as I am concerned, there were some terrific wines presented. High scoring. 3 – 17’s, 1 – 18 and 2 – 19’s. Actually, I think the wine that took over was the . But then, if you know me, you know that I am partial to a good Zin. And the entree that took First Place? 2014 Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel Pork Medallions Crusted with Espresso and Chocolate. Served with Cauliflower and Pepper Medley with a Chocolate Drizzle. Oh Yum! There are photos below. Left-Click any of them to see enlarged. Cheers!
Chocolate Scallops and White Chocolate Baba Ghanoesh Pinot Blanc
2013 Valley of the Moon
13.9 % alc. Not one of the best wines for the night.just OK. Balance and body light  $16.00
Pumpkin Soup Malbec
13.9% alc. a good malbec that went very well with the pumpkin. good body and finish  $22.00
Pecan and Strawberry Salad
Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette Rose 13.0% alc another good wine but not outstanding. it had a hard time with the salad.  $15.00
2014 Bila Haut
Espresso and Chocolate Crust
Cauliflower Pepper Medley
Chocolate Drizzle Claret 13.6% aqlc. One of the better wines of the evening. great match with the pork and the cauliflower.  $23.00
2011 Basil Cellars
Kahlua Bundt Cake
2014 Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel  $23.00
14.5% alc. A superb wine. great with the chocolate cake. Well worth buying some.
Really a good choice for this months Wine Dinner. Spring is in the air! Overall – Really a great paring of food and wine. The overall best wines, in my opinion, were the . Great clarity and bouquet and a bng body. The finish was moderately long. It went very well with the 2012 Lunatic Red Beef and Noodle Entree. It was a superb paring and my score was  out of , as was the . Here are some photos of the diner. Do enjoy them and hopefully, we will see you next month for 2013 Crisp Chardonnay Asian Fare on May 12 and 13. Mark your calendars and pick May 12! Cheers!
Prosciutto and Melon Appetizer
 $12.00 2013 Luna Pinot Grigio
14.2% alc. good clarity but color was washed out. bouquet and balance was ok. finish good
Mushroom Ceviche Salad
 $17.00 2012 Pinnacoli Primitivo
14% alc not my favorite wine, but this one was very good. great character and paring with the mushrooms.
 $16.00 2013 Crisp Chardonnay
14.6% alc good appeal and balance. good paring with the Vichyssoise.
Cold Beef and Noodles
 $16.00 2013 Lunatic Red Blend
14.5% alc. one of the better wines, although hot, and parings for the evening. great body and appeal. superb paring with the beef. 29%v Sangiovese, 23% Syrah, 11% Malbec, 21% Alicante Bouchet and 20% Petit Sirah
White Chocolate Mousse
(almost like whipped cream!)  $20.00
2014 Alix Chardonnay
12.5% alc. not bad and a good match to the white chocolate. the mousse was so smooth it was like eating whipped cream.
A different, but fascinating format change. Last month, Cristi asked and assigned, different parts of the meal to different people, i.e., Robin and I had the appetizer, another had the salad, another the soup etc. Much like a Progressive Dinner but without traveling around. I liked it and I hope that Cristi does this again.
The wines that went with dinner were paired pretty well. At least my scores were pretty good, mostly  and  out of . Take a look at what we had and enjoy. Can’t beat the price – $20 per plate with usually 7 wines. See you next month? Maybe? I hope. Enjoy these photos of the evening. Cheers! Left-Click any of these photos ton see them enlarged. Next month will be Picnic Food. That sounds like fun!
Cruzant Chardonnay and Pinot Blend
Not the best of the night; I just didn’t like it that much.  $19.00
Wild Rice Soup
A good match for the soup. Great color and balance.  $16.00
White Balsamic Salad
(Really a good salad)
Pepi Chenin Blanc Viognier Blend
One of the better wines. Went very well with the acid of the salad.  $12.00
Wild Caught Stuffed Baked Halibut
The best wine of the night. Extremely good body and finish.  $16.00
We were shown photos of the halibut as it was caught. It was huge. Caught in Alaska, I think. Delicious!
Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
(Great ending to this meal!)
Dry Creek Petit Syrah
Not bad with the chocolate. In fact, great! Good paring.  $21.00
Everything, except the wine, had chocolate in it tonight! Chocolate may not have been the main ingredient in the food, but it was there in some amount. “Chocolate is made from plants – which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables as part of an anti-aging diet. Flavonoids … act as antioxidants.” Cristi Takeda, owner of the Buzz and an RN, went on to say that, “Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants – nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries … Lowers blood pressure – small bar each day – and lowers cholesterol – reduces LDL up to 10%.” Interesting information. There is always something to learn at these Wine Dinners. Remember, “ Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts. So, to reverse being “stressed” … CHOCOLATE!!!!” Here is what we had for dinner and the wines that went with each dish. Rated the wines on a  point scale. Enjoy!
Garlic Eggplant Dip
2013 Mossback Chardonnay
14.2% alc. Not really the best wine of the night. Light on bouquet and body. The paring, though, was good.  $18.00
Spicy Tomato Chocolate Soup
2012 Koenig Riesling
13.6% alc. Again, light on the bouquet and body. But a good finish.  $17.00
The soup was differently good. The paring was OK.
Strawberry Mozzarella Salad
11.0% alc. Really a great finish and body. Overall appeal was good. Even though the salad was good, it did tend to over power the wine. The salad dressing was a Balsamic and Chocolate reduction.  $15.00
Chicken Mole Zinfandel
Grilled Vegetables with Chocolate Port Sauce
2012 Valley of the Moon
15.1% alc. Best wine of the night. Great with the spiciness of the mole. Superb body and finish. Good paring.  $15.00
Salted Carmel Lava Cake Cab Franc
2012 La Madrid
14.0% alc. Not my pick for the night. Lacked bouquet, balance and finish.  $23.00
And here is some interesting information. If you like an Ice Wine, just know that 1 year in 5 conditions will be right to make this wine. The grapes must freeze on the vines and then they are picked by hand frozen. An Ice Wine is very labor intensive.
Also, on February 28th, the Buzz is sponsoring a Fund Raiser for the orchestral group, Serenata. This is really one fantastic group. Please come out and support them! The next Wine Club Dinner is March 10th and again on the 11th. Hope to see you there! Cheers.