Tomato (and wine) dinner at Zely and Ritz, Raleigh, July 20th - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 08-09-2011

This was either the fifth or sixth year for the tomato dinners. I started going the second year. This was also the third dinner of this season.
We were greeted with German Gilavert Cava Reseva, Penedes, Spain, N.V. which had a good steady mousse and with crisp with a slightly yeasty or brioche note. Organically grown fruit in Santa Fe de Penedes. Juice sits on the yeast for a time. Served with tiny heirloom tomatoes.

With gazpacho made with heirloom tomatoes we had 2010 LAS LILAS VINHO VERDE ROSE, DOURO VALLEY, PORTUGAL. I didn't realize that vinho verde is really from a red grape--I had always assumed it was a white grape. For the rose' the juice is left on the skins for a short time unlike with the regular vinho verde. A rosy pink to pale red color with transparency. Sprightly taste with watermelon or pomegranate? Hard to pin down flavors but attractive and a good pairing with the gazpacho. A little sweetness on the finish.

Heirloom tomatoes, Chapel Hill Creamery Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and sweet balsamic vinegar glaze. Tomatoes included Cherokee Purple, Hazel Mae, Azoycka (Russia) and Soldaki or Caspian Pink. The wine was a pale straw color with transparency and a strong, slightly pungent nose. Quite acidic with a sweet edge. Nancy Agasi mentioned the slaty soil giving the wine a slaty taste. One of the tomatoes was yellow with red swirls. The heirloom vegetable guy said it had two color genes.

Next a 2009 J. L. CHAVE MON COEUR COTES DU RHONE, FRANCE (about 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.) This accompanied roasted heirloom tomatoes stuffed with Coon Rock Farm ground bratwurst, gypsy peppers and onions, with sweet corn and tomato risotto. The wine was a dark scarlet color with semi-transparency. Rich aroma or fruity dark raspberry or blackberry and a peppery finish. Some depth and savory elements. I thought it hearty for a Cotes du Rhone.

Next was a 2008 INSOGLIA, CAMPO DI SASSO BILBONA, Super Tuscan blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from Maremma, Tuscany, Italy served with slow-cooked Harris Robinette beef brisket with onion and tomato guts, grilled eggplant and grilled squash, and finished with grilled Amish paste (?) and orange banana roma tomatoes. The wine was leggy, dark and opaque. It tasted balanced with some spiciness and a long finish. I had crystals in the bottom of the glass.

Dessert was the ever luscious Sungold tomato panna cotta.
We had a chance to order the wines to pick up in a week or two. I ordered two bottles of the Portuguese rose' and one bottle of the Cotes du Rhone. Another great tomato dinner.

- winoweenie - 08-09-2011

*Sounds scrumptios. Love all tomatoes and when they are ripe Heirlooms provide some killer eating. Our local pusher has just upgraded his luncheon menu into something I'd expect at a 3or4-star sit-down. For lunch today I had delicious pork-belly medallions and escargots in puff pastry. All that was missing was the violin quartet. WW

- TheEngineer - 08-11-2011

Sounds positively delish!