Sometimes a pairing is just perfect. Such was the case on October 14th when my friends Janice Provost of Parigi and Lesley Larson of Rocca Family Vineyards in Napa Valley joined me for a stunning Dallas Uncorked harvest dinner. Seated outside on the patio in a long family style table lit by candlelight under twinkle lights Janice and Lesley walked through pairings which started with a baby arugula with spiced nuts, Roquefort cheese, maple smoked bacon and currants. A spot on pairing with Rocca’s Grigsby Vineyard 2006 Syrah from their Yountville property.
Rocca is a special winery, dedicated to farming the land in sustainable ways preserving both the quality of the grapes, and continuation of the land. Their Syrah has everything that I love in a Syrah…lots of smoked meat and dark fruit aromas with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon and traces of vanilla from 15 months of 65% new French oak aging. Beautiful.
Pairing with Janice’s main course of filet with mushroom demi, truffle green beans and beet mashed potatoes was the hearty Grigsby Vineyard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. I am in love with the Napa Cabernets from 2006, there is an earthiness to them that is often not found in a Cab. This is matched with deep cherry and licorice flavor. Well balanced with solid structure and an appropriate pairing with the juicy red meat cooked to a perfect medium rare.
All this while Gary and I added bits to entertain guests, mainly a reading from Alice Water’s cookbook The Art of Simple Food, my inspiration from our Dinner at God’s Mountain. Grasping sustainable practices is really something that has struck home, even if it is just to start recycling. (It is amazing how quickly the recycle bin can get filled up while the trash bin remains pretty empty when you just think about it.)
Over an assortment of bite size desserts including a hot chocolate “glob” espresso that was the hit of the night we toasted to Rocca’s Bad Boy Red. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cab Franc, and 12% Petit Verdot the Bad Boy is big, but easy drinking with a subtlety that is rare in a big blend like this. Bright blueberry and raspberry flavors with a long finish, and great with chocolate.
The true special element for the evening was a portion of our proceeds were donated to HealthRoots Foundation. An orgnaization started by the Rocca’s to assist with community development and encourage sustainable health care improvements. Their most recent work has been in Malawi, Africa.