Friday, July 31, 2009

Charleston Wine & Food Festival

I've been around the world and have tasted food from a lot of places. There's isn't another place in the U.S., that puts more heart and soul into their food than the South. Especially the low country. If you've never had low country cuisine and want to see its past, present and future, than mark Sept. 3 on your calendar and plan to head to Charleston, South Carolina. On September 3, tickets go on sale for the Charleston Wine & Food Festival . Charleston is a timeless southern gem; the perfect place to host some of the nation's best chef's and wine professionals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Copper River Salmon Dinner

Foodies in the Pacific Northwest, if they love fish, go crazy when Copper River Salmon season arrives. So when I was invited to a fresh Copper River Salmon wine dinner, I jumped at chance to experience what all the hype was about.

Upon my first bite of the King and Sockeye - WOW! We all know fresh is best, but after experiencing the succulent, rich flavors and texture of the different types of salmon, I don't think I will ever eat Salmon "out of season" again.

The dinner didn't feature Coho Salmon. Coho, with the most delicate flavors of all the Copper River Salmon, its season doesn't begin until August. So, to get us started, the first course was a seared Washington Ling Cod with local asparagus, topped with tobiko hollandaise and chive blossoms. The tender fish paired nicely with a 2006 Bridgman Yakima white wine.

Our second course - and my favorite - was a roasted Copper River Sockeye Salmon on top of braised rhubarb and a shiso vinaigrette. Loving red wine, I was happy that the roasted Sockeye paired with a 2006 Van Duzer Pinot Noir. When tasting the Van Duzer Pinot on its own, the wine was a bit boring, but the roasted flavor of the fish and the sweet-tartness of the rhubarb allowed the the dried cherry finish to linger a bit longer on the tongue.

A peppercorn crusted Copper River King Salmon, on top of a Dungeness Crab filled herb crepe and Cascade Morel ragout was our entree. It was delicious! The chef should have saved the crab for a separate dish. The crab was lost in the the spicy pepper, robust fish and meaty flavors in the morel ragout. All were lovely and a perfect match for a 2006 Glen Fiona Syrah.

The intermezzo and dessert aren't important - the Salmon was the star!