The other half of this wine and food pairing experience was at J Wine Company… Simply referred to as “J.”
This tasting was organized by my daughter Melanie. Living out here in wine country, and being in this business, we’ve each developed our cohesive working relationships. My contact at J is Noelle Bauman. She’s provided samples when I’ve had wine writers in my home for dinner. It’s good PR for all of us… It just works. This day, it was better to have Melanie work through her contact, and it worked really well with Ron Clark, because his area of expertise is hospitality, and he proved to take his job really seriously. Ron loves his job, and does it well.
As a side note, Ron decided to delight us with another wine that wasn’t on their food & wine menu, but he had it stashed for great moments… It was a Pinotage, and the most gutsy and bold wine of that flight, reminding me of a Petite Sirah in its color and tannic structure. It was definitely not a wine I thought that we’d ever taste at J… All the other varieties made perfect sense: Brut, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
It was not what I would have expected from J’s winemaker, Oded Shakked. As I went to the site to review Oded’s biography, I made a discovery that brought it all back together for me. J has a new winemaker, who’s name is George Bursick, an industry veteran, and someone who will bring new things to J.… Aha! Now it all makes sense.
This winemaking and culinary delight is available for $20 per person, and it’s another experience well worth your time, each sip, and every bite. J’s Executive Chef Mark E. Caldwell (and J) support growers and vendors who practice sustainable farming and fishing practices, giving their visitors the best possible experience.
J Wine Flight:
2002 J Vintage Brut
Day Boat Scallop Ceviche
2006 J Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley
Creamy Spinach Melange, Pita Crisp
2004 J Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Blue Claw Crab Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Mushroom
2004 J Pinot Noir, Nicole’s Vineyard
Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Toasted Cashew,
Black Mission Fig, Belgian Endive