Whole Foods Market offers the freshest natural and organic groceries as well as a hot and cold food bar and occasional beer and wine dinners. Last week I was invited to attend a Jackson Family Wine Dinner at Whole Foods Market. This five course gourmet dinner is paired with a Jackson Family wine for each course. This is an opportunity for the chefs at Whole Foods to show off their culinary skills and for guests to sample a variety of wines.
I was so excited to be invited to this event that I even brought my big fancy camera so be prepared for some super artsy food and wine shots.
Our first course was a Coldwater Lobster salad with heart of palm dressed simply in butter and citrus paired with a Mantanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of heart of palm so I probably didn’t appreciate this course as much as I should have. But I did appreciate the large chunks of lobster and the way the butter and citrus complimented the shellfish. This was also my favorite wine choice of the night, a light and fresh vino that would be perfect for these warm Summer days.
Next up was Duck Rillettes with crisp bread and a quick pickled Summer salad complimented by La Crema Russian River Pinot Noir Rosé. (Yes way, Rosé!) I really enjoyed this dish and thought it would make the perfect Summer appetizer. The duck mixed with the bread, cornichons (my new favorite word), and the grainy spicy mustard was delish.
The wild mushroom tartlet topped with seasonal greems and crumbled goat cheese with a balsamic reduction was by far my favorite dish of the night. The pastry was light and flaky topped with the savory mushrooms, creamy goat cheese, and sweet balsamic. The Hartford Court Russian River Pinot Noir wine pairing really elevated the dish. (I’ve been watching too much MasterChef.) And, as someone who typically appreciates white over red, I was really tempted to ask for seconds on both. Very good!
Freemark Abbey Merlot (not pictured because I was too excited by the food course) complimented a skewer of savory herbed chicken with fire-roasted root vegetables and toasted barley. By far the prettiest dish of the night! I don’t think I’ve voluntarily eaten beets since Mrs. Dicey made me eat them in preschool but these fire-roasted beets and parsnips were a perfect compliment to the chicken.
The final dinner course was Steak Au Poivre with cauliflower puree and mushrooms paired with La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. At this point you’re four glasses of wine into dinner so who really cares what the last course tastes like…?! Only joking. Putting aside the fact that the steak was slightly overcooked and the cauliflower mash was ice cold, this was a good dish. I wanted a biscuit to sop up that delicious mushroom gravy. (Reduction? Au jus? What’s the proper gourmet term?) The wine was a perfect pair to the red meat.
And last but not least, dessert! I have to admit that I was disappointed they did not serve a bubbly wine with the tartlettes but five glasses of wine in, I was glad I agreed to have Adam drive me. Neither here nor there, the bite sized tartlette was a sweet ending to a wonderfully delicious and fun dinner. Special thanks to Jessica and Nate for the invite.
To find out when Whole Foods Market will be having their next wine dinner, follow their Facebook page.