Angove Family Winemakers Dinner
I would be friends with Brett even if he didn’t have one of the most amazing kitchens I’ve ever set foot in…but I have to say, it’s a great bonus. Additionally, the fact that he seldom uses it and happily gives me free reign as long as I feed him means that I do a fair amount of entertaining at his place. So, when Angove Family Winemakers asked me to put together a dinner with food that showcases their Nine Vines collection, Brett and I decided to make it a holiday dinner party. I cooked all day and then, around 7, our friends started arriving. Holiday music played in the background, Brett mixed his signature holiday drink, which we coined “White Santas” (White Russians made with egg nog instead of cream. OMG.), and friends piled in. Once everyone was settled and hungry, I began serving the courses.
To start, I brought out salad plates with Lemon-Basil Ricotta Crostini over Mixed Greens with Roasted Red Peppers. Crispy crostini with creamy, refreshing ricotta and sweet roasted red peppers paired perfectly with a chilled 2008 Viognier. A mere $12 per bottle, this very floral wine was light and refreshing, perfectly complementing the brightly-flavored ricotta and sweet balsamic-dressed greens.
Next up was a rich and earthy Winter Lasagna with Fresh Beet Pasta and Sage Bechamel. The creamy bechamel, sweet roasted pumpkin and caramelized onions were layered with bright purple fresh beet pasta, creating an indulgent and beautiful dish. The perfectly-chilled 2008 Grenache Shiraz Rosé, with its cherry and raspberry aromas and crisp, fruity flavor was a lovely accompaniment, nicely showcasing the subtle sweetness of the beet pasta and the caramelized onions. This wine is typically priced at a very reasonable $13.50.
Following the pasta we had Grilled Lamb Chops over Carrot-Gorgonzola Smash. Simply-flavored lamb chops, marinated in olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper were perfectly grilled and served atop a slightly chunky sweet gorgonzola-enhanced carrot smash. I paired this dish with Angove’s 2007 Shiraz Viognier. Peppery and dry, this delicious wine brought out the smoky char from the grill as well as the succulent juiciness of the lamb. Again, this wine costs a very doable $12.
By the time dessert rolled around, we were all quite full (not to mention pretty tipsy), but we still managed to eat some absolutely amazing Ginger Butterscotch Sauce Over Ice Cream in Won Ton Cups.
I looked around at my friends and the sparse remains of the absolute bounty of delicious food and wonderful wine that we had demolished and felt so very blessed and lucky.