Have you ever had a dinner so tantalizing that it left your taste buds vibrating with sensation? Ever enjoyed a taste that inspired you to want to meet the chef, yearning to learn more of how they transcended the experience from food to art?
If you said yes to any part of that, you are the perfect guest for a winemaker dinner. Pairing five or six palatable plates; each with perfectly chosen wines to celebrate the marriage of tastes. The restauranteur, chef and winemaker work together to create this delicious evening of decadence.
Larry Schaffer, owner and winemaker at Tercero Wines, will be pouring from his roster of current wines at several Los Angeles and Santa Barbara-based winemaker dinners now through summer.
So how does a winemaker’s dinner happen?
No two winemaker dinners are the same because the variables are always changing. The other guests, the vibe of the restaurant, and how that restaurant’s chef chooses to work with the evening’s specialty menu.
For instance, sometimes Schaffer chooses the wines to pour. Other times, he offers a selection and the chef chooses which wines to pairs with his offerings.
Therein lies ones of the biggest thrills for the winemaker; like Schaffer explains, “I’m looking for opportunities to best “show” my wines. When we pair each with a delicious plate, they both usually taste even better.”
“We didn’t know what to expect”, explains a recent dinner guest. “The night was elegant and fun. We loved it. Highly recommended. We met some fun new people. The food was delicious; and we tried new wine that was great. We would go again in a heartbeat.”
The average amount of seats range in size, but they keep an intimate feel. “That’s my favorite part, walking around, meeting everyone, talking them through the wines and hearing what they think”, Schaffer continues, “Personally I love the questions! I am amazed and excited about the breadth and depth of the questions a guest asks.”
Having now poured several dinners (most of which sold-out) Schaffer reflects upon the experiences and what’s next.
“They [winemaker dinners] have influenced me for I see how ‘personal’ wine consumption really is, and how it changes when wines are paired with foods that make the wines even better to me than they would be on their own.”
Tercero Wines just poured at a sold-out event April 19th at Delius Restaurant in Signal Hill. Next up is May 7th at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara and then several more in the late Spring/early Summer season.