Gumbo’s Wine Dinner – August 2013

My wife and I have had dinner ( a couple of times) at a Louisiana style restaurant in Georgetown called Gumbo’s.  We have been quite impressed.  So when we heard that they have monthly wine dinners, we decided to check it out.  Gumbo’s is owned by Shuler and Denise Page.  They are great owners.  Very personable and committed to quality.

The August Dinner was hosted by Keith Sennikoff of Global Wines.  This guy knows his stuff.  I learned a lot from him this evening.  And I will keep in touch and probably bug him a lot about my wine needs.  Keith decided to present French wines for this dinner.  The Chef – Mathew Krader, then had the task of creating a menu to match the wines.  It was a five course meal.  So here goes.

First Course.  Creole Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese.  Chateau de l’Aiguillette Muscadet Sur Lie.  This is a Burgundy that is made from a grape that is NOT a Muscat.  This wine is very dry, crisp, and acidic.  Kind of like a Sauvignon Blanc without much fruit on the nose.  It has a crisp nose that is not sweet.  The tart itself was very nice.  The goat cheese was creamy.  It was from Sonoma County, CA.  The tomato was nicely accented with some basil.  The wine accented the goat cheese.  And this dish opened up the wine.  Although the tart was great on its own.  A very nice dish with a good pairing.

Second Course.  Shrimp with Creole Sauce Topped with fried Angel Hair Pasta.  Chateau Le Grand Verdus Bordeaux Blanc.  This wine is a Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon blend from Bordeaux.  This is the primary white grape of Bordeaux.  A nice wine – a classic White Bordeaux.  The wine had a nice nose and good fruit on the pallet.  The dish itself was very nice.  A tomato based sauce with chunks of tomatoes.  Nice Creole spice.  I did not detect a rue, which made for a thinner, lighter sauce that was very tasty.  The shrimp and fried angle hair pasty was nice.  This is a great dish on its own.  The wine did not perfectly match this dish but it did not collide with it either.  There was enough fruit in the wine to stand up to the spices in the dish.  There was a bit of arugala in the dish, which was an interesting touch.

Third Course.  Chicken and Andouille Sausage Roulade with Bourbon Veloute with Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Mas de Libian Bin de Petanque Rouge.  This wine has a serious nose, very fruity like a Beaujolais.  A lot like a classic CA Pinot Noir on the nose – candy and cherry.  This wine can be chilled.  It consists of Grenache and Syrah and is from the Rhone.  Very light body.  And it opened up over time in the nose and body.  Kind of like a Pinot Noir.  The Chicken Roulade rocked.  The wine stood up to the dish.  The sweet potatoes worked very well with the wine and sausage.  A very nice pairing that was interesting.  The fruit of this wine does the job.

Fourth Course.  Beef Bourguignon, Tenderloins with Red Wine Sauce and Roasted Potatoes.  Chateau Ventenac Reserve.  A nice red nose on this wine.  A Bordeaux that is very acidic with good tannins.  This is a Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend.  The classic Washington State Blend.  The Tenderloins were fantastic – cooked medium rare – perfect.  A lovely sauce.  I take my beef very seriously and I like to think that I am very skilled at preparing beef dishes.  But hats off to Chef Mat for this preparation.  I will have to order this dish sometime.  The wine was great with the potatoes.  Though I wonder if a heavier red wine would have been more appropriate with the beef.  But a lovely dish.

Five Course.  Strawberry Basil Pie.  Chateau Rivea Blanques Rose.  A delightful, crisp sparkler from Languedoc-Roussillon.  This wine is a refreshing Cremant.  A Pinot Noir blend.  Nice watermelon flavors.  The pie was nice.  The Chef added some Basil which was a nice touch.  I would never have thought that Strawberry and Basil were a good combo.  So the first and last dishes used Basil.  Nice bookends.  The Cremant added a nice fish to this dessert.

So a very nice dinner and a very nice evening indeed.  The owner, the sommelier, the chef, and the entire staff were great.  By the way, Gumbo’s offers their wine (any bottle) for half price on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Rather tempting.

Next months Wine Dinner (September) features One Hope Wines.  We will attend.