Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

May 28, 2010

Last night we put on a winemaker dinner with Bruce Regalia and JR Richardson of Oak Cliff Cellars.  The menu read as follows:


flash-grilled hawaiian hamachi with compressed pineapple,
serrano chiles, vanilla oil and puffed rice
2009 napa valley sauvignon blanc

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seared diver scallops with santa cruz morels,
hen-of-the-woods, crispy pork belly and sweet peas
2007 mendocino county pinot noir

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roasted saddle and sausage of pozzi farms lamb
socca nicoise, tomato confit and a pole bean-marjoram ragout
2008 curtis ranch vineyard zinfandel
2008 firebrick hill vineyard reserve zinfandel

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uplands “pleasant ridge reserve”
rogue creamery “smokey blue”
toasted brioche, candied walnuts, huckleberry mostarda
2008 lake county petite sirah

Today’s will be the first in a series of posts about the meal.

Here’s the first course halfway done:

The sauvignon blanc was on the fuller side, with lots of tropical fruit and vanilla on the nose, so we decided to complement those flavors on the plate and attack the acid in the wine with the richness of the hamachi and the spice of the serranos.  And the finished plate:

The slight char on the fish mirrors the toast element to the wine; the puffed rice gives crunch to an otherwise tender composition; the toasted nori powder gives a whiff of “What is that?” nutty umami-ness; the avocado mousse adds fat and a complementary flavor to an otherwise lean dish.  This one has a lot more flavors than I think are normally appropriate for wine pairings, but the wine itself had a broader flavor profile that most sauvignon blancs.

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