Wine dinners are extremely popular with restaurants and is a simple concept. An ambassador for the winery, often the owner, will pay a visit to a restaurant who will host a special menu for that one evening. Certainly we enjoy these and try to make as many as we can to become more familiar with the wineries and take a more intimate look at the restaurant. Last evening was no exception as we joined the people of Rockwall’s Restaurant Ava for a look at a local Rockwall wine, San Martino.
As I discussed the variety served last night with owner of San Martino, Emilio Ramos, I was pleasantly surprised how perfectly balanced the wines were. Later I had a discussion with Ava’s chef-owners, Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate, and we compared notes. Randall was more familiar with the local winery, but I was not. We both agreed these wines were special.
The Albarino was of special interest after coming out of the intense heat. The cool and crisp flavors sparked with soft flavors of stone fruit. Especially interesting was the fact these grapes which are normally grown in Spain, and now California to some degree, is a product of Texas grown by Ramos.
The wine paired especially well with the first course, a Scallop Carpaccio with Pickled Local Peaches and Baby Lettuces that are famously grown by Tassione Farms.
The second course of Braised Pork Belly and Sunchoke Puree paired especially well with the Petite Sirah offered by Ramos and proved to be our favorite wine of the evening.
San Martino’s Cabernet also proved delightful; no delightful is too delicate a word for the wine was powerful and straddled the Wood-Grilled Prime Rib-Eye with Potato Croquettes well. The wine whipped the Smoked Paprika Hollandaise into submission and broke through the supple fattiness of the dish.
It is always a pleasure to visit the boys in Rockwall. The 20 minute drive seems less arduous than going to north Plano and the traffic is certainly easier. The wine dinners Restaurant Ava produces are always a treat worth driving for.