Kent Rathbun has moved his catering operations to Plano and turned the space that used to be Zea Woodfire Grill into an event venue. The space was christened, after a fashion, last week with an extensive dinner pairing four courses by catering chef Jeff Qualls and wines from Constellation Brands presented by Constellation representative Todd Ruback. I was an invited guest at the event.
After appetizers of sautéed shrimp, empanadas and lamb lollipops we sat down for an ethereal starter of diver scallop crudo, ginger-blood orange syrup, summer melon relish and jicama slaw. I love raw scallop sliced translucently thin as an alternative to the usual cooking by pan searing approach. Qualls’ example is the best I can remember for a long time.
Both of the matching wines were examples of Sauvignon Blanc from the Constellation stable. From California’s Napa Valley was the 2010 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc. Ironically, for someone who contributed so much to Napa’s global reputation as a producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is Fumé Blanc that is Robert Mondavi’s greatest contribution to the wine lexicon. He coined the term to describe dry, oaked Sauvignon Blanc which he introduced to a world of insipid sweet wines made from the same grape. Generations of wine drinkers have him to thank for this innovation. This example exhibited hallmark moderate-to-heavy body weight in the mouth, citrus fruit flavors and medium-high acidity that lifted the fleshy favors of the scallop.
Counterbalancing the Mondavi was 2012 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. This is a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in that it has a grassy nose and vibrant acids in the mouth. A very good example but a different wine from the Mondavi. it is ultimately a matter of taste which you prefer but I think both of these wines are best with food.
I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story but the assembled diners clearly enjoyed themselves.
This was served with two cabernet Sauvignons. The 2010 Franciscan Estate from Napa Valley and 2010 Hogue Reserve from the Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State.
Warranting a sweet dessert wine this was served with 2010 Ruffino Moscato d’Asti.