Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Wedding season is upon us apparently. Which in my mind normally means not very good catered food that has been left too long in a chafing dish but recently things have turned around. This weekend I got to attend a lovely wedding at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. The ceremony was short and sweet, the couple warm, the weather delicious, and the food exquisite. After the ceremony they served champagne garnished with lavender sprigs (a nice complement) and appetizers circulate around. They served chicken liver mousse with a shallot jam on toast, bay scallop ceviche served on wonton spoons, vegetarian spring rolls (simple but good), and the best idea ever - lamb chops. Not only do I adore lamb - and this was cooked perfectly very pink and tender with a nice bit of salt crunch crust but I LOVED being able to pick up my appetizer by the bone and dig in. Maybe not everyone's idea of clean, refined wedding fare but I thought it was perfect.

The groom's parents are fish mongers and for the wedding they traded fish for wine with some local producers and focused on nice wine pairings with the main meal. The reception was held in an old barrel room in the huge castle-like CIA. To start they served a wild mushroom and ricotta raviolo with a small-fortunes' worth of truffles in a mushroom herb broth. The raviolo was good but the broth was exquisite infused with a strong taste of truffle. They paired it with a 2008 Truchard Roussanne from the Napa Valley (all of the wines were Napa wines) which was very light and fruity. I wasn't sure if we would be getting fish or meat (I hadn't been in charge of the rsvp so it was a surprise) and it turned out that we were served both with both a white and red wine pairing! The fish was a moist herb crusted Alaskan halibut and for meat they served a horseradish crusted filet of beef (I love horseradish but this wasn't very horseradish-y and could have just been left to stand alone). They paired a dry 2009 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc with the fish and for the beef they chose a 2006 Judd's Hill Cab Sauvignon.
By the time I finished my many appetizers, too many glasses of champagne, appetizer (and some of my dates because they couldn't finish), main course and wine I was too stuffed to really eat dessert and stumbled onto the dance floor to try to burn off some of the millions of calories that I had gleefully attained.

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