Wine Dinner Series
Jujube regularly hosts special wine dinners - delicious five-course meals expertly paired with wines.
One of the things we do best here at Jujube is match our cuisine to wine. We do take it quite seriously. Many start by writing a menu and then try to figure out what wines would work best, we think that's backwards.
We start with the wines, taste them, and envision what dish would be best with each. Sometimes it's a matter of noticing some obvious flavors in the wine and looking to mimic those same in a dish. Other times it's trying to fill in some gap that the wine is leaving. And sometime, it's as simple as satisfying an immediate hankering for a particular dish that the wine has inspired.
Whatever the case, these special events are not to be missed. Read about our past dinners below or join our mailing list to hear about our next one. We look forward to seeing you!
Upcoming Wine Dinner -
Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars
Thursday, November 12th, 2015
My family and I just got back from a trip to Woodinville, WA, to visit Chris and his wonderful family and “help” with harvest. My stepson, Benji, came away with red-stained hands from helping with punchdowns and was thrilled to watch the machinery at work. Chrissy and I enjoyed tasting freshly pressed, mostly fermented Petite Sirah and Merlot. Obviously, these wines will be better when they’re actually finished; but there was such a freshness and vibrancy, in both color and flavor, and the uniqueness of tasting wines in a partially finished state went a long way.
Then we sat down and tasted the wines for the dinner…
First, a bit of a back story. Chris and I have been dear friends for many, many years, even before he started making wine, so it’s been exciting to watch him grow in the industry. He’s a talented and driven person, so it’s been no surprise to watch the accolades roll in for his wines and winery. Great scores, top 100 lists for both single wines and the winery as a whole… you name it.
So, when we started pulling wines, Chris wanted to reach into the archives and pull out some special stuff. Frankly, I also think he wanted to show off to an old buddy just how far they’d come. After all, we could have written a 12-course meal with all the wine we tasted. I really wanted to feature the Ruby Leigh, as it was the first wine of his that knocked me out, so when he pulled an 09 I knew it would be pretty cool. Well, it wasn’t just cool, it was amazing. Exactly the wine I first fell in love with. Sturdy and regal, but entirely generous, this Merlot-driven wine really shows off how deep and glorious the grape gets in Washington.
But, honestly, I could just as easily go on about the stunning Enlightenment Chardonnay, the exotic Apparition Roussanne blend, or the ripe and immensely charming Wilderness Blend and Holler Cabernet Sauvignon.
This is going to be a great dinner.
Butternut squash, pecan, and goat cheese “truffles” with watercress salad and pear-ginger coulis
-2014 Apparition Roussanne blend
Seared scallop and roasted wild mushroom with tangerine curry
-2013 Enlightenment Chardonnay
Grilled quail with fruit mustard, lotus root frites, and garlic spinach
-2013 Wilderness Red Blend
Sichuan-style smoked pork with fresh noodles
-2012 Holler Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark soy and star anise poached beef tenderloin with Chinese broccoli
-2009 Ruby Leigh Bordeaux Blend
$75 per person does not include tax and gratuity
Most recent wine dinner - Dinner with Kathy Josephs of Fiddlehead Cellars
Dinner with Kathy Josephs of Fiddlehead Cellars
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
I met Kathy back in the mid 90s when I was still chef and owner of my first place, Oswald, in Santa Cruz, CA. She’d only started Fiddlehead a few years before that, but was already getting many well-deserved accolades for her wines. We put on a wine dinner there, and I’ve jumped at every chance to do so again when the opportunity arises.
So, when the good folks who represent her in the area told me she was coming to town and asked if I’d like to do a dinner with her, of course I said yes.
The wines are as lovely as they’ve ever been, both the Sauvignon Blancs and Pinots showing generous fruit but with a stately balance and correctness that makes these wines impossible not to like. In particular, they’re all very well suited to the bold flavors that we feature here at Jujube, so I think that we’re going to be in for a very nice set of pairings this evening.
The “shaking venison”, which is our adaptation of the classic Vietnamese beef dish with stir-fried, marinated cubes of lean venison and caramelized onions and watercress, is an homage to a dish that I used to serve at Oswald with her Pinot, well, at least the pomegranate and venison part. It’s gonna be delicious.
Come on down and find out for yourself!
Smoked NC trout mousse on black rice crostini with leek, endive, & radish salad
-Gooseberry Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Santa Ynez Valley
Butternut squash-ginger bisque with grilled shrimp and pumpkin seeds
-Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Santa Ynez Valley
Star anise-braised duck, shiitake, and egg noodle soup
-728 Fiddlestix Pinot Noir 2011, Santa Rita Hills
Pomegranate “shaking” venison
-Oldsville Reserve Pinot Noir 2012, Oregon
$67.50 per person does not include tax or gratuity
Deb Lewis and The Equisite Wines of Vintage 59
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
Way back in the spring of 2006, Deb Lewis was kind enough to ask Jujube to host an industry luncheon with the fine Champagnes of Barnaut, one of a number of excellent producers in the V 59 stable. I saw it as a bit of a coming out party for my quite-new-a-the-time restaurant.
We made a lot of friends that day, and it was the first of many delicious tastings with Deb and the outstanding wines she represents. In fact, the dish below, paired with the Barnaut, was my favorite of that luncheon.
When I tried these wines for this dinner, I was reminded of what I love about this portfolio. That is, they all taste precisely as they’re supposed to. Well, that almost sounds like I’m selling them short, and I certainly don’t mean to. They represent their style and/or grape perfectly and are yet still surprisingly good.
And let me tell you what’s going to happen: the Pommard is going to wow you with finesse, and then the humble Minervois is going to come along, stand up, and steal the show. It’s almost not even fair.
Man, I’m really looking forward to this…
Salad of five-spice duck confit and poached Asian pear with frisee
-Barnaut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru N/V
Bruleed shrimp ceviche with salted musk melon
-Bove Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Crispy flounder with yuzu buerre blanc and potato croutons
-Rocher des Violettes Touche Mitaine Sec 2014
Pan-roasted duck breast with daikon cake, tanjin cabbage, and figs
-Dom. Joseph Voillot Pommard VV 2013
Lavender-encrusted roasted lamb with Asian ratatouille
-Coupe Roses Minervois “La Bastide” 2014
$75 per person does not include tax or gratuity
Chenin Blanc In All Of Its Glory
Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Here’s the thing: I love Chenin Blanc. In fact, I actually think it’s the most underrated grape in the wine world. It does, after all, produce some of the world’s most amazing wines and yet, at least in this country, has never truly recovered from the bad rap it got in the 70s when it was over-cropped and turned into jug wine from California’s Central Valley.
But, I’m serious. At basically every dinner where a special Chenin Blanc has been snuck into the line-up, it’s stolen the show. And the Chenins below are all special in their own way. Some pricier and more complex than others, but all delicious and incredibly predisposed to a fine food pairing. In fact, I served the Petillant in tonight’s dinner (fancy way of saying sparkling) at my wedding just a few months back. And, no surprise here, everyone just kept on going back for more.
Tonight’s wines are all imported by a good friend Zingo Munger and are from the two regions I feel make the finest Chenin in the world, the Loire Valley of France and Stellenbosch, South Africa. The French ones being perhaps a bit more high-toned and the South African being a bit more rambunctious, but each marvelous in their own way.
I do want to leave you with one more thought. Should you choose to pick up a few of these wines for yourself, do yourself a favor and do so with either the Le Clos or DeMorgenzon and put them away for a couple of years. They age impeccably and will turn into something even more magnificent than what they are right now.
Compressed watermelon and cucumber with shaved country ham
-Domaine Careme Vouvray Petillant Cuvee T 2012
Salad of romaine and grilled peaches with crispy onions and buttermilk
-Clos du Gaimont Vouvray 2013
Black rice and white anchovy-stuffed tomato, roasted, with cherry tomato coulis
-Raats Family Original Chenin Blanc 2013
Guinea hen galantine with green papaya salad and basil
-Domaine Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2010
Star Anise-cured pork loin with Chinese quince jus and daikon pudding
-DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve 2014
$65 does not include tax or gratuity
Most Recent - Dinner with Kathy Josephs of Fiddlehead Cellars