Monday, September 15, 2008

Wine Dinner Oct 6th

We've finally set the date for our next wine dinner. It will be held on October 6th, with a pre-tasting at 6:00 p.m. and seating promptly at 6:30. The wine dinners consist of at least six courses with appropriate wine pairings. The cost is $90.00 per person all inclusive. This dinner will feature wines from America's Northwest.

The Distributor: L'eft Bank Wine Co
The first step in composing a wine dinner is to choose the wine distributor. We've done many wine dinners and often use the same one or two merchants. This time around we wanted to give one of our favorite distributors a chance to showcase their wines. L'eft Bank Wine Co. is a small locally owned company that is very easy to deal with and has an excellent Racine sales rep. They also have a nice Oregon and Washington State "book". Picking the date depends heavily on the schedule of the distributors representative that will be presenting the wines at the dinner.

The Date:
We also have to schedule around any currently scheduled special events being held at the restaurant, personal commitments and staffing levels. We try and stay away from Holidays and we need time to promote the dinner. October 6th is a little earlier than we typically would schedule but had to accommodate other commitments.

We got into the habit of doing the dinners on Friday nights but decided to move them back to Mondays. We've been trying to build Friday sales and don't want to stop the momentum. Also Fridays eliminated a few larger groups that used to attend the dinners They are fellow industry employees. Most work Friday nights.

The Wine:
Usually we'll pick a general theme for the wine. A single maker, a region, a style or a single importer. I think the Northwest has some great wines that also happen to be great food wines. I think something a little off the radar screen will be fun and educational for everyone. We've picked the wines we want to taste and will make those decisions on Wed. the 17th. We'll taste about 10 wines and settle on five or six. If we feel we need to taste more we will. We'll be tasting pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, cab sauv and a pinot noir ice wine.

The Food:
I've alreadyn formulated a general menu that I will will aim the wine selections at. I can tweak each dish or the menu according to what's discovered at the wine tasting. I also have a great purveyor in the Northwest that I get extremely fresh fish from and great produce. Anything from razor clams to huckleberries is available to me. Look for various wild mushrooms, sablefish, wild salmon in some form. One thing I know I'll need is a big cab for the final "entree" course.

The Dinner:
Usually 70 or so guests will attend. It's challenging feeding 70 people a six course dinner. I'm old school so nothing gets pre-cooked before hand. Once the amuse rolls it's a sprint. Lots of plates, lots of glasses and lots of silverware. The dishwasher is probably the busiest guy that night.

The Customers:
Most attendees have been to one of our dinners before. Some have been to all of them. Most are regular customers and some come only for the wine dinners. All have fun. By the third course the room is noticeably louder. By the end of the night it sounds like a big party. These aren't snobby affairs they are a great experience that's alot of fun.

I'll be posting about the wine dinner as we proceed with the planning. I'll include my notes about the wines after I taste them tomorrow.

If you are local and didn't already recieve an e-mail about the dinner contact me and I'll make sure you are on our e-mail list. or through our contact page at