Archive for the 'Food and Wine Pairing' Category

Valentine Day at the WineBistro, Monday, February 14

Join us to celebrate Valentine Day and receive a complimentary Jessica Foster Classic Truffle. Jessica makes these incredible truffles which simply melt in your mouth and broadcast those delicious chocolate flavors. Not to be missed!!

Passport Bordeaux Food Pairings

Food Pairings for tonight’s Passport to the World of Wine, Bordeaux
Wednesday, January 6

04 Chateau Le Pape Pessac-Leognan Bordeaux France
Roasted Mushroom & Tallegio Flatbread

06 ONXY Cab Sauvignon Darling South Africa
Smoked Trout “Rangoons” with Oyster Sauce

03 Chelsea Vineyards Cab Sauvignon Sonoma California
Duck Rillette on Crostini with Orange Gastrique

06 Bell Claret Napa Valley California
Duck Rillette on Crostini with Orange Gastrique

06 Santa Barbara Winery Cab Sauvignon Grassini Vineyard Santa Ynez California
Lobster Mousseline on Golden Beet Chip with Lime Parsley Sauce

Hope to see you there!
25.00 per person
Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro

Grilled Cheese Nights and Private Wine Tastings

Santa Barbara’s oldest winery, Santa Barbara Winery, now offers Private Wine Tasting in the Barrel Room. A senior staff member will guide tasters through a flight of six wines, including a library or estate vineyard designated wine, and describe the winery’s history and current focus. The Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro also provides an artisan cheese plate to accompany the tasting. Private tastings are 25.00 a person and are available everyday from 11am-4pm with 24 hours notice. Reservations are required.

After a brief summertime hiatus, Grilled Cheese night is back at the Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro every Thursday evening starting at 4pm. Chef Nathan offers three cheeses, ranging from Manchego to Smoked Mozzarella to Humboldt Fog. Select one of the three cheeses or choose the sample plate, which includes a taste of each. Tomato Bisque or Bistro Greens accompany the artisan cheese melted fresh bread (12.00 per person). Sandwiches can be paired with the Bistro’s Wine Flights, created to allow diners to experience three-ounce pours of three wines. Choose from Wine Bistro Flight Menu or create your own combination of tastings.

Passport to the World of Wine – Rose

Our peak summer pre-Fiesta week is full of color and celebration here in Santa Barbara, so refreshing pink wines have been called forward for the occassion. August’s Passport to the World of Wine tasting will feature Rose wines from around the world paired with a delicious culinary selection.

Wednesday, August 5

07 Chateau de Manissy Cuvee Les Lys, Tavel France

07 Gassier, Sables D’Azur, Cotes de Provence France

06 Terlano Lagrein Rose, Alto Adige Italy

08 SoloRosa Rose of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley California

07 Santa Barbara Winery Rose of Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley California

These dry Provencal-style pink wines are deliciously versatile and perfect palate cleansers for a summer evening. Each station will feature a wine and food pairing alongside information about the winery and the wine.

Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro
Passport to the World of Wine
August 5, 2009
$25.00 per person

Passport to the World of Wine – Sauvignon Blanc

Our next Passport to the World of Wine tasting will feature Sauvignon Blanc from five distinct growing regions in California, France, South Africa, and New Zealand.  This varietal originated in the Bordeaux region of France and is now planted in many of the worlds wine regions.  When the varietal paired with Cabernet Franc a couple of hundred years ago it parented the well known varietal Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is bright, crisp, and refreshing with flavors ranging from tropical to grassy and everywhere inbetween.

Here is a list of the five wines that will be poured:

07 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy, Cuvee “Les Coutes,” Sancerre, France
08 Ernst & Co., Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa
07 Dagueneau, “Les Pentes,” Pouilly Fume, France
08 Brancott, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
07 Santa Barbara Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley

Passport to the World of Wine, Sauvignon Blanc
Wednesday, July 1, 6-8pm
25.00 per person
Food pairings with each wine

Joanie Hudson, Director National & International Marketing, Santa Barbara Winery/Lafond Winery & Vineyards

Muscadet and Oysters

The Muscadet wine from France’s Loire Valley is a classic pairing with oysters, the new Saturday afternoon special at the Wine Bistro.  More Muscadet is produced than any other Loire wine and is made from the Melon de Bougogne grape.  

Its growing region is dominated by maritime influences of the nearby Atlantic.  Light bodied, dry, fresh, and crisp, it can sometimes be described as having  a slight effervescence or even “saltiness.”  Moderate alcohol and minerality makes it a nice pair with coastal dishes.  

Featured wine with Saturday afternoon oysters is:
Domaine de Beauregard Muscadet 2007
Glass 6.00
Bottle 22.00
Glass and 2 Oysters 8.00
Bottle and a dozen Oysters 36.00

Saturday Oysters 4-6pm
Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro

Solstice Wine Pairing Dinner

This year’s Solstice Wine Pairing Dinner will precede Santa Barbara’s Annual Summer Solstice Festival and Celebration on Wednesday, June 17.  The Solstice Parade will be held this year on Saturday, June 20, featuring more than 1000 parade participants.


The theme this year is “Splash”. The Summer Solstice Parade features more than 1,000 parade participants, complete with extravagant floats, whimsical costumes and creatively choreographed dancing ensembles. From its beginnings as a small parade featuring street artists, the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration is now the premier Santa Barbara County arts event, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world.

At high Noon, on a Saturday near the longest day of the year, creative floats, fascinating costumes, brilliant masks begin their journey from Cota Street up State Street to Micheltorena, transforming downtown Santa Barbara into a vibrant splash of color, music and dance. People-powered floats reignite the creative spirit of Santa Barbara. Commercial elements, such as written words, advertisements, live animals, or motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs) are excluded from the Parade, as is nudity.

The Alameda Park Festival continues the celebration with live music by local and international artists; delicious foods and beverages from local restaurants, caterers and non-profit groups; an arts and crafts boutique with more than 75 artisans and craftsmen; a large “drum circle” formed by parade participants and anyone who cares to join in the beat. The wonderful floats from the parade are on display. A special children’s area featured a stage with storytellers, musicians, drama, and mimes.


Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro will host the official Solstice Wine Pairing Dinner

Poached Lobster with Heirloom Tomato and Corn Salad and a drizzle of chive infused oil
07 Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay

Seared Scallop with Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto, Lobster sauce
06 Santa Barbara Winery Reserve Chardonnay

Seared Black Cod with Crispy Fingerlings, Sweet Peas and Pearl Onions, lemon butter
07 Lafond SRH Chardonnay

Peach Cobbler with White Chocolate Ice Cream

95.00  includes tax and gratuity

Donation from each ticket goes to Summer Solstice.

Wednesday, June 17, 7pm

Reservations Required

Sangiovese Notes

Last night’s Sangiovese event was a packed house with regular dinner guests on one half of the restaurant and passport tasters on the other.  The night’s varietal really lent itself to pairings with the Wine Bistro fare, as Chef Nathan is a wizard with his tomato sauce based flatbreads.  

Zach (our Bistro Sommelier) types up really great notes on each of the wines for the tastings, and you can read a few of the highlights below.

2005 Fattoria Le Puille, Morellino di Scansano, Elisabetta Geppetti, Tuscany Italy

In the 1970s, Fattoria Le Pupille was a farmhouse producing red wine from 5 acres of Sangiovese.  In 1978, the Morellino di Scansano DOC was created and the first harvest of this wine was made at Le Pupille.  According to Jancis Robinson, “it is here on the wind swept Tuscan coast that there has been the most dramatic change to the winescape in recent years.”  Robinson says that, “one of the fastest growing regions has been Morellino di Scansano, now DOCG.  Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese, raised here in balmy conditions only just above sea level.  A host of outsiders have invested here in recent years, with dramatic effects on property values.  Florence’s oldest winemaking families such as Antinori and Frescobaldi together with Barbi and Biondi-Santi (more famous for their Brunello di Montalcino), and Chianti producers Badia a Coltibuono, Cecchi, Fonterutoli, and Rocca della Macie, where the resulting wines are much fleshier and more supple than anything made in the hills of Chianti Classico inland.”  The history of Le Pupille really started when Elisabetta Geppetti became personally responsible for the estate in the early 1980s.  She completed her first harvest of Morellino di Scansano in 1985, at the age of 20.  In the 1990s, the quality of the wines began to be rewarded by critics all around the world and Fattorria Le Pupille’s international reputation was established.

Elisabetta Geppetti always believed in the potential of this land she loves, and saw the clear potential for making great wines from the, “red, bitter soil,” when few people thought it possible.  In 1992 she was elected as the first chairperson of the Consortium of Morellino di Scansano, as well as a founding member.  In 2006 Elisabetta was awarded winemaker of the year by top German magazines Der Feinschmecker and Wein Gourmet, making her the first woman to receive this award.

This wine is 85% Sangiovese, with a remaining blend of Alicante and Malvasia Nera.  It has a nose of black cherry and rose petals with accents of leather and smoky minerality.  It is well balanced with harmonious acidity.

Food Pairing: Romesco and Prawn Flatbread with Asparagus and Parmesan

2006 Seghesio Vineyard Sangiovese, Sonoma County, CA

Seghesio is responsible for the oldest planting of Sangiovese in North America.  The Seghesio story begins in 1866 when Eduardo Seghesio departed his family’s vineyards in Piedmonte, Italy for a new life in America.  Like many Italian immigrants he was drawn to Northern Sonoma County and the famous Italian Swiss Colony to follow his passion for winemaking.  The “colony,” as it was known, hired immigrants for three year stints, providing room and board and then, a lump sum at the end of those three years enabling employees to buy land or set up a new business.

Edoardo soon rose through the ranks and became the winemaker.  Yet, he still yearned to return home.  It was his niece and the opportunity to purchase land that convinced Edoardo to remain.  That young girl, Angela Vasconi and Edoardo were married in 1893.  Edoardo remained at the Colony while building his own winery at night.  Upon its completion in 1902, the young couple began Seghesio Winery.  In 1910 they acquired additional acreage surrounding the train station in what was then “Chianti, California.” Edoardo appropriately planted the 10 acres to the Chianti field blend of Sangiovese, Canielao Nero, Trebbiano and Malvasia, creating the oldest continually operating Sangiovese vineyard in North America.  That vineyard they call Chianti Station.  Prohibition brought on hard times, and Edoardo had to bring on partners.  Yet they still survived, in 1934 Edoardo passed away leaving the winery to Angela.  Her three sons took the reins and continued their father’s tradition.  

This Sangiovese from the oldest American plantings, combined with their small-berried clones, produce wines of intense varietal character.  This wine was aged for eighteen months in French Oak barrels, 20% new.  Its bouquet of dried violets and blackberries mingle with a little bit of spicy anise.  The palate exhibits well integrated tannins with clove and oak overtones.

Food Pairing: BBQ Pulled Pork Empanadas

2007 Conalicchio di Sopra, Rosso di Montalcino, Azienda Agricola, Italy

Founded by the Pacenti family in the early 1900s, bottling began at the winery in 1966.  This was the first year of the Brunello Consorzio.  Prior to bottling their own wine, they had sold their grapes to Biondi Santi.  The 2007 Conalicchio Di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino is a great value, because Canalicchio only grows Brunello rated Sangiovese.  Their selection for the rosso often will rival other producers in Brunello.  Their vineyards are located in one of the best exposed parts of Montalcino’s vine growing areas, their vineyards cover 5 acres between Canalicchio and Montosoli.  Although they use the most modern facilities, they still revel in the ancient traditional wine making methods.

This wine spends 7 to 8 months in barrel.  This selection for the Rosso often will rival other producers of Brunello.  It is a limpid, ruby colored wine of great intensity.

Food Pairing: Duck Rillettes on Crostini with Black Fruit Jam

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Notes written by Zach Blair

May Passport Chardonnay Food Pairings

Chardonnay calls for richly flavored white foods, meats, and fish.  Buttery textures, creamed sauces, and caramelized aromas to go with its golden aromatic and visual profile.  Passport to the World of Wine will continue on the first Wednesday of May with Chardonnay.  Come and enjoy the bright and open space filled with summer evening light over a generous sampling of five wines and food to go along with it.

07 Adelsheim Unwooded Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon

     Smoked Trout with Citrus Gelee and Chive Cream

06 Coppo, Chardonnay Le Coste Bianchi, Piedmont, Italy

     Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Tartlette

06 Bouchard Pere et Fils Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France

     Tangerine Glazed Prawns

07  Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, CA

     Salami and Hummus Flatbread with Parmesan

06 Lafond SRH Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA

     Salami and Hummus Flatbread with Parmesan

Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro Passport to the World of Wine, Chardonnay

Wednesday, May 6


$25 per person

Passport Pairings

April 1′s Passport Pairing will be our first to serve a white varietal.  Up to this point during the winter months we have served hearty reds from Cabernet Sauvignon to Grenache.  White wines call for a different type of fare – lighter, whiter, and more shellfish friendly.  Here are this month’s Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio pairings:

Pinot Gris, France   
Smoked Chicken & Apple Salad with Endive Spears

Pinot Gris, Oregon   
Smoked Salmon on Cucumbers with Fresh Dill Cream

Pinot Grigio, Italy     
Pesto and Tomato Flatbread with Fresh Goat Cheese

Pinot  Grigio, Australia 
Herb & Garlic Bay Mussels

Pinot Gris, Santa Barbara
Smoked Salmon on Cucumber with Fresh Dill and Cream

Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro, Passport to the World of Wine
Wednesday, April 1, 6-8pm

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery