Dinner at The Kitchen Table, Goosebay Sauvignon Blanc, and Hagafen White Riseling

A few days ago my friends and I returned to The Kitchen Table for some good food, wine, and camaraderie. The last time we were there, after Chef Long had left the establishment I was not in love with the wine list or the food. My wife and I had some poor experiences, and I was worried that this would be another poor repeat performances. Thankfully, the food was wonderful and so was the wine.

I must say that the wine list, even now, at the TKT is still lacking in two main areas, Sparkling and red. The sparkling wines are truly undrinkable, with the Herzog Brut and the Bartenura Prosseco both being non starters. I understand the issue here, balancing the price to the product. However, there are many lovely mevushal options, including Hagafen Brut and the new Drappier Champagne! Both are far better candidates than the ones on the list. In the red selection, there are so many better options than what is available. The newly minted and available Shiloh wines are lovely, including the Barbera and the Legend. There are tons of beautiful mevushal wines from Allied and Happy Hearts, two kosher wine importers that are not Royal Wines.

I know, be happy with what we have, and so I attempted to make the best of it. I had no interest in ordering or drinking any of the red or bubbly options, so we went with some lovely white wines. I had recently tasted the 2010 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, at the Herzog International Food and Wine Festival and it was awesome again! Bright and acidic, yet bursting with ripe fruit – quite lovely! I also, had the opportunity to taste the wines from Ernie Weir’s Hagafen Winery in Napa Valley, and I tasted the 2010 Hagafen Lake County White Riesling Devoto Vineyard – it was awesome! White Riesling is making a big push now in the kosher market. It is sweet, another big theme in the world of wine in general, yet it is sophisticated enough to meet the other growing theme – kosher wine drinkers in search of good wine.

So enough about wine and on to the food. One of my friends started the meal with an order french fries, I started with an order of lamb kebab, and my other friend ordered some organic baby mixed lettuce. The lamb kebab was lovely and rich, but pairing it with the Sauvignon Blanc, may well have been my mistake. The gang liked the Sauvignon Blanc and really liked the White Riesling. While my pairing may have been questionable, the pairing seemingly worked well for my friends, though who really cares because the dishes were great and the wine was just fine.

For the main course, my friend and I ordered lamb tajine. I have said many times that why go to a restaurant if all you are going to order is what you can whip up in your home in anything less than an hour – really? To me, if there is a good slow cooked dish on the menu – go for it! Tajine has a special place in my heart, and we have made some awesome tajine dinners, but the work is crazy long and hard. The tajine rocked, with nice bite sized chunks of lamb and really good usage of spice, while the couscous was light and fluffy. The pairing of tajine with the Hagafen White Riesling turned out great and was one of those aha! moments in wine pairings. The bright acidity and light sweetness balanced out perfectly with the tajine’s spice and rich body. Quite an enjoyable dinner. My other friend had an order of roast chicken, which he seemed to like as well.

For dessert we had some parfait and an order challah bread pudding. The dessert was the weak link of the evening, but was still quite acceptable and a nice close to a wonderful evening with good friends, lovely culinary options, and some nice wine to boot!

The wine notes follow below:

2010 Goose Bay Suavignon Blanc – Score: B++ to A-
The wine is a kosher version of the Spencer Hill wine group out of New Zealand. The wine is a perfect accompaniment to the end of a hot summer day, or as a lovely aperitif given its deep mineral and acid backbone. The wine is expressive with bright lemon, gooseberry, freshly mowed grass, ripe grapefruit, and spice. The wine is round and super tart, while also being mouth filling with sweet ripe fruit and tropical accents. The finish is long and mineral with good complexity to keep your attention while also being nicely balanced.

2010 Hagafen White Riesling, Lake County, Devoto Vineyard – Score: A-
The nose on this light gold colored wine is filled with floral notes of violet and rose, petrol, honey, peach, lychee, mango, grapefruit, apricot, and pineapple, all wrapped up in a crazy rich perfume. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich with an oily structure that envelopes tropical and summer fruit, wonderful and balancing acidity, light and present sweetness, all coming together into a sweet and full mouth. The finish is long with residual sweetness and a hint of mineral and green notes on a long, luscious, and lingering finish.

Posted on March 15, 2012, in Food and drink, Kosher White Wine, Restaurant Review, Wine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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