My Birthday with Beringer

Laurie Hook and myself
I recently celebrated my birthday and what better way than to spend it tasting Beringer wines with the head winemaker herself! Happy birthday to me!  Hosted by Wine Align, the event was located at the trendy Yorkville restaurant Sassafraz. The event was featuring wine with tapas-style food. Ok, tapas it was not. It was like a five-course dinner! The food was delicious and there was a lot of it. Good thing my dress was stretchy.

Love the place setting

The chief winemaker for Beringer is Laurie Hook. She made the tasting very casual and really gave us a sense of Napa throughout the ages. She's a real history buff so she described what the Napa Valley looked like millions of years ago geologically speaking and what makes it so unique. She discussed everything from the growing of the grapes to the wine making methods at Beringer. After the tutored tasting, she made sure to go to every table to talk to people. She was super. No attitude and very approachable. :)


Fancy Shmancy!
Wines Tasted:

2009 Nappy Valley Chardonnay
2008 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay
2009 Napa Valley Pinot Noir
2008 Napa Valley Merlot
2008 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

A surprise on the menu: 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon




Some examples of what treats were on the menu:
* Spice rubbed lamb chops with olive jus
* Buffalo mozzarella and aged asiago ravioli, tomato basil broth and chiffonade of Swiss chard
* Seared beef tenderloin with shallot confit pommes royale, sauteed shitake and asparagus fricasse, lobster butter

Lobster butter?! I love these two on their own...and now, combined! 

Delicious Food...yum
It was such a great way to spend my birthday. At the end of the tasting, Executive chef, Bradley Macdonald, came upstairs to see how we liked the food. Of course, we all clapped. The food was delicious. We asked him how he liked the wine. When he said that he wasn't allowed to try any on the job, we made sure that the situation was rectified. He joined us for a glass. What really topped off the night was the celebrity sighting downstairs in the restaurant: Collin Ferrel, Bruce Willis, Jessica Biel and Ethan Hawk sitting at a table. They were in Toronto filming Total Recall. I heard that the Beringer winemaker, Laurie, gave the table  signed bottles of wine. 

Beringer Website:
www.beringer.com

I strongly urge you to join Wine Align. It's an online community where you can get tasting notes on what's in the LCBO and read both reviews of professional critics and regular people.
www.winealign.com