A few weeks ago I got an email from Occasio Winery in Livermore. We joined their Wine Club last year. The gist of the email was that they were going to have a wine maker’s dinner hosted at Posada, a restaurant serving contemporary southwestern cuisine. The menu looked really good and the price was outstanding so John said go ahead and book it. That’s what I tried to do. However, even though it was only the day after I had gotten the email, it was completely sold out. They took my name and said maybe they would host another one on the following Tuesday. Luckily for us they did have a second dinner.
We arrive and are a little nervous since we know no one there. We are ushered to a table for two in the back. It is sort of like we are not the diners they want to be seen. But we are totally okay with this because now we can chat with each other and not have the pressure of talking to strangers. We are poured a glass of welcoming Chardonnay. Soon the chef comes over to chat with us and then, right before dinner starts, the chef’s wife moves us to a table towards the front with another couple. He is a web designer and she is a school teacher originally from Mexico. They are pleasant and interesting dinner companions.
Since there are other people I don’t know at the table I don’t take pictures of the food. Here is the menu –
Steamed PEI mussels with chorizo, tarragon and pasta paired with their 2013 Chardonnay
Braised beef cheeks with pickled beets, arugula in blue cheese dressing and apple dressing paired with a 2011 Merlot
Churrasco lamb ribs and huitlacoche taco with esquites with a 2012 Syrah
Blackened Prime rib cubes with grilled vegetables and Dijon balsamic reduction plus a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lemon crepes and citrus ricotta with blueberry chutney with the Occasio port
Everything is very tasty. The winemaker explains the wines and tells humorous anecdotes and Eduardo Posada, the chef, talks about why he decided on the food pairing for each course.
My favorites are the sauce from the mussel dish, the wonderfully tender beef cheeks, the terrific pickled beets, and the fabulous sauce accompanying the lamb ribs. But really it is all very delicious and I know we will be calling right away for the next wine dinner!