When we got to Imagery around 6PM we were surprised to see the parking lots totally full. I guess I was thinking this was a smaller affair. We were given a small pour of the 2017 White Burgundy (yum) and waded into the sea of people. We found some people at a table and put our stuff down so we would have enough hands to get some passed hors d’oeuvres (who doesn’t love passed hors d’oeuvres!) and some 2016 Barbera. There was also an olive oil tasting station, a guess the juice station, and a station about the artwork on the bottles.
After standing around for a while we headed over to the table and met our dinner mates. At our table were a couple from Cleveland, a couple from Connecticut, and two ladies from Sarasota. It was a congenial group with this one guy, Dieter, and John doing a lot of the talking.
They poured a glass of 2016 Tusca Brava and one of 2016 Lagrein and dinner commenced. The first course was a salad of greens, a pear half, Gorgonzola, and walnuts in a Moscato dressing. It was quite good. Now it seems that we were the last table being served and unfortunately between our serving position and the fact that the temperature was plummeting as it got darker everything was cold.
Sure, it was probably around 80 when we got there but by the time we went into the tasting room for dessert it was in the 50s. So maybe the food might have tasted better if it were warm. We had Cannelloni stuffed with crab, shrimp, and scallops topped with a vodka sauce. This was cold seafood mush inside cold pasta. I ate like one bite. We also had porchetta on a bed of roasted butternut squash, beets, and Brussels sprouts. Now it is quite dark and the first piece I took was a big cold piece of fat. Yuck! I tried to find some lean pieces but I would have needed a flash light. The vegetables were super good and so I mixed them in with the mushroom risotto which was also very good. Everything was served family style so nobody took too much to begin with which was good for my diet. John who eats anything ate my cannelloni and my meat so I was a member of the almost clean plate club.
I really had to increase the light on the main dish plate! For dessert there was gelato and a 2017 Primitivo. I had a scoop of pistachio which was really delicious like you were eating the nuts themselves and not too sweet. I ate half my scoop before passing it over to John.
The wines were great. The hors d’oeuvres were also very good and the salad was super tasty. I should have made myself a vegetarian plate out of the vegetables and the risotto which fared much better under the arctic conditions.
But it was fun! The people were interesting. The winemaker and her sister spoke. Jaime Benziger, the winemaker, was named to the 40 under 40 international wine makers and a bunch of other awards. Her brother who stopped by the table said that since she was a kid she helped out doing the scut jobs at first and then learning the whole business to become winemaker. Her sister runs the business end and their father, Joe, runs Benziger Winery nearby.