Winemaker's Dinner with Fortuity Cellars at Kaspar's Catering
A few months ago, I got the opportunity to interview an up and coming boutique Washington winery called Fortuity Cellars. You can view that whole interview on my blog post. Fast forward 6 months and they are breaking ground on their winery production space and tasting room in Yakima, already a 3rd of the way sold out of their new red blend, and hosting sold out event dinners! I got the chance to attend the dinner hosted by Kaspars Catering in the Magnolia area of Seattle, WA. Join me as I dive in to the 5 course wine and dinner pairing!
First up, the charcuterie platter which was paired with the Fortuity Cellars Rosé of Cinsault.
In Emily’s words: “This rosé is your charcuterie wine, from a vineyard called Marsella in the Rattlesnake Hills area of the Yakima Hills Valley AVA. It’s actually their last fruit they bring in, which is surprising for a white since you want to bring the whites in a little earlier so you have that high acid but the cinsault grape, which this is 100% cinsault, has very thick skin so it takes a little bit longer to ripen. That’s why you’ll also notice in this rosé, it’s got some structure to it, some texture that some rosés that you have had may not had. Some of that comes from the 24-hours that it’s on skins. So it’s not a thin rosé at all. It’s got beautiful acid, beautiful fruit.”
Curious about all the things included on this charcuterie plate? I was too! Thankfully Kaspar gave us a nice run through of this marvelous spread: homemade summer sausage, air dried beef with juniper, homemade mustard, pickled rhubarb, dried apricot chutney, pickled sea beans, prociotto, pickled cucumbers. Quite a few things I’d never tried before! The salty notes of the pickled items balanced well with the fruit forward rosé.
The next course was Hot & Sour Dungeness Crab Soup with Tofu and English Peas, paired with the Fortuity Cellars 2017 Viognier. My mouth started watering at “Crab Soup” and I wasn’t shocked that I devoured the bowl when it arrived. The seafood dish was a nice pairing with the crisp notes of to Viognier!
In Lee & Emily’s words: “So we produced this in stainless steel to keep it very crisp and clean. It comes from the same vineyard that your rosé came from, they are just a few rows apart from each other. Same vineyard, same terrior, same soil, same climate, just different varietal. And same winemaking method, so you’re really tasting the difference between the varietals. It should be very crisp and clean, very refreshing, you’ll probably get some pear and some guava.”
The third course was by far my favorite meal that Kaspar served us—Crispy Pork Belly & Nettle Risotto with Twin Sisters blue cheese, paired with the Fortuity Cellars 2018 Sauvignon Blanc.
“The aromas are beautiful in Sauvignon Blanc. We do a cold extended ferment to boost those aromatics so with this Sauvignon Blanc we did something really fun. Our winemaker Johnny love to make wine in barrels, and so we said well let’s take one barrel and put the Sauvignon Blanc in it and the rest we’ll do in stainless steel. And that way we can showcase to people the grape but you’re going to see how the winemaking style influences the wine. And so that was the plan, we were going to bottle the two Sauvignon Blancs. As it got a little closer we’re like, well maybe we’ll do some blending trials to see what it would be like. Low and behold we decided that we liked it having about 1/6 oak, and it’s neutral oak not a new French oak barrel, so neutral French oak, and we blended it back in with the wine that had been fermented in stainless steel. What it brought to the table is it kind of softened the back end of the Sauvignon Blanc, rounded it out a little bit having that touch of neutral oak. “ It’s officially dubbed the perfect Summer wine.
By the time the fourth course came out I was very ready for the red wines! This marvelous dish was a Roasted Cornish Hen, Romesco Sauce with Saffron Mashed Potatoes and Spicy Sautéed Kale paired with the Fortuity Cellars 2017 Merlot.
Don’t let this photo fool you, the portion sizes were huge!! My stomach persevered though because this was absolutely scrumptious. The chicken was perfect cooked, the mashed potatoes creamy and even the spicy sautéed kale (I’m skeptical of greens always) was tasty!
In Lee’s words: “Taste this you’ll get lots of like blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry pie—it’s basically every pie you’ve ever had. Luckily it’s got some soft extended tannins on it. It’s tasting awesome.”
And in Emily’s words: “One thing about the Merlot is that it comes from a vineyard called Copeland Vineyard. It’s also in the Rattlesnake Hills area of the Yakima Valley AVA. And it’s run by some of our really great friends, Patrick and Matt Rawn, two brothers, and Copeland Merlot was one of the first grapes that we wanted to source. I had tried Two Mountains, and they manage those vines too and their merlot is one of my favorite merlots. So when we were first starting out we contacted them and asked if would you by chance have any additional fruit and merlot that we could source from you and they said absolutely. So we’re really happy with this. It’s super bright, and this is a great summer red. It’s young, it’s a ‘17, it’s got time to age, but it’s got beautiful fruit on it and even chill this a bit for after the sun goes down and enjoy a nice red.” I can reiterate her statement, it’s a PERFECT summer evening red.
Last up, the dessert, a Rhubarb Clafoutis with Strawberry & Peppercorn Tempura and Kefir Honey Ice Cream paired with the Fortuity Cellars 2017 ‘Le Classique’ Red Blend.
What can I say… this red blend blew me away. There is also nothing I enjoy more than a guilt free dessert paired with a deep red wine. This wine has a unique way of coming about and how it was named!
In Emily’s words: “The Le Classique was actually named by one of our wine club members. We had had in our first year one blend called The Red Blend that was a blend of Syrah and Malbec and we wanted to do a more traditional Bordeaux blend so we threw it out to our club members and said hey can you come up with some, you know this is a traditional Bordeaux, very classic style, but we wanted to fit in with the whole Fortuity theme or have some sort of commonality. Anyways, someone came up with Le Classique. It’s 1/3 Malbec, 1/3 Merlot, and 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon. And it literally is, we selected one barrel of each of those and each barrel is 25 cases roughly. It’s 100% new French oak, all the rest of the reds that we have are between 30-50% new french oak and the rest neutral. It’s only 2017 so it’s going to age beautiful but it’s quickly becoming a favorite. We only made 72 cases of it and we’re down to about 50. We bottled it last month.” I’m letting you all know, I took a bottle of this home and I plan on SAVING it (a hard thing for me, patience is not a virtue I have very much of) just to see how wonderfully this wine matures.
Thank you Kaspars Catering for serving up one of the best 5 course meals I’ve had, and thank you Fortuity Cellars for providing amazing wine to pair with Kaspars food. Kaspars does more events like this and the next one is in July! It’s a BBQ cooking class, taught by Kaspar himself, out on the patio drinking wine and celebrating summer. Link is here for more information!
Happy sipping (and eating!)
Wino on a Budget