Michael Mondavi Family Wines & Tequila Partida Pairing Dinner at Abacus

Chef Kent Rathbun teamed up with Gary Shansby of Tequila Partida and Michael Mondavi of Folio Fine Wine Partners Monday night for a pairing dinner at Abacus. It’s not an easy task to pair wine and tequila with a meal, but Rathbun pulled it off without a hitch. The purpose of the dinner was to explore the relationships between wine and tequila. Many of the things that are true about wine, such as terroir, are true for tequila as well. So, just as wine, fine tequila can be paired successfully with a variety of foods. Four courses with a wine and tequila pairing each. That’s a lot of alcohol. Jump to see what Rathbun created for this booze-filled dinner.

Mondavi presented M by Michael Mondavi, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Animo Vineyard in Napa Valley; Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon; and a selection of Isabel Mondavi wines. Shansby poured all four Partida marques: Blanco, Reposado (named the best tequila in the world by Paul Pacult), Anejo, and the Elegante Extra Anejo. In other words, I had my work cut out for me.

First Course: Roasted Oca-BBQ Lobster Salad with Waterpepper and Brazos Valley Brie. Pairings: 2008 I'M Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay and Tequila Partida Blanco.

Second Course: Curry Spiced Duck Breast with Crispy Saffron Rice Blocks, Lentil Demi, and Ginger-Apricot Chutney. Pairings: 2006 I'M Isabel Mondavi Pinot Noir and Tequila Partida Reposado.
Third Course: Neiman Ranch Pork Tenderloin Confit and "Spiced Cider" Glaze with Grilled Portabello-Foie Gras Bread Pudding and Tequila Partida Anejo Buttered Carrots. Pairings: 2006 Emblem "Rutherford" Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tequila Partida Anejo.
Dessert: Amaretto Cheesecake with Almond Crust and Pomegranate-Cherry Chutney. Pairing: Tequila Partida Elegante.