Naughty Chef Educates About Wines for the Season

We sent intern Valeria Turturro out to learn about the various wines the holiday season has to offer. Read her report below.

The addictive lamb shank tarts inticed our intern to go back for seconds.

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…” Okay, it’s not quite frightful yet, but a girl can dream. And walking into the Hotel Palomar yesterday on an unusually chilly Dallas night was a surefire way to get into the holiday spirit. The warmly lit lobby was the perfect welcome to the “Wines for the Season” wine and food event inside Central 214. Guests gave donations to benefit Resource Center Dallas and the fight against HIV and in exchange got to sip and taste nine wines perfectly paired to their chef-prepared hors d’oeuvres. Central 214’s celebrity chef Blythe Beck, known as “the Naughty Chef,” created a menu to complement a list of wines put together by Kimpton’s master sommelier Emily Wines.

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To start things off light, the scallop and clementine skewers paired wonderfully with the slightly sweet Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling. Moving along the suggested course of tastings, I tried the Pride Viognier with the crab and Port Salut stuffed mushrooms. Next, the star of the show: Gloria Ferrer “Kimpton Cuvee,” a refreshing bubbly wine that brought out all the amazing flavors of the mini fried Maine lobster topped with a spicy and sweet fruit relish. If you’re looking for a new bubbly for the holidays this year, I suggest you try this wine for something fresh and unexpected.

Finally, this wine novice tried her palate at two of the reds, the Faust Cabernet and Orin Swift “Papillion.” I admittedly was focused a little more on the braised lamb shank tarts, which drew me back to the table more than once. I’ll take an entire platter of those scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth tarts for Thanksgiving, please. In fact, if you find yourself wanting to take a break from your hot kitchen this year, let Chef Beck do the cooking for you and feast on a Thanksgiving buffet at Central 214. You’ll find plenty of things to be thankful for. —Valeria Turturro

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