Chalk Talk: Waterbrook Wine Dinner at Mignon in Plano

Waterbrook may be the largest wine brand you haven’t heard of. They are based in Washington State and part of Precept Wine, the largest family-owned wine company in the state. Recently they were in town for a media event at Mignon in Plano and I was fortunate to be an invited guest.

See how the wines paired with Mignon’s winter menu.

The winery showed a range of their wines based on the grape varieties most popular with consumers. Each one was matched with a course in the five-course meal. We tasted through Chardonnay, Merlot, an Oregon Pinot Noir, the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and, with dessert, a chocolate-infused red wine that is their biggest seller. The star wine of the “show” was the 2008 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Columbia Valley. It is concentrated with flavors of dark fruit and a bouquet of fruit and cedar. The tannins are unmistakable, but not harsh. It can be enjoyed now or kept 3-5 years. Columbia Valley wines exhibit a characteristic difference from their northern California brethren. They are less fruity. The effect is even more pronounced in the northern extension of Washington’s wine growing areas – the Okanagan Valley in Canada. Waterbrook wines are going to be available by the glass at Mignon for the near future. The Mignon wine list, by the way, features over 100 selections by the bottle and over 30 by the glass or half bottle.

The dishes offered us a chance to check out the winter menu at Mignon. The Braised Prime Beef Short Rib with Roasted Butternut Squash, Horseradish Sour Cream and Charred Scallion Vinaigrette was a stellar dish in its own right as well as a fine match with the Merlot. Grilled Quail Salad with Field Greens, Fresh Winter Pear, Marinated Feta, Toasted Filberts, Mixed Berries and Raspberry Champagne Vinaigrette went gently on the vinaigrette, which reminded me that quail is often good paired with Pinot Noir. With that reserve Cabernet we had Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb with White Cheddar and Dino Kale Grits with Port Wine Balsamic Figs. The rack was cooked a tasty medium rare and the earthy grits were ideal for mopping up the port wine sauce. Not a thimbleful went to waste.

So far there are no final plans on bringing Waterbrook wines into the retail trade here, but check out the wines by the glass at Mignon with a meal, or as part of the lively bar scene.

Braised Prime Beef Short Rib with Roasted Butternut Squash, Horseradish Sour Cream and Charred Scallion Vinaigrette