After two hours plus and fourteen glass on Australian Pinot (IPNC’s Grand Seminar), we break for lunch on the lawn.
Unlike 95F Friday, today is a pleasant 75F in the shade. We sit with Dag Sundby, owner of biodynamic Johan Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. He’s brought some of his 2013 Pinot Noir.
Our sommelier Aaron swings by with bottles of interesting Chardonnay and Riesling and of course more Pinot Noir. We try a few lean, difficult ’07 Willamette Valley Pinots, bidding time until, magically, plates arrive.
Stone fruit salad sneaks in savory smoked scallops tucked beneath basil leaves. Very nice with this weather.
After playing pairings with the bottles on our table, a flaky seared Oregon albacore standing tall on green beans, salty olives and capers, heirloom tomatoes, and abutting a sliced organic egg bathed in herb dressing arrives.
How they plate these for 400 people, challenges the limits of mental logistics.
Lastly, well, you can take a guess:
At first most think it a joke. It turns out to be a tamale but with savory dark chocolate and hibiscus. Maybe the thinking was it would pair with Pinot. It does. However, visually, it leaves much to be desired and questions one’s definition of desert.
All in all, nitpicking is meaningless. This is a fabulous, creative lunch. On to afternoon University of Pinot.