It was a night filled with good friends, fine wines, and food to be long remembered.
The Tehachapi Rotary Club's annual Wine Pairing Dinner and Fundraiser was again a sellout, with nearly 120 guests attending Saturday at The Shed restaurant in Tehachapi. Dinner ticket sales, along with a wine pull and silent auction of more than 40 enticing items, led to a successful fundraising evening.
Chef Mano Lujan and his staff prepared a full four-course dinner, carefully pairing each dish with an individual wine from the Boisset Collection of fine wines grown in Napa Valley.
The evening started with a social hour, when a Wattle Creek 2017 White Blend was served to the arriving dinner guests.
After an introduction of the forthcoming evening's events by Rotary Club President Chris Naftel, it was time to be served an appetizer of Ahi Poke with Crunchy Garlic Sauce, Beef Tataki with Yuzu Ponzu and Vegetable Tartare Chimichurri. This is an “all raw appetizer,” said Lujan, as he introduced the first course to the dinner guests. Representatives Loren and Pam Hoffman from Boisset worked with the chef and they chose Raymond 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast, with its enticing blackberry aromas, for the evening's first pairing.
The second course was a soup/salad selection. The soup was a Smoked Marlin/Colombian Chorizo. The salad was a Mediterranean Orange and Olive dish. Lujan described his salad selection as a “palate cleansing dish, meant to clear the palate for the main course.” Its pairing was a DeLoach 2014 Zinfandel, with an “enticing aroma of violet and ripe blackberries."
The main course was a full one-pound smoked Pork Chop with a Pomegranate and Elderberry Glaze. Chipotle Sweet Potato Puree completed the dish. The wine pairing was Buena Vista 2016 The Sheriff Red Blend. For the non-red wine drinker, the Buena Vista 2016 Chardonnay was offered.
Dessert was as a Turkish Fig Bread Pudding with Mexican spice and caramel sauce topped off with a bacon drizzle. Wattle Creek 2017 Red Blend with aromas of vanilla and toasted coconut was the pairing.
As the evening progressed and each dinner course was presented, Lujan came out of the kitchen to explain the forthcoming course and why it paired with its wine counterpart.
The event is a fundraiser for the Tehachapi Rotary Club. “Service above self” is the organization's goal, Naftel said.
"This was our sixth annual Wine Pairing Dinner and it was again a huge success for our local Rotary chapter," Naftel said Sunday. "We raised over $8,000 and that money will be used for service projects that support our local youth and seniors, and our community. Rotary thanks all our fine sponsors and those individuals who make this kind of success possible."