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A Down to Earth Approach to Wine: Natural Wine Tasting Dinner with Alice Feiring and Pascaline Lepeltier

This wine tasting/dinner blew all other tastings out of the water. The event featured Alice Feiring’s new book, The Dirty Guide To Wine in action. Accompanied by reknowed sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, who also contributed to the book, we were educated on the soils of various wines from around the world. The premise of the book is that instead of focusing on the grape, focusing on the soil better categorizes wines’ acidity and tannins. (see our book review). Along with the family-style dinner in the private dining room upstairs at Rouge Tomate, we were treated to three rounds of three wines (a winning combination in my opinion) in three dirt types. Metamorphic wines paired with a salad course, a trio of whites. Igneous wines accompanied the main course. Sedimentary wines ended the night with a selection of rich cheeses. Alice Feiring is known for her devotion to natural wines, and this dinner really delivered on her message. Details of the spectacular culinary event are below.

The Amuse

A fluke crudo served in an apple and celery consomme, with tarragon and almond—a tasty start.

The Wine We were welcomed with a magnum of NV Julien Meyer, Crémant d’Alsace, France. Alsace is considered a uinque region as far as soil—and is an also an area that I am constantly drawn to as a white wine drinker. Loved the selection of 100% Pinot Blanc. [Tasting Notes: Golden in color showing notes of ripe summer fruit, broth, and bread crust. Wonderful fruit and complexity on the palate that finishes with a lively finish.]

First Course

A refreshing salad with pretty lettuces and asparagus, cucumber, radish, pea in a grapefruit dressing. Everyone thought the dressing was divine.

Metamophic Wine Trio 2005 Domaine de la Louvetrie, Le Fief du Breil, Muscadet Servre-et-Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France; 2014 Clos du Rouge Gorge, Cotes Catalances Blanc, Roussillon, France; 2013 Weingut Falkenstie, Riesling Spatlese Halbtrocken Niedermenniger Herrenberg, Saar, Germany

Main Course

A most tender and juicy grilled chicken arrived with a bunch of fresh sides: A colorful tomato basil and olive salad, tasty chickpeas with cucumber, mint and yogurt with shaved fennel on top; and a za’atar puree to toss on top of it all. The cutest mini potatoes also graced the scene. (Bonus, the couple across the table were vegetarians, so we got to taste the pea risotto.)

Igneous Wine Trio 2014 Vino di Anna, Qvervi Tataraci, Etna, Italy; 2014 Herve Souhaut, Syrah, Ardeche, France; 2015 Beckham Estate, Pinot Noir Estate, Chehalem Mountains, Oregon

Cheese Course

Harbison, Jasper Hill Farm Rupert, Consider Bardwell Farm Landaff Creamery

Sedimentary Wine Trio 2012 Alice et Olivier de Moor, Le Vendangeur Masque, Chablis, France; 2011 Francois Chidaine, Les Bournais Franc-de-Pied, Montlouis-Sur-Loire, France; 2011 Christian Tschida, Blaurankisch Felson I, Neusiedlersee, Austria