Back on the road. That means more opportunities for wine and food pairings. This time I’m going to make a conscious effort to take notes. Or at the very least beg the Sommelier to send me a copy of the pairing menu. We’re off to a grand start. Our first stop was Cibo of Austin, TX. Absolutely spot on dinner. Between the chef, Will Packwood and fellow wine geek, Greg Steiner, the pairings were palate perfect. And the following evening at Marks Restaurant in Houston, Tx was no different. Thank you, Saree Mulhern, for your skills. Pork belly and versions of pork dishes have been dominating the top pairing spot for the 2005 Caduceus, Nagual de la NAGA. Close second is truffle cream sauce with fresh pasta or gnocchi. The 05 Primer Paso has been going perfectly with scallop dishes and crispy duck. I’m getting hungry. Hope this sort of food waffling isn’t too boring for you. I assume this is what blogging is all about, right? Random notes and rants?
Anyway, here was the pairing menu from Marks…

Hearth Roasted Fisher Island Oysters, Tarragon Coulis
Carmelized Cape Scallops, sunchoke Mouselline
Crispy Ipswich Clam with Chile Mint Sauce
Served with Page Springs Cellars 100% Arizona Malvasia Bianca
Roasted Japanese Mero, forbidden Black Rice risotto, Croutons of Late Fall Harvest Squashes with a Saffron Pernod Sauce
Served with PSC Malvasia Bianca and 05 Caduceus, Nagual De La NAGA.
Guinea Hen crusted with Iberian Serrano Ham, Creamy Polenta, Roasted Elf Mushrooms and Haricot Juane with Fresh Shaved White Alba Truffle
Served with 05 Caduceus, Nagual De La NAGA
Rosemary and Pear Sorbet
Kobe Beef,Yukon Rubechon Potato, Petite Heirloom Carrots, Cipollini Onions served with Shallot Natural Reduction
Served with 05 Caduceus, Nagual Del SENSEI (excellent pairing)

I believe there was a cheese and dessert course which followed but by that time I was cross eyed. For more than a few reasons. The heavens must have been smiling down on us. Not only were these dinners fabulous, but I also had the rare opportunity to meet what I consider Royalty. Twice in 3 days I ran into Aubert de Villaine. The first time was planned. He has been out promoting HdV, Hyde de Villaine throughout the states. I met him at their tasting in Austin. The second was by pure chance. Hyde was having a private function the same night Todd and I were dining at Marks in Houston. For me, a rare and memorable evening indeed


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