Food is Like a Fine Wine

Wine, Wine, Wine.  Oh How I love the Wine!

This is a recap of Marina Kitchen's new installment series - Wine Hangout.  A great concept.  I was not paid to write this post, but was offered a ticket to the event in exchange for a pre and post event write up. The opinions in this post are my own.

I don't know where to begin.  Who doesn't love the Marriott Marquis Hotel?  It's in the center of the city. Comic Con break out sessions happen there. The hotel is doing new things! Have you seen their pool??? AWESOME.  Okay. I digress.

Marina Kitchen recently made some serious changes.  I am pretty sure the last time I was at the restaurant, it was the night of my birthday and actually, I went to the bar for the Honeycomb launch.  Honey beer.  Honeycomb in beer.  Whatever! It was awesome. 

Here is what happened:

Tasting Bar

Tasting Bar

Ja!!! What once was just an open space is now a tasting bar, with a cellar. A CELLAR full of wines.  I think it's bigger than Chandler's (in Carlsbad). What better way to ring in the tasting bar, with a WINE Hangout.  Now, this is an amazing concept.  I am however, awkward. I swear.  Digressing.....Wine Hangout.  How would you like to sample wine and food pairings, socialize (literally) and chat, ONE ON ONE with the winemaker?  For REAL! This is what this monthly series is about. An intimate hangout, sampling wine from the wine makers' cellar and rubbing elbows.  Yea. I said it. So, the first hangout - Andre Hueston Mack.  Oh yea.  By the way, I never heard of him.  Or his wine.  I wonder why....Uhm. Mouton Noir Wines. Based right on out of Dundee, Oregon.  Who likes wine from Oregon - THIS GIRL! The pinot noir is way better from Oregon, I promise. So, some back story.

Andre (I think I can just refer to him as Andre), was a sommelier turned wine maker.  Say that super fast!  He's been in this business since 2007, wine making, that is.  He just decided...why not, right? He just wanted to reach out and touch the consumer, through his wine.  Did I mention how much I love wine?  I got a good 5 minute sit down with Andre at the Wine Hangout.  He's a busy guy.  Loves to travel and educate. Okay. he travels to educate.  He has his 2015 vintage coming out next month and he's been non-stop (are you following him on social media - @youknowmouton on IG).  I think that the wines are a tribute to his time in the restaurant industry. He is a cool cat for sure.  Mouton Noir Wines can be purchased on their website (WHAAAT!) and at the Marriott. His wine is available in 47 states. This is not supermarket wine.  No...no...no.  Pretty cool, right?

Okay...so the line up of wines he had:

Horseshoes & Handgrenades (a red blend), Oregogne (Pinot Noir), P-Oui, Other Peoples Pinot Noir

Horseshoes & Handgrenades (a red blend), Oregogne (Pinot Noir), P-Oui, Other Peoples Pinot Noir

Of course I would show the reds first.  I tasted all but the P-Oui. I was all about that Horseshoes & Grenades.  This --the American wine as it is a blend of Syrah from Oregon and Cabernet/Merlot from Washington State.  Yes...SO OUTSIDE the box. Who does that?  Andre does. 

Other People's Pinot Gris and the 2014 Love Drunk Rose.  

Other People's Pinot Gris and the 2014 Love Drunk Rose.  

That Love Drunk, perfect. That is Hubs favorite.  

Now, food pairings!  Man...

I think one of my favorites is the black truffle tuna tartar on sweet potato chip. Okay, there was also Morroccan Lamb Stew/2012 Horseshoes & Handgrenades (the stew - mmmmmmm) and Maine Diver Scallop/2014 OPP Pinot Gris (this was a perfect pairing)!!. Oh, the lamb stew was amazing. Now, I am not a huge scallop fan, but these were pretty delish! There was an amazing charcuterie spread as well.  Oh, and dessert too! I obviously missed the bacon donuts :(

Black Truffle Tuna TarTar on Sweet Potato Chip

Black Truffle Tuna TarTar on Sweet Potato Chip

Mane Diver Scallop with cauliflower puree and caviar sauce

Mane Diver Scallop with cauliflower puree and caviar sauce

Kate with Andre Hueston Mack

Kate with Andre Hueston Mack

This was an amazing gathering.  Definitely much better than sitting in the dining room. There is networking, not just with the wine maker, but with other attendees.  

The next Wine Hangout is on February 28, 2016 with the Hitching Post. You have to go to at least one.  Though, attending a wine hangout once a month isn't bad.  Wine lovers, it's once a month and super intimate! Patrons at the bar were asking questions about "what is going on over there?" So, there you have it.

You can order (I really mean I can order) Mouton Noir wines via the website here

See you next month!!!