Chez Marie French Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants in Boca Raton. Last week they hosted a secret wine dinner with French wine from Secret Vines and a “secret” menu that was only disclosed when we arrived at our table.
The 5 course menu sounded amazing and began with a salmon rillettes gouger, a cream puff filled with diced salmon seasoned with a dill crème fraiche. Stu Nudelman, Sales Manager for PG Fine Wines and Jerome Hyafil of Secret Vines poured our first wine of the night, a Cremant sparkling rose produced from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and a bit of Mauzac grapes with some Pinot Noir for color. It was quite delicate with nice strawberry flavors and complemented the rich and creamy salmon dish very well.
Our 2nd course was a salad of arugula with pecans and blueberries and a warm goat cheese canapé served with the Secret Vines Chenin Blanc. It’s not always easy to pair wine with salad but this Chenin Blanc, (organic, by the way) had a nice tropical slightly sweet taste that was pleasant partner for the dish.
Vanilla infused risotto topped with a coffee crunch breaded scallop was next with a unique Sauvignon Blanc from Burgundy. This wine had an amazing nose full of lychee and peachy aromas. It had a bolder and rounder feeling in the mouth and held up beautifully to the absolutely amazing risotto.
Ready for some red wine, we were then poured a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from Minervois in the South of France. The aromas of this Heritage Red Blend were fruity and peppery and came through on the palate too with nice and smooth tannins. Paired with a de-boned braised beef short rib with a cocoa glaze that was so soft and succulent, it was more than gratifying.
As if all that was not enough, it was time for the dessert course. This was a sauternes poached pear baked in puff pastry with chocolate and touch of ginger. Malbec is a wonderful accompaniment to chocolate so the Secret Vines 100% Malbec was a perfect choice. Flowery and fruity with lots of dark fruit flavors, it was smooth, rich and completed this dinner fabulously.
What I loved about this wine dinner besides all the incredible food, was the uniqueness of each of the wines. I like how Jerome seeks out the unknown, finds blends that you might not expect and regions that have hidden gems.
Thanks to Marie for hosting, Chef Stephane for the magical meal, Jerome for finding these wines, and Stu and his company for sharing them.
Cheers and all the best,