Portuguese Pairing Lunch Draws Top Aspen Food & Wine Classic Attendees

Jun 26, 2019

The annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is the number one place to eat, drink, and mingle every year in mid-June. With countless seminars, lunches, and parties, attendees have numerous options vying for their attention during the three-day weekend. But on Saturday, June 15, the Aspen Haus—cosponsored by SevenFifty Daily, SevenFifty, Verve Wine, and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels—was the place to be, where 36 top wine industry professionals had the opportunity to experience a special Wines of Portugal pairing lunch, hosted by Caleb Ganzer, the wine director of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in New York, and Eugénio Jardim, the U.S. ambassador for Wines of Portugal.

Inspired by the tradition of omakase, a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it up to you,” the “sommakase” style event was both convivial and interactive. Guests like Miles Trautman of Verity Wine Partners, sommelier Sarah Tracey, Eric Railsback of Verve Wine, Jamie Soriano of Krug, Wendy Shoemaker of Ruinart, and David Cohn of Dom Perignon were able to taste wines from regions across the country while speaking directly with producers.

Ganzer and Jardim, who selected the dishes prepared by Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels executive chef Eric Bolyard and the wines from across Portugal, invited discussion about the points that connected each dish with each paired wine. Guests were greeted with small bites like marinated olives and shaved paleta Alentejano, which were paired with refreshing Algarve rosé.

Complex white wines from Dão and Alentejo complemented classic Portuguese flavors like tuna belly conserva and cured sardines. Contrasting Douro reds followed to show the array of wines produced within a single region, pairing well with rich dishes like morcela skewers and braised beef cheeks. To finish, guests enjoyed tawny Port alongside DOP cheeses from Portugal, closing out a meal of authentic flavors that brought a little piece of Portugal to the mountains of Aspen.


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