We particularly enjoyed a 2011 fruit-forward but earthy Tempranillo with its strong berry nose that carried through to the palate. But the hit of the tasting for us was a rich, bold Refosco, with its rich berry and plum tastes—a rare wine in the US that is usually grown in Italy.
Again this wine would go well with hearty meats but also matched perfectly with Karsten’s stewed fig tarts—a scrumptious dessert made from figs that had simmered all day in red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Karsten served his stewed figs in tart shells made from pie crust topped with goat cheese and a walnut.
Danza’s winemaker is Mike Tangley who has been at Danza for more than two years and is producing some exceptional wines. He says, “I am looking to create wines that cannot be produced anywhere else and will be memorable to our customers.” Danza sits on 35 lush acres with eight of those acres full of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc grapes in Temecula.
2009 Lake County “Ranch Collection” Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the favorites of the evening, this deep red cab was full of tart berry tastes, with hints of smoke, cherry wood and vanilla. It went well with the sharp cheddar, mustard and nuts but was especially enhanced by the chocolate and the desserts, particularly the genoise with its sweet lemon flavors. We agreed that this was an excellent buy for the quality at $19.
The most interesting part of this particular evening was how the taste of the wines changed with the wide variety of foods prepared. It was surprising that some of the food enhanced wines for which they were not specifically paired. It was a learning experience for all of us on how dramatically food can improve or detract from the taste of wine.
As a final course, we were treated to a coconut macaroon torte served with a luscious white chocolate Grand Mariner crème. (Now you must be salivating.) What could make this dish more wonderful? A bright ruby Chocolate Strawberry wine that was full of fruit and strawberry aromas, yet on the palate had a mild chocolate taste that was only slightly sweet and did not overpower the delicious dessert