So the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival is in full swing! Myself and a couple of my co-workers and cohorts joined me at a very special "Winemaker's Dinner" with none other than Mr. Paul Dolan. Paul took an intimate group of us on an intimate journey through five of his organically grown and biodynamic wines, impeccably paired with Chef Giancarla Bodini's contemporary organic Italian cuisine at her renowned Escopazzo restaurant in South Beach. Chef Giancarla is a Miami culinary treasure who is paving the way with her use of organic ingredients and sustainable restaurant practices. And she's just down to earth and awesome! We started the evening with the Parducci Sustainable White, 2008. It was a nice white blend, full of fruit & flowers. It had a nice buttery mouth and was a great way to start the evening. We then moved onto the first course which was head-on prawns with cucumber and green apple spaghetti in a shallot, lime and basil sauce. This was paired PERFECTLY with the Paul Dolan Sauvignon Blanc('07). This wine had a distinctive kiwi fruit character, with bright citrus zest and lemon grass notes. Then on to our second course and the STAR of the evening... Paul Dolan's 2007 Zinfandel which was paired with a spiced marscipone risooto with a Zin reduction. The food was wonderful but this Zinfandel was YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY. When Paul came to the table, any cool wine terms went out the window and that's exactly how I described it. It was a big, jammy Zin with all the wonderful notes of Bing cherries, black raspberries, cocoa and leather. Perfectly balanced tannins with a finish of fresh tobacco, pepper and smokey vanilla. Did I mention how YUMMY this was?! The third course saw us sipping the Paul Dolan 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with the culinary star of the evening, an espresso and cocoa dusted Berkshire pork loin filled with scamorza cheeze. This was nothing short of a home run, dynamic duo, hole-in-two... ok I'll stop. The Cab was a full-flavored wine showing the intensity of its red soil roots. It was ripe and plummy, with curious notes of anise and brown spice. And for the final course, we enjoyed the Parducci Signature Series Port, Bin 045 paired with a chocolate mousse with Amarene cherries. This port is made exclusively of Portuguese varietals and offered up complex, alluring aromas of stewed black fruits, raisins, licorice, camphor, spice, coffee and toffee.
As we found our way through each course, Mr. Dolan gave a great explanation of each wine and it's origins. This is the kind of guy that could talk for days without losing one person in the room. This was a perfect evening with a very wonderful group of friends and a legendary winemaker.
I had the honor of meeting Paul the day before at Pizza Fusion's "Mothership" in Fort Lauderdale. I was living my very own episode of Iconoclast, spending some QT with someone who I truly admire. The brief meeting was enough to refuel my entrepreneurial fire and realign me on my path of creating a sustainable future for myself, my community and the world! Paul is a true, if not THEE true pioneer in organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking in the world. Check out this YouTube video(below) for an overview of who Paul Dolan is and how is approach to organic and biodynamic growing sets him FAR apart.