Oaxacan black mole by @GrantSGordon & some California wines I liked @TonyVallone

From the department of “it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it”…


The standout dish of Tony’s California Cult Wine dinner in Houston where I spoke on Tuesday night (yes, about California cult wines) was the above: poached sweetbreads that had been layered into a cylinder, breaded and fried, and then served atop a dollop of Oaxacan black mole.

oaxocan black mole

Chef Grant Gordon obsessively sourced all the ingredients for the dish, which took him more than a week to prepare. He said the chiles chihualces were nearly impossible to find but was able to obtain after calling three stores in Mexico (two were sold out, he said).

hamachi uni

When you lifted the hamachi, you found uni underneath. So decadent, so good…

marzolino truffles bianchetti

My first marzolino truffles of the year, served over wholewheat pasta with sorrel mushrooms. Superb dish…

rim rock pinot noir

At 13.4% alcohol, I thought this Greg Linn Pinot Noir showed beautifully. Maybe not the earthiness I look for in old world Pinot Noir, but great acidity and wonderful balance. I liked it a lot.

carte blanche syrah

I was also really impressed by Carte Blanche Syrah by Nicholas Allen. It showed a lot of depth for California and I liked how it had been vinified in a lighter style, retaining all the hallmarks of Syrah but also delivering lovely foodfriendliness. It paired brilliantly with the roast lamb.

I can’t say that I would ever reach for any of the wines (and I certainly can’t afford them) but life could be worse…

I’m so lucky to be associated with my good friend Tony and his team (I curate their media and speak at the occasional wine dinner for them). They’re a world-class act…

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