Learning Argentinian Wine with so•ca
I fancy myself a bit of a wine expert… if you count frequent usage of the “When Wine” app, only purchasing bottles $10 or less, and having been to Napa Valley once. So of course, I jumped at the chance to attend an exclusive wine pairing dinner at so•ca with Patricio Santos, winemaker at Ricardo Santos Vineyards in Argentina. Finally, a chance to rub elbows with likeminded, vino knowledgeable peers!
Having never been to so•ca, I was even more excited to finally try their food. Once seated in a beautiful private room at the back of the restaurant, I was greeted by the friendly staff, as well as Patricio Santos, who couldn’t have been more kind. After an initial surprise glass of champagne to start us off, the group learned a little more about Patricio himself (who’s late father founded the winery).
Red Snapper & Clam Tiradito
lychee, perserved lemon peel, leches de tigre, honeydew melon
*Paired with Tercos Torrontés ‘17
Seared North Carolina Black Bass
plantain aguaji, pea tendrils, compressed apples, popcorn shoots
*Paired with Ricardo Santos Sémillon ‘16
Third Course (my favorite!)
Roasted Lamb Porterhouse
smoked dark fruit jam, charred sweet potato, brussel sprout, pea soubise
*Paired with Ricardo Santo Cabernet ‘15
Grilled Flat Iron Steak
date purée, beech mushrooms, smoked russet potato, yuca-rosemary soil
*Paired with Richardo Santos ‘El Gran Reserva’ Malbec ‘12
Parisian macaron, huckleberry cream, toasted coconut, white chocolate dipped strawberry gel, blackberry sorbet, pomegranate granita
*Paired with Apaltagua ‘Granate’ Demi Sec, Maule Valley, Chile
The dinner was superb! Every course was as exciting and delicious as the one before it. By the end of the dinner, you could tell that the culinary staff as well as the wine program put a massive effort into making this meal as perfect as it could be.
One thing I especially loved is that the chef and his team would come out before each course and explain the dish, their inspiration behind it, and how it paired with the wine we were drinking. That personal touch goes a long way and I knew this would not be my last time visiting. At the end of the night, we learned that we could even purchase some of our favorite wines that we sampled throughout the night which of course I jumped at. I was shocked to learn that almost everything we drank was in the $20 price range which immediately made me a fan! Affordable, amazing wine? Sign me up!
My biggest LOVE of the evening, however, had to be the fact that we got to share a meal with this wonderful wine maker. It felt more like a dinner with family friends than it did an official event. Everyone asked Santos throughout the night about his home, wine making, and his family. It was so great getting to know him and I truly felt welcomed even though I am not a massive wine expert. I honestly cannot say enough good things about my experience at this wine dinner!
Want to join in on the fun? so•ca hosts wine and beer pairing dinners ALL of the time! Just check out their ever changing calendar of events. Can’t make an event? Don’t worry! They also offer complimentary wine tastings every Tuesday from 5PM - 7PM.