The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 79 of 140

"What comes up, and what looks good is what goes on the plate," he says. But preparing seasonally-focused cuisine is only half the battle for Greco, whose dishes must always have the wonderful Wente wines in mind. "Our food philosophy is an extension of the philosophy of the wine," he explains. "We take our cues from the garden, but it has to make sense for the wines, too." As such, Greco works closely with the Wente family (Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl Wente, a self-described "flavor farmer," refers to Greco as his "partner in crime") and The Restaurant's Sommelier, Jorge Tinoco, to ensure that each dish leaving the kitchen is poised to be paired. THE TASTING PANEL joined forces with The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards to see just how pairable these wines areā€”and how wine-friendly the food is on the property. We invited six of Northern California's top somms, buyers and Beverage Directors to join us for an exclusive pairing lunch; each buyer offered notes on the wines, suggested a pairing on the menu from The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards and selected a dish on their own menu to pair with each wine. It was a lively lunch, complete with brisk conversation, fabulous food, outstanding wines and some perfect pairings. Here are the results: Matt Greco, Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, walks the property's garden. "We utilize every- thing we can from the garden," he says. november 2012 / the tasting panel / 79

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