Thursday, March 08, 2007

Washington Women and Wine

Lately, there seems to be too many articles claiming wine-buying-women do not have a clue on what they are buying. While we are the in the largest percentage of wine buyers, according to these articles it appears that we buy wines based on cute puppy-dog labels instead of the content in the bottle. Hmmm... that sounds like another ranting blog to me, but in the mean time let's focus on last night because in New York City there was a celebration for women who know their wine!

Chef Amanda Zimlich of The Madison Park Café, a French style neighborhood bistro in Seattle, and winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla were invited to the James Beard House in New York City to create a “Washington Women and Wine” dinner. Chef Amanda Zimlich's menu highlighted local Northwest ingredients to create French bistro cuisine, both “old school” and “new school", designed to compliment the wines of winemaker, Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla. The menu for the evening:

Hors d’oeuvres-
• Wild King Salmon Gravlax with Meyer Lemon Gremolata
• Caramelized Walla Walla Onion & Gruyere Tartlets
• Torchon of Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Pickled Currants & Preserved Walnuts
• Chilled Cream of White Asparagus with Parmesan & Thyme

• Penn Cove Mussel Bisque with American Sturgeon Caviar & Celery Leaves
Forgeron Chardonnay, Columbia Valley,2005
• Full Circle Farms Organic Red Beets with Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Crushed Oregon Hazelnuts & Mount Townsend Seastack Goat Cheese
Forgeron Vinfinity,Columbia Valley, 2002
• Eaton Farms Braised Oxtail with Celery Root Purée & Washington Black Truffles
Forgeron Cabernet Sauvignon, Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, 2003
• Sonoma Artisan Roasted Moulard Duck Breast with Bluebird Farms Farro, Confit of Spring Onions & Spiced Wild Huckleberry Jus
Forgeron Syrah, Columbia Valley, 2002
• Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta with Compote of Yakima Rhubarb & Vanilla Crème Chantilly
Forgeron Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Yakima Valley, 2005

French born and educated with a Masters in Viticulture and Enology at the University of Dijon, winemaker, Marie-Eve Gilla has extensive experience as a winemaker, in the Burgundy region of France, Oregon, and Washington. Under Marie-Eve's direction, Forgeron Cellars focuses on producing true varietal wines. Marie-Eve says, "My wines have a sense of place, they reflect their terroir, which is composite of the vine location and the grower dedication. I practice minimal intervention winemaking, enabling each grape to fully express itself. Using this winemaking philosophy allows me to craft food-friendly wines of great character."

Chef Amanda Zimlich is a Seattle native who began her culinary career at an early age by picking herbs for her neighborhood catering company and graduated summa cum laude from the four-year Bachelor of Professional Studies Program at CIA in New York. In Missouri, she helped create a much needed and highly successful Culinary Arts Program within the public school system. In Seattle, she was the Executive Sous Chef at Barking Frog in Woodinville for three years before becoming chef of The Madison Park Café a year ago.

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