Keller Estate's Sashimi and Wine Pairing
I had heard nothing but fabulous things about Keller Estate wines from the Winos so when Alicia and Kim informed me of the "sushi" (and I say this because sashimi is the more appropriate word since there turned out to be not a grain of rice in our tasting) and wine pairing at Keller I was the first person who signed up.
Ed Metcalf, who is the chef and owner of Shiso restaurant in Sonoma, was on hand to prepare our sashimi delights that day (I've been meaning to schedule a noodle event at his restaurant and then go out wine tasting at Grange Sonoma - the SF folk can be lured to a restaurant in the extreme North Bay with the promise of wine tasting nearby.
A close-up of our first course: raw salmon "roll" filled with avocado, daikon sprouts, arugula, fresh black pepper, and a hint of fresh lemon.
This was a lovely starter and went so well with the wine (ok, ok, I should really take notes before I start to drink since I can't remember if this is the Pinot Gris or the Oro de Plata Chardonnay; we were served both of them but I just can't remember the order in which they were served. Anyway, since both wines leaned towards the acidic, each of them would have paired great with the salmon, so when you serve salmon sashimi buy both of these wines!)
A close-up of our next course: peppered hamachi served over an edamame puree and topped with tobiko.
Our hamachi paired with a fabulous Viognier.
While the hamachi could have been a bit fresher, overall this was a good dish and was a great pairing with the Viognier. There were a lot of different textures (crunchy, soft, unctuous) and flavors (salty, acidic) going on with this dish that worked really well with Viognier. The Keller Viognier is so good that I think one could pair it with many foods - including the atypical.
The piece de resistance! A glass of insanely good El Coro Pinot Noir and Ahi Poke served over udon noodles (what a genius Metcalf is! Poke and noodles!)
A close-up of the Ahi Poke.
Needless to say this was my favorite pairing. First of all, Poke is fabulous served over noodles. Secondly, I couldn't stop drinking this Pinot Noir. And for those of you who know my drinking habits that's rare for me since I usually don't like sipping Pinot Noir (though I think that generally it's a good food wine.) The unctuousness of the Ahi and a hint of spiciness went really well with the Pinot Noir.
Ended up with a bottle of the Pinot Noir and the '07 Rose (not tasted at the pairing) which was made with Syrah and that I've heard is the best Rose around (the '08 is made with Pinot Noir so I'm definitely go to have to buy a bottle of that on my next visit). The bad news is that Ed Metcalf informed us that he's moving his restaurant so as of this writing Shiso is without home but will hopefully reopen this spring.
We had such a wonderful afternoon at Keller drinking excellent wines (and they poured heavy, Dear Reader), eating great and imaginative sashimi dishes, and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the Keller family.
Keller Estate Winery
5875 Lakeville Hwy
Petaluma, CA 94954
Grange Sonoma - a Tasting Room Collective
23564 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476