Seviche and Old Town Wine & Spirits are ganging up on a Mexican-themed wine dinner Wednesday, June 17. Neither place has updated their website, so I’m going to have to go down the list of food and drink here rather than linking, but before we get started with all of that let me tell you about one of the featured wines: Gramona Gessamí.
It’s a Spanish white with a nose as big as Streisand’s. “Gessamí” means Jasmine in Spanish, and one enthusiastic critic described the wine as “smelling like a head shop.” I, personally, think that’s going a little overboard. Though, to be honest, overboard is what Gessamí is all about.
Gessamí is a blend a couple of different Muscats and Sauvignon Blanc. I think Gramona, one of the last independent producers of Cava in Spain, varies the formula from vintage to vintage, just like they do with their sparkling wines. (This is done, perhaps paradoxically, for consistency’s sake.) I distinctly recall the first time I saw Gessamí the blend was 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% each of Muscat d’Alexandria and Muscat Frontignan. Now the mix is 30/60/10. There’s enough disagreement on websites that it seems there may be more to the variation than blogger sloppiness.
Whatever, the result is spectacular and, in its own way, confusing. Though it’s fermented dry, I know smart wine drinkers who insist Gessamí is slightly sweet. That’s the Muscat talking, which it does out loud. Certainly, that’s why Seviche is pouring Gessamí with, appropriately enough, peppery seviche. The sweetness of the wine, even if illusory, will offset the heat of the habanero peppers.
Gessamí is available all over the place. Old Town has it, as do Westport Whiskey & Wine, Whole Foods and the Party Center out in Prospect. It’s about $18 a bottle, though it can occaisionally be had for less.
Anyway, back to the dinner. Here’s a dry and anticlimactic recitation of the food and drink:
Before dinner, while everyone’s standing around, there will be Rayun Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Central Valley.
The first course is the Vera Cruz-style seviche and Gessamí, previously gushed (embarrassingly) over. I really need to get myself under control.
Next is Chorizo and queso fresca tostada with Chipolte, carmelized onions and Cilantro. The wine is Espelt Saulo, a Priorat blend of Garnacha and Cariñena — Grenache and Carignan, to you Francophones.
Then we’re on to carnitas, the in-many-ways-defninitive Mexican food, in this iteration served with black bean broth and achiote rice, with Chono Reserva Syrah from Chile.
For dessert, Tres Leches raspberry coulis with toasted peanuts, Kahlua Dulce le Leche and a manly slug of Porto Rocha ruby port. Bring your own cigar.
The reception beings at June 17 at 7 P.M.. Dinner is served at 7:30. The tab is $55 per person. For reservations call 502/473-8560.