July 12, 2022  - Bramble & Hare Vincent Wine Dinner

A special dinner with Bramble & Hare with winemaker Vincent Fritzsche of Vincent Wine Company hosting. Since we love his favorite wine, Pinot Noir, we had a great time. This 4-course dinner was a little more formal than Bramble and Hare’s usual format and really worked well. These special dinners are a don’t-miss bit of heaven!

To clearly distinguish between the menu and our descriptions, the menu will be in a Helvetica Neue font, our descriptions will be in the usual Times New Roman font.

Pan Seared Scallop / Lime Cured Turnips / Seaweed Beurre Blanc

Paired with Vincent 2020 Chardonnay Willamette Valley

The Chardonnay was very different from the norm. A grassy or clover nose with decent acidity and no “oiliness”. It was almost effervescent, a truly great Chardonnay.

The scallops are perfectly prepared, simply perfect.  The seaweed burre blanc showcased them perfectly. The wine pairing is perfect and the vintner was pleasantly surprised since scallops are his favorite pairing with this wine.  The lime-cured turnips are really neat, much to my surprise they aren’t bland but really contribute to the dish.

(That pesky Martin was late with the photo, so the scallop is only partially there now)

Hmmm… is this really an amuse-bouche? I think I'll call it that, a surprise course, not on the menu. This is sourdough bread made with wheat from the farm and butter flavored with flowers from the farm. This is a really big, robust sourdough.

Pork Shoulder / Green Cabbage / Butter Braised Leeks/ Red Wine Poached Cherries

Paired with Vincent 2019 Gamay Willamette Valley

A true Gamay grape wine. The vintner makes it open barrel, much like a Beaujolais. Very fruity, with some cherry on the nose. A bit tannic at the start. It opened up to simply wonderful stone fruit with hints of citrus. Right at the end a bit of melon appeared.

The pork shoulder was falling apart tender and the red wine poached cherries and leeks boosted the dish to a whole new level. Possibly the best pork dish I have had at Black Cat/Bramble & Hare and that is saying a lot.

Rabbit Two Ways / Farm Spätzle / Carrot Puree / Arugula with Chive Vinaigrette

Paired with Vincent 2019 Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge

The Pinot noir starts with a rich black currant and stone fruit. Vintner has these vines planted in sandy soil which he feels gives a rough pleasant texture to the wine. I’ll go with that. A touch of Darjeeling tea is also there.

Rabbit roulade and thigh were delightful and the sweet carrot purée really complimented the richness of the rabbit. The slightly bitter arugula dressed with chive vinaigrette filled out the whole spectrum of flavor. The rabbit was tender and amazingly rich.

Tunis Lamb ‘Bourguignon’ / Sautéed Kale / Creamy Polenta

Paired with Vincent 2019 Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard and

Vincent 2019 Pinot Noir Temperance Hill Vineyard

Pinot noir Bjornson vineyard This one’s nose is lighter and it is more citrusy.

Pinot Noir Temperance Hill vineyard vintner says this is from old vines on their own roots. A bit richer fuller nose, a bit earthy. A little bigger wine, and some melon is noted.

Both wines are very fruity, and the mix of fruits is a bit different.

The lamb “Bourguignon” just worked! It really was like a Beef Bourguignon, with a deep, rich lamby sauce. The polenta and even the sautèd kale were excellent complements. The onions were out of this world, lightly sautéed, and more oniony than you would think was possible! They might have been splashed with vinegar and some herbs to really bring the bright onion to the front.