Healdsburg Food & Wine Club
This past Tuesday was the second meeting of the Healdsburg Food & Wine Club that I’ve attended since moving to the area. It has quickly become one of my favorite events and I’m looking forward to the next one. Why? Several reasons come to mind.
Dan Lucia, the owner of DL Catering, provides the food and venue for these events and it is delicious. Granted, he’s not a Top Chef contestant and he’s not serving 7 courses of food that I often can’t pronounce, but the food is made with loving care and dedication that makes him a “top chef” in my book. Besides, Dan and his crew are really personable and they make you feel like family…in a good way, though.
Dan creates the monthly menu around a particular wine theme and this month it was Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Valley. Everyone attending brings a bottle to share and it’s a great opportunity to taste wines from the area and beyond. My coworkers, Jody, Katie and I brought a Sonoma Coast Vineyards Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir and a Stephen & Walker Trust Wines Pinot Noir.
I was able to sample Pinot from Goldeneye, Gary Farrell and Copain. Of course, you could simply go to the respective winery’s tasting room but you’re not going to get the great pairing of food to go along with that wine. Personally, I loved the Steven & Walker Pinot that I brought and so did several other people. It had spicy aromas of layered complexity and sumptuous ripe red fruit flavors that went beyond anything else I tasted. The bottle was nearly empty by the end of the evening.
The dinner is an incredible value. Served family-style, I was skeptical at first that I would get enough to eat, but nobody goes away hungry, and if they do, it’s their own fault. For $30, I feasted on lamb meatballs in sun-dried tomato sauce, mushroom risotto, brocollini and a fabulous dessert of cinnamon caramel bread pudding. It’s not fancy Michelin 2-star restaurant food, but rather like sitting down to dinner at a good friend’s house and sharing a few bottles of wine.
After eating, our wine knowledge is challenged with a little quiz and often prizes are awarded for whomever gets the most correct answers. I’ve learned something new both times I’ve attended. Satiated from food and wine, the crowd begins to thin but not before there’s an exchange of phone numbers or business cards. Now I eagerly await the next invitation on Facebook hoping it won’t conflict with anything else on my calendar. And if it does, I guess I can reschedule those other things.
Follow DL Catering on their Facebook fan page to find out when the next dinner is scheduled.