Timed with the release of it's new 155th anniversary cookbook, California's Mirassou Winery hosted a recent wine dinner at 112 Eatery as chef Isaac Becker had contributed a recipe. With Becker focusing his time at his new restaurant, Bar La Grassa, through the holidays, I claimed a seat at the table for another chance to sample his 112 fare.
When introducing us to the wines, David Mirassou explained how his great great great (whoa!) grandfather brought cuttings from his French nursery to the United States in 1854. (After getting an earful about using the ship's fresh water supply on his cuttings, he had the ingenuity to stick them in potatoes to keep them alive.) Mirassou serves as a spokesperson for the company, even though the family sold its name to Gallo in 2003, which makes the wine in its Modesto-area headquarters.
We sampled a range of the Mirassou productions, including their pinot grigio, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and their pinot noir--the best selling premium pinot in the country. Becker carefully paired each wine with one of six courses including a luscious duck and radicchio salad, seared ahi and Parmesan broth, and an incredibly fragrant spiced sirloin. Amazingly, each flavor in the glass seemed to enhance those on the plate. By the time we finished the meal with 112's signature rich tres leches cake, I was reminded not to forget about Becker's original project, even though his newest one may be currently attracting more attention.