Silverlake Wine: Giving Thanks at Gastro Friendly Shop

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On October 12, Silverlake Wine hosted a special Sunday tasting featuring food from up-and-coming chefs Matthew Poley (savory) and Tara Maxey (sweet) of Michael’s on Naples and Heirloom LA catering. They prepared a sumptuous five-course feast (paired with Silverlake vino) for only $20 per person. This act of charity from Silverlake Wine led to an unforgettable event, a feat that they managed to match on November 23. The theme: “Thanksgiving Wines with Heirloom Catering.” The couple didn’t pack their signature suckling pig, but they did utilize plenty of culinary firepower.

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When we arrived, bottles of 2007 Breggo Rose Syrah from Anderson Valley, California, were chilling in a bucket on the shop’s maple butcher block bar.

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The first “course” consisted of three passed appetizers, including a dish that’s fast becoming an Heirloom LA signature: Carne Cruda (silky diced filet mignon) on grilled bread with pancetta aioli.

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Poley whipped chanterelles with creamy ricotta and spooned them onto squares of fried polenta.

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Twice-baked purple potato appeared with crispy grilled speck on more purple potato.

Silverlake Wine co-owner Randy Clement set off a foghorn to capture the attention of the crowd, which was pushing triple-digits. As always, he explained the day’s wine selections.

Wine #2: 2007 Melville Chardonnay “Estate” from Santa Rita Hills, California. Clement called the Melville a “new wave blue chip winery that shows what Santa Barbara wine could be.” Ron Melville started the winery in 1996 on 82 acres in Lompoc, with son Chad. “Estate” means that that people who own the land also make the wine.

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For the First Course, Poley circulated wood salad bowls of roasted organic heirloom carrots, beans, arugula, sage, brown maple vinaigrette, chestnuts and garlic cloves, topped with creamy gobs of burrata and aromatic purple basil leaves.

Wine #3: 2007 Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!” from Loire Valley, France. Clement called Pierre and Catherine Breton’s oaky wine “one of the more exciting wines in the shop in a long time…Red Loire wine is almost exclusively Cabernet Franc…This is an area that has become the hot wine area in Paris wine bars.” It’s imported by Berkeley wine legend Kermit Lynch, who said, “This is by far the most interesting, coiffable red wine I tasted in France this year.”

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The Second Course: Jerusalem artichoke lasagna. Poley and Maxey peeled the baby artichokes and cooked the confit in XVOO. The earthy lasagna also contained garlic, shallots and browned basil-infused pasta dough, layered with three kinds of cheese: buffalo mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta.

Wine #4: 2006 Siltstone Pinot Noir from Guadelupe Valley, Oregon. Siltstone was founded in 2000. It’s not “estate,” since they buy grapes from Guadelupe Vineyard. This is a boutique small-production wine. Siltstone only produces 100 cases per year.

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Third Course: guinea hen roulade of dark and white meat, rolled with ciabatta, sausage, Parmesan and sage, served on potato gratin with braised cavolo nero.

Wine #5: 2007 The Table Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. According to Clement, a group of premiere restaurant owners and sommeliers from establishments like The French Laundry, Gramercy Tavern and Michael Mina make “The Table” from leftover grapes. Once a year they convene and blend samples of barrels of wine. For this “alchemy,” the wine experts blend Cabernets and judge it. The winner becomes “The Table.”

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Dessert was Maxey’s take on pumpkin pie: pumpkin brioche folded with pumpkin custard (including nutmeg and pink pepper) and layered with caramel cream, plated with a scoop of butternut squash-pecan ice cream and chocolate sauce. Not only was Maxey’s dessert excellent, but she was able to include ice cream. The night before October’s tasting, the couple’s home was robbed and her ice cream maker was stolen. Diners donated money and she was able to overcome her loss.

Silverlake Wine, Poley and Maxey were generous enough to offer their food and wine for $20 per person. In the coming days, Poley and Maxey plan to post all the recipes from the meal on their new Heirloom LA blog. They’ll also be back at Silverlake Wine on December 7 to pair food with different champagnes. Their cooking will no doubt cause another gastro-frenzy. Call now to beat the rush from the Silverlake Wine e-mail blast.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

I don’t know what classifies wine as “estate.” Joel Myers is the owner of both Siltstone Wines, as well as Vintenders LLC, a vineyard management company in Dayton, Oregon. Joel and Vinetenders planted Guadalupe Vineyard in the Willamette Valley in 1988 and have been farming it ever since. Siltstone’s Pinot noir is made from Joel’s personal selection of the vineyard and is farmed and harvested to his specifications. So as you can see, Siltstone doesn’t merely buy fruit from Guadalupe. It’s as close to being “estate” without being “estate.” Cheers.

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