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Out and About: Tastemakers Dinner Series

Recipe: How to Make Chicha Morada Infusion
October 30, 2015

Out and About: Tastemakers Dinner Series

Solo Contigo wine, meaning "only with you," began as a personal journey through Argentina's wine country. Noel and Terry were captivated by the Mendoza region and the warmhearted people of the Andes, so it was only natural they decided to purchase a vineyard to produce wine for their consumption. Little did they know their passion would become a private label that is now available throughout Florida and Canada.

Digest Miami introduced the first edition of the Tastemakers Dinner Series aboard the Solo Contigo yacht.  The Tastemakers Dinner series is an invite-only series bringing together key influencers in business, culinary, philanthropic and social circles for a monthly, member’s only cocktail reception and one-of-a-kind dining experience. Each dinner in the series is hosted at a secret location that is only revealed 24 hours prior to the event.

For this inaugural edition, we invited guests to enjoy an intimate evening with Solo Contigo winemakers, Noel and Terry Neelands. The Neelands graciously opened their private 85-foot Azimut yacht to just twenty Digest Miami Tastemakers last Tuesday evening.

Solo Contigo wine, meaning "only with you," began as a personal journey through Argentina's wine country. Noel and Terry were captivated by the Mendoza region and the warmhearted people of the Andes, so it was only natural they decided to purchase a vineyard to produce wine for their consumption. Little did they know their passion would become a private label that is now available throughout Florida and Canada.

In celebration of Tongue & Cheek's one year anniversary, we chose chef/owner Jamie DeRosa to prepare the five-course menu to be paired with Solo Contigo's top-rated wines. The menu was a showcase of Tongue & Cheek's most popular dishes and Jamie's signature whimsical touches. Teaming up with DeRosa was Chris Ladas, Solo Contigo National Sales & Marketing Director, whom expertly paired wines for the evening.

We welcomed guests aboard the Solo Contigo yacht with a glass of the vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2012, a sweet and acidic white highlighting notes of tropical fruits and citrus. Ladas matched this medium-bodied selection with DeRosa's Florida Tomato Tartare plated with a dollop of sherry sorbet and Jamon bits.

For the first course, guests tried Cauliflower Panna Cotta served with pickled vegetables topped with American Caviar. This course was paired with a lighter-bodied white, Torrontes 2012, showcasing bright aromatics of citrus fruits and floral fragrances like orange blossom and hints of honeysuckle.

DeRosa served spotted trout for our second course with toasted Fregola, sweet Florida corn, tender ramps, and sautéed fiddlehead ferns. Notes of spice and black cherry combined with a long finish made the award-winning Reserva Malbec 2010 a delightful pairing.

The main entree was an impeccably prepared Short Rib, tender, moist and everything one would want from this cut. The dish was creatively presented atop a hand-drawn sketch by DeRosa himself identifying the various ingredients. The short rib was accompanied by couscous, house-made cucumber yoghurt and harissa. Paired with this dish was Solo Contigo's French oak-aged Colección Malbec 2010 which has been rated with 90 points by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate. The wine showcased intense aromas of red fruits like dark plums, blackberries and mulberries combined with toasty notes.

Dessert was a decadent combination of Nutella and chocolate Dip n Dots, moist coffee cake, and delicious cashew praline. We were particularly impressed by Ladas choice in pairing with the Premium Malbec. The delicate notes of vanilla complemented the nutty flavors of the dish.

The tranquil evening lingered as the Neelands shared stories of their travels and their involvement with Vines Resort and Spa in Uco Valley, Argentina. This wine lovers destination has just been featured in Condé Nast's Hot List for 2014 as well as Robb Report 100… and may even be included in Digest Miami Tastemakers Dinner "Destinations" edition.

For more information on our Tastemakers member selection process, please send inquiries to [email protected]

Want to learn more about Solo Contigo Wine? Click Here 

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