Laraneta wines featured at event in Woodland Hills
Who doesn’t love a night out during the week? And if there’s wine involved, that much the better? Earlier this week I attended the monthly “Ladies Night Out” at Ruth’s Chris in Woodland Hills on the recommendation of a friend. Turned out to be a really nice evening.
Ruth’s Chris is a chain of restaurants located across the United States and known for their astounding steaks. The restaurant in Woodland Hills is located near major business areas and therefore the perfect location for after work networking and unwinding. Upon arrival we were directed through the beautiful main dining room to a perfectly sized private room in the back. 5 or 6 tables were set and decorated with red roses, lights were dimmed and white wine being poured.
The one man in the room, (actually he was joined by a second a little later on), was Joe Laraneta, proprietor of Laraneta located in the Paso Robles wine region. Seemed he was having a pretty good time “schmoozing” with the women.
From reading the brochures on each table we learned that besides making wine, Laraneta also produces olive oil from trees on their estate, and they operate a charming Bed & Breakfast, Honey Oak House, situated right in the middle of the vineyard! Joe was busy opening bottles when I first arrived, but it wasn’t long before he was pouring his “Cameo“, a white wine made from the Vernaccia grape, a varietal normally associated with the town of San Gimignano in Tuscany. This refreshing white wine was crisp and clean with hints of green apple and pear. Perfect way to start of a warm summer evening.
As the second wine, a Sangiovese, was being poured the ladies began to take seats as the first “small plate” was about to be served. And it was also the time for some introductions and thank you’s delivered by the special events coordinator for the restaurant, Maya Camara.
The first course was scallops on puff pastry on a bed of spinach and topped with Bearnaise sauce. Oh so good…..
I loved the Sangiovese – lots of dried strawberry, white pepper and good acidity. After that we tasted a newer release and Orange County Fair – 2013 – Gold Medal Winner, “Misto“-2010. This wine is a blend of 47.5% Sangiovese/47.5% Merlot/5%Cabernet Sauvignon, and would pair well with so many foods from roast chicken to duck to lamb. It was their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, however, that was crazy good with the next course of a petite filet, cooked to perfection, in a peppercorn sauce served over silky mashed potatoes.
The last wine of the night was their 2005 “No. 5“, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. Luscious and full bodied, this wine tasted of dried cherry, cocoa, blackberry and spice. This would also be great with a steak but was delicious with the Osso Buco Ravioli and the chocolate being served by ChocoBoost.
The Laraneta wines on the whole were delicious and approachable and very food friendly. I’m looking forward to tasting them again on October 23 when they will be featured at a winemaker dinner at FAB’S Corner Cucina in Sherman Oaks and paired with the delicious culinary creations of guest chef, Rico Mandel and presented by Miz en Place. This dinner is sure to be special – click here for more info.
I’LL DRINK TO THAT!