May 062012
 

Sullivan's Duck - Frog Leap Merlot Pairing

A Perfect Pairing: Sullivan’s Steakhouse Frog’s Leap Vintner Dinner

It’s been a lot of windshield time recently for Doc Russ, Texas Wineslinger. But, it’s been well worth it. Great people, places and happenings abounded. My Wineslinger book is doing great, both within and (surprisingly???) outside Texas. While driving the state of Texas, I’ve made recent stops in Austin, Fredericksburg, Buffalo Gap and more, and at the same time “skirted the Mediterranean” albeit virtually with stops to taste wines made from grapes that derive from Italy, Southern France, Spain and Portugal, and even Germany and Colorado. However, I never left Texas.

While on some recent downtime in Houston, I received and invite from Kristie Farmer, Wine Sommelier at Houston’s Sullivan Steakhouse to attend  a Frog’s Leap Winery Vintner dinner at Sullivan’s with Owner and Vintner, John Williams.

Frog's Leap Owner & Vintner, John Williams

To say John’s a talkative free spirit is an interesting understatement. Vine Seuth blogger Amy Gross and I shared a table with him for at least a portion of the evening. John is a mad mingler without an anchor, but he has a long list of fascinating “Coming to Napa” stories and frog jokes that he readily shares.

Sullivan’s dark wood paneling melded with the dark nuances of red wine and red meat for most of the evening. But, the wines of Frog’s Leap were balanced (not over extracted, overly alcoholic as many Napa wines have become). They were made from 200 acres of Napa Valley vineyards that were dry land (non-irrigated) farmed, and thus, left to their own resources to limit their yield and maintain balance with their terroir.

Best pairing of the evening: Sullivan’s Chili Crusted Sliced Duck Breast and tropical salad served with Frog’s Leap 2008 Merlot. See photo above.

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