On Monday evening, the new Aqua by El Gaucho restaurant hosted a fantastic ZINO Society Master of Wine Monday. Nineteen ZINO Society members and guests were welcomed into the spectacular, triangular North Bay private room, which is right at the apex of the Pier 70 dock and has a sweeping view of Elliott Bay, the Space Needle and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. The bay was sparkling and the sun was shining!
|Aqua by El Gaucho Tristan Chalker and Robbie Berger|
Aqua by El Gaucho Private Dining and Event Director, Robbie Berger, Service Staff Extraordinaire Randall Nakamura and Nick Zink, Wine Captain, Lee Spires, and Sous Chef, Tristan Chalker along with their team of servers and cooks produced beautiful food which was presented with stellar service. Following light appetizers served when we arrived along with a lovely French sparkling pale pink Bordeaux, we were served six small courses of exquisite food and each individual course was served simultaneously with a brace of waiters placing that course on the table in front of each guest at the same time. Please see the menu included at the end of this blog post.
|Lee Spires shares wine knowledge|
Though every course was outstanding, my personal favorites were the Dungeness Crab and Avocado Salad with an delicious yet light dressing reminiscent of the flavor of old-fashioned Green Goddess dressing and the Seared Sea Scallops with sweet potato hash and corn truffle sauce. Yum!
Andrew Will was the featured vintner and we were pleased to have the Assistant Winemaker, David Oldham there to share some insights about the pairings of the selected wines with the food courses. He shared a story about the 2009 Pinot Noir that we tasted and how they had struggled to actually produce a very limited quantity of what turned out to be a fantastic wine. Because of some of the challenges they faced with temperature and weather, they had to add a strain of yeast in order to ferment the wine which he called a “Frankenstein” yeast since it was such a monster.
ZINO Society members attending the event included Debra Doran, Bill Chao, Mary Marsh, Darlin Gray, Randy Squires, Joel Aard, Byron McCann, Kate Holmes, Brian Gawthrop and Andrew Mitchell. ZINO Society Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Holmes, got a few of us to share embarrassing stories about ourselves including her story of when she inadvertently wore her new dress backwards at a very chic cocktail party in The Highlands. We may have all laughed the most though at ZINO Society Director of Events, Christine Gilbert’s story about her cell phone alarm clock with Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” inappropriately going off (twice!) during her Classical Music finals.
|Darlin Gray, Andrew Will‘s David Oldham, Terry Thompson|
It was truly a very special and delightful event! Here is the full menu: