Berks Barrister Summer 2019 - 29

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Always a spot for wine,
now a place to dine
perfectly cooked twin lamb chops. A delicate saffron-infused
aioli not only brought the surprise element to the plate, it also
brought the color. Again, there was no accompanying vegetable,
but this time it wasn't missed as its exclusion allowed the
lamb and wine to just happily dance with each other without
interruption.

Heinle brilliantly capped the meal with a fallen cheese soufflé,
simply garnished with a sprig of thyme, featuring the cheese
from the first course. In my experience, savory desserts are
always unexpected and this triumphant soufflé was no exception.
The chef 's use of the slightly smokey Idiazabal cheese brought
the meal full circle. The finale was a masterful accompaniment to
the sweetness of the full-bodied Cream Cruz del Mar Sherry.
Throughout the meal, Andrea Fullbright of De Maison
Selections spoke about each wine and its respective winery. She
orchestrated a cohesive succession of wines that culminated in a
perfect crescendo by the last course.
The second course boasted a lush Txakolina, Xarmant
served with a simple sampling of swordfish. One of my least
favorite fishes, because it is routinely dry due to over-cooking,
this offering was anything but; Heinle merely lightly salted
and heavily peppered the fish before pan-searing it. The
almost buttery white wine stood up well against the flavorful
red Marcona Romesco sauce served with the fish. The truly
unexpected element on the plate was a delicious leek stuffed
with onions, leeks and mushrooms which also complemented
the wine.

A pork tenderloin kabob served over a few field greens was
the third dish. The wine was a light Mencia, Ventura du Burato,
similar to a Pinot Noir, which boasted strawberry and cranberry
notes and had sheer mineral undertones. It seemed well paired
with the protein and complimented the garlic in its marinade.
The surprise of that dish was that there was no vegetable-a
disappointment after the back-to-back homeruns of the
artichokes and leeks.
Because no proper Spanish wine dinner would be complete
without a righteous Rioja, a 2016 Rioja Ostatu Crianza was
the star of the fourth course. It was predictably paired with

It was fun listening to the thirty or so diners around
us talking about the food and wines throughout the meal.
Everyone seemed to agree that the fried artichoke was their
favorite dish. That was no surprise because before I made it
half-way through my serving, I suggested to Franco it be placed
on winedown's permanent menu. It was an observation I also
shared with Heinle after the meal.

Although it can be said that perhaps the best pairing
of the night was Andrea Fullbright's wine knowledge with
Chef Michael Heinle's culinary skills, Franco was clearly the
mastermind behind it all. When winedown first opened, many
of us went to that wine expert at the state store to seek out and
purchase his wines to enjoy at home. Thanks to a change in
our liquor laws, Franco can now sell bottles of wine for carry
out; something most of his diners did at the conclusion of that
Spanish meal. It was my first wine tasting at winedown and
I'm looking forward to attending many more because being able
to carry home souvenir bottles of wine after such a delicious
evening was perhaps the most welcome surprise of all.
Ms. Denaro is with the Wyomissing law firm of
Georgeadis||Setley.

Summer 2019 | 29



Berks Barrister Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks Barrister Summer 2019

Berks Barrister Summer 2019 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/BerksBarrister_Springr2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/Berksbarrister_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/berksbarrister_winter2017
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