We took part in the Meeker Vineyard Winemaker dinner on Thursday before the Cincinnati Wine Festival 2007. Meeker has always been a favorite stop for us in Sonoma Valley (Geyserville) and we have several varieties in our cellar. The event started at 6:30 with meeting the family, discussing the history of the business, etc. In between courses, the wines were explained and there were opportunities to comment and ask questions. We also met the manager and owner/chef of One. We were seated in a private room on the side of the restaurant. Great atmosphere here- a hip red lounge, a very stark art deco dining room..all housed in the old Municipal building in Mason. Lovely. It also has ample parking around and behind the building.
I quietly asked my waiter, David, to leave all meat off the plate. He asked me exactly what type of eater I was to which I answered "aquitarian" (fish only). He never batted an eye, and my courses came out beautifully prepared alongside the others, and in fact my husband thinks I got the better deal!
A bean soup was paired with the Meeker's non-oaky Chardonnay. I was served a delicious red pepper soup. Second course was a duck confit. I had a mouth watering tuna tartare which was one of the best I've ever had. Then they served a rich Osso Bucco with practically everyone's favorite, Barberian. This is a monster wine, but it maintains its fruit well. It's a blend of Barberra and 3 other wines; the story of the conception is a riot. It involved two employees smoking pot and mixing the wrong wines together. Charlie Meeker and his lovely wife Molly are great hosts and truly vibrant, funny people. The stories all were enjoyable, and their warmth and humor made the event more special. 30 years of marriage and they are still like two kids in love.
I get a little confused about what was served with what- we had the special Handprint Reserve Merlot and a wonderful Cabernet. I had a delicious sea bass with a balsamic reduction, followed by their signature vegetarian dish, a portobello stack. At this point, I was stuffed! The other diners enjoyed a surf and turf...a homemade lobster ravioli and a filet with a reduction of the handprint merlot. They make all the pasta here from scratch and will gladly adjust sauces and side items accordingly. Dessert was a light chocolate cake with creme and raspberries. It was paired with FroZin, a dessert wine made in the ice wine style.
The dinner was $125 per person, which included service. However, our waiter was so great we had to give him a bit extra. Service all around was perfect. A wrong step and a tray of wine covered both waiters- which ended up being laughable thanks to a great staff and hosts. We will definitely attend one of these special dinners again, and are definitely returning to One for an encore meal. The town of Mason is undergoing massive renovation and will be a draw as well.
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