Wine Pairings at Farm to Tahoe Dinner at Northstar

Be sure to include vineyard visits during your Harvest weekend ventures. You’ll find many dishes from chefs around Lake Tahoe where local produce and natural and organic meats are featured.  They go so well with wines!

Recently,  Chef Steve Anderson of Northstar featured ingredients from Mountain Bounty Farms during a wine pairing dinner at the mid-mountain Lodge at Big Springs, Northstar.  Two California wineries, Stanger Vineyards and Pasoport Wine Company, were showcased.

Violeta Port
Pasoport’s 2007 Violeta Port, a traditional Portuguese style port, was a surprisingly good pairing with a beet-carpaccio-feta-green salad.  This wine, a traditional dessert wine, is made from Paso Robles grapes.   It’s a dark colored black-purple, with great aromatics that come from blending several Portuguese grape varietals sourced from their Glenrose Vineyard with brandy.  Cassis, elderberry and dark chocolate flavor with aroma of spice, herbs and dark fruit characterize this wine.  19 percent alcohol.  $32 the bottle.

Vinho Blanco
A second Pasoport wine, the 2011 Vinho Blanco is 100% Albarino from the Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley.   It is bright, crisp and citrus in flavor, with a nice minerality that paired well with the stuffed chicken dish.  It has an aroma of tropical fruit with vanilla and green apple.  13.5 percent alcohol.  $24 the bottle.

Stanger's winemaker,
JP French

Winemaker JP French from Stanger Vineyards, Paso Robles, introduced his wines paired with the next four courses. 
Stanger Tempranillo
The Stanger Tempranillo 2009 Library Reserve is a classic Tempranillo with a crisp tannic structure, taste and aroma of black current and dark cherry and a hint of licorice.  This red wine, a popular varietal in Spain and Portugal, was paired with duck leg confit.  14.5 per cent alcohol.  $39  the bottle.

The Stanger Bench Cuvee 2008 from the West Side vineyard is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Syrah and 12% Tempranillo.  If you like tannins, try this wine!   There is a chocolate and blackberry aroma with a taste that is complex and a lasting finish.  It was paired with the Korean-style short rib dish. 15.1 percent alcohol.  It is available at for $39 the bottle.


Paired with a lamb loin, Stanger’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Library Reserve was a great choice.  It is a silky wine with aroma of raspberry and currant, and the fruit taste is highlighted with clove and tobacco notes.  Well oaked and complex, the wine is a bit tannic. 15.1 percent alcohol.  Available at Amazon for $49 the bottle.

The 2007 Stanger Syrah Library Reserve complemented the peach cobbler dessert course.  Dark violet in color,  the aroma is of ultra-ripe fruit. Flavors of blackberry, plum, licorice, and spice lead to a dry smooth finish. 15.5 percent alcohol.  $44 the bottle at

Dinner in the Lodge at Big Springs, Northstar
 This review appeared in Wine Time, a column written for The Tahoe Weekly, on October 2, 2013.   You can find this and other Wine Time columns in the online edition of The Tahoe Weekly.

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