Wine Pairing at Napa Flair Wine & Store, Cuisine by Grille 54

Monday, December 10, 2012
This past week I had the opportunity to check out Napa Flair Wine & Store with a few local bloggers, Katie (Ruffles and Truffles), Leslie (Dash of Les) and Jodi (Tampa Wine Woman). Lauren (Tampa Uncorked) set up this fabulous night but came down with the Flu a few days prior to, we missed her dearly and drank plenty of wine on her behalf.

Napa Flair's owner LuAnn Shaprio along with Andy Broden from Middleton Family Wines and Danny Rowan from Grille 54 worked together to provide us an amazing food and wine pairing. One great thing about Napa Flair and Grille 54 is that they are neighbors. Grille 54 will allow you to bring in wine bought from Napa Flair and Napa Flair will allow you to bring in food bought from Grille 54. That's what I call neighborly love!

We were welcomed in style with a glass of champagne (Lucien Albrecht) with a wild hibiscus flower. If you have never tried this combo before, you must give it a try. Not only is it a beautiful presentation, but the flower is excellent.

The first course was Smoked Salmon Carpaccio paired with Buried Cane No Oak Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, WA. This is my type of Chard! It was perfectly crisp and was the perfect companion to the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio. The Salmon Carpaccio will be on Grille 54's new menu this January and I cannot wait to eat this again. It was delicious. This is a pairing I could have ate and drank all night.

For our second course we had the Hurricane Roll which is a new addition to Grille 54's Happy Hour: Krab, cream cheese, smelt roe, cucumber, topped with oven-baked chopped shrimp, krabstick, and spicy mayo and sriracha. This dish was paired with Clayhouse Adobe White, Paso Robles, CA. Upon first sip, I knew this wine would be great with any seafood, especially Sushi!

Our third course was 100% Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (there were no fillers in this crab cake!). They were seasoned perfectly and served with a garlic aioli. This dish was paired with Caradetta SBS (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon), Columbia Valley, WA. This wine was pretty amazing and versatile. If you are looking for a good white wine that a group would enjoy, this would be the route to go.
Course four, back to sushi we go. The Sunburn Roll: Real lobster meat, asparagus, and avocado roll topped with seared beef tenderloin served with a wasabi vinaigrette. That's right, a surf and turf roll which was paired with Clayhouse Adobe Red,  Paso Robles, CA. I usually stick with white wines while eating sushi but it was a perfect match to the seared tenderloin.
Course five, it's time for the red meat to make an entrance. We feasted on slow-roasted Lamb Shoulder with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh cherry confetti. This dish is not on Grille 54's menu but I hope to see it on there soon. That cherry confetti was to die for. It was paired with Clayhouse Malbec,  Paso Robles, CA. I am usually not a Malbec girl but this wine had the perfect amount of spices and fruit and would work with any red meat.
Our sixth dish was the favorite pairing for the group, the Kobe Beef Sliders on mini brioche with blue cheese and bacon. This is another dish on Grille 54's Happy Hour menu which was paired with a Cadaretta Cabernet, Columbia Valley, WA. As full as we all were, the dishes were clean and glasses were being refilled in the matter of seconds.

The dessert came out and it lasted all about 1 minute on my plate, Blueberry Pana Cotta. This is one of the featured dishes on Grille 54's Italian night. It was as delicious as it is beautiful.

We had a perfect evening, drinking and learning about Middleton Family Wines while with eating great food provided by Grille 54Napa Flair is a beautiful wine shop whose owner LuAnn has an Advanced Certified Wine Professional degree from the Culinary Institute of America (she knows her stuff!). You owe yourself a visit to Westchase to check out these amazing locations on Sheldon Road.

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  1. I hated to miss this due to the flu. :( The photos are awesome, Grille 54 did an amazing job. I'm so glad you like my favorite local wine shop!

    1. Well...we will need to do another night out to make up for the evil flu bug.

  2. Such a great evening! The food, the wine...the atmosphere - everything was fabulous!

  3. Seriously...what an amazing time we all had indulging in great wines and shoveling amazing food in our mouths. Great write-up Megan!

    1. Thanks Leslie :) It was a fantastic night with great company!


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