Many people have mentioned that they would feel intimidated cooking for a chef, but last night we enjoyed a delicious meal with friends, each couple made one course. We brought two bottles of Chardonnay purchased on our Napa trip for an accompaniment to our appetizer course. Both the Nickel & Nickel and the Gundlach Bundschu wineries hosted our group of chefs and guests in Napa, we sent lots of their wines home. We also enjoyed a delicious Spanish red, Melis Priorat, 2004 provided by our host, it was rich and smooth and is apparently highly rated by others as well.
I had not previously met one of the dinner guests, Ms. Hayley Hamilton, but she was extremely knowledgable about wine and the food business, it made for great conversation throughout dinner. She's the founder of Dallas Uncorked, a social group that is "dedicated to providing an outlet for both the sophisticated wine aficionado and the curious novice, to further their knowledge and appreciation of wine, in an informative and social atmosphere."
"Our members include novice and experienced wine drinkers, all with a common desire to learn about wines in an affordable and relaxed atmosphere. You won’t find your typical “wine snob” at our events! We are average, everyday people from all walks of life that love to socialize, drink and learn about wine. Our members can expect to meet many new professional and personal contacts, while learning about wine and food during monthly walk-about tastings, happy hours, and sit-down dinners. So if you are seeking a way to up your wine IQ in a fun, friendly and hip atmosphere, Dallas Uncorked is the organization for you."
I was floating around their website this morning, and this looks like a fun group. They have monthly meetings around Dallas, and they've gone on trips to learn about wine, places like Argentina and Oregon. The group photos reminded me very much of our recent Cattle Barons Chef trip to Napa - drinking wine early in the day can do that.
So Holiday Gift Tip #4 - give this one to yourself - membership is free. Sign up to join their group and attend some of their fun events in 2009.