A few nights ago I called up an old friend and a new friend and asked them to meet me at Houston’s The Tasting Room for a little dinner and wine.  I was in need of some good wine, good food and great company.

Luckily, my dear college friend, Jennifer Woodruff (check her amazing self out on LinkedIn) and my fellow new gal pal, Kristi Reddell (FrugallyThrifty.com) were both available and willing participants in ‘Lori needs a few hours out” night.  So we gussied ourselves up, told our significant others and families not to wait up and headed out.

To  my most wonderful surprise, my friend Jennifer knew the Bartender at The Tasting Room who called the sommelier (who turned out to be the Wine Sales Manager at The Tasting Room) who then treated us to a fun and educational evening of wine pairings and food.  More than I expected on a simple night out, but I’ll admit, I felt a bit spoiled!  Just like a lady should be when she goes out right?

See our whole evening below:

Now, a little back ground.  I used to be a wine snob in training.  In fact, at one time, my friend Jennifer and I actually belonged to a group called Wine Snobs.  I am not kidding!  But when the husband and kids came along, wine tastings and savoring creative blends of grapes and learning fantastic stories about the regions and the tastes of wines kind of, well, went sour in the vat.

So as I looked around The Tasting Room and enjoyed the ambiance of elegance in a casual atmosphere, I really was excited to see what was new in the wine and food world.  We were treated to three beautiful bottles of wine to taste.  A cool, crisp Chardonnay, a warm and tantalizing Pinot Noir and a rich, deep flavored Cabernet.

Here are the wines and foods we had paired:

Champy Macon Uchizy 2009 Chardonnay paired with the delicious Truffle Parmesan Fries – You would not think that fries would go with wine but the crisp flavor of the Chardonnay complimented the garlic aioli and Parmesan perfectly!

McDaniel Vinyard Pinot Noir with the Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna – It is a thought that red wines go with red meats and white with Seafood.  That is simply not true anymore and this pairing was my favorite by far!  The mouth melting tuna and the warmth of the Pinot Noir were just amazing together.

Retrospect Vineyards Cabernet and the Steak and Baked Potato Special – In hindsight, we should have sent the steaks back to be cooked more.  But the wine was amazing!  And it’s rich, elegant flavor was easy to drink – so we had to be careful!

The meal was wonderful. The wines were fantastic.  And as we sat and talked and were surrounded by walls and walls of wine, we felt very lucky to be there!  The Tasting Room in Uptown Park in Houston really took care of us and we thank them!

I learned so much about wines and pairing and it was a true treat.  And I was happy to also learn that 15 year old friendships merge perfectly with new ones and pairing that with any food and good wine always makes for a perfect evening!

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