September brings so many wondrous moments to Santa Fe. The bounteous produce appearing weekly at our Farmers’ Market (rated as one of the top ten in the country, mind you), the tantalizing scent of roasting chile wafting through the autumn air…there is something so special about harvest time. As we string ristras and can our abundance of tomatoes, grapes from vineyards all around the northern hemisphere are being harvested for new vintages. And that means older vintages are ready to be uncorked.
One of Santa Fe’s signature culinary feasts is the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, now celebrating 22 years of pairing wines from all over the world with the unique cuisine of Santa Fe. The Fiesta started simply, with a one-day tasting in a parking lot – just 20 restaurants paired with 20 wineries - and has evolved over the years into a full five days of palate-pleasing events. Seminars for those who want to delve deeply into the arcana of wine, a reserve tasting, wine dinners that make a truly memorable evening, chefs' tastings and demonstrations – there is something for every taste, and it all culminates with the Grand Tasting on the grounds of the Santa Fe Opera on Saturday, September 28. Anyone who has a yen for wine seems to find his or her way up to the Opera that afternoon.
While tea may be our calling card, The Teahouse turns to its mind to wine on Thursday, September 26 with a one-night wine dinner, complemented with a thoughtful selection of wines from Michele Chiarlo. The pungent flavors of the Piemonte region of Italy will be poured at the Teahouse table, and we are excited to partner with a vintner whose mission states that he is “convinced that the task of a quality winery such as ours is also that of narrating its origins and history, testifying to the territory in which it operates.”
The six-course tasting menu, with one seating for 24 lucky diners, kicks off with a nod to America, as a Maine Lobster Crostini pairs with a bubbly Caposaldo Prosecco. The meal detours over to Italy via our Crispy Polenta Cake with Wild Mushroom Ragu, served with a 2010 Barbera D'Asti. As in Italy, the meat courses come next, with a Balsamic Glazed Duck Breast and roasted potatoes, complemented by the 2009 La Court Barbera D'Asti, followed by a luscious Lamb Loin Chop Crusted with Porcini & Rosemary served with roasted golden beets & mixed greens and paired with Michele Chiarlo’s 2008 Tortoniano Barolo. Dessert brings out a Moscato D'Asti to match a Trio of Artisan Cheeses served with mostarda & candied pecans. And for those who need a real sweet to end a meal, a creamy Panna Cotta with Seasonal Fruit awaits. The $109 per-person (plus tax + gratuity) 7:00pm dinner requires reservations, and of course, our extensive tea selection is always available at any Teahouse meal.
The Wine and Chile Fiesta attracts visitors from all over the globe to share in the excitement and education of the wonders of the wine world. We at the Teahouse are delighted to be part of the deliciousness that is sure to ensue, and we invite you to join us for a one-night-only culinary adventure on Canyon Road.