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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

In Full Bloom: A Collaborative Mothers' Day Happy Hour

I have recently begun collaborating in happy hour events with other female-owned businesses. I create recipes with oils and vinegars from The Quail & Olive and pair them with wines from our third partner. So far Anni and I have worked with Lenora of Big Sur Vineyards and once with Julie of Twisted Roots Winery. For this Mothers' Day celebration, we were back at Big Sur Vineyards.



When I was lucky enough to get two trays full of edible organic flowers from local-to-me Earthbound Farms, I knew I wanted to have flowers in every dish.



Farmer Janna Jo gave me cornflowers in blue and pink, various Johnny Jump-Ups (also called wild pansies), nasturium in medium and dark orange, sunny calendula, salmon-hued snapdragons, variegated dianthus (mini carnations), and borage blossoms.


Kobza Mourtaou Rosé


The first pairing was the Kobza Mourtaou Rosé with Herb Flatbread and Beet-Soaked Duck Eggs. Ryan Kobza is one of just a few winemakers who work with the Mourtaou grape, an obscure varietal, which hails from the Gironde and is also called Cabernet Pfeffer here in California. The average age of Kobza's Rosé of Mourtauo is approximately a century. One hundred years old! So, ancient and obscure. That's my kinda wine.



To the eye, this wine has a pink hue with an orange tint; it's a lovely salmon color. To the nose, I get layers of citrus and underlying notes of spice. But, what I found so enjoyable were the layers of flavors that revealed themselves as we made our way through the course. Additionally the notes of tart citrus and ripe summer stone fruits shockingly do not compete; instead they meld seamlessly for a complex flavor profile that pleases from beginning to the end. The Kobza Mourtaou Rosé is voluptuous yet airy. And it is now one of my favorite summer sips.


Kobza Riesling


I was instantly intrigued when Lenora suggested this dry Riesling. This reminded me of a classic, Alsatian-style Riesling. She cautioned that it was flower petal-y on the nose, but it was a truly dry Riesling. On the nose I got those lovely floral aromas, but as the wine warmed throughout pairing, more of the marzipan and stone fruit revealed themselves. Still a faint hint of petrol reminded me that I was drinking a Riesling.



This wine was a stunner and it went beautifully with Asian-inspired flavors. I paired this with Vietnamese Summer Rolls and Nước Chấm.


Big Sur Vineyards Pinot Noir


This is the only red wine we poured that evening. It was beautifully fresh, bright, and light enough not to overpower a delicate roasted salmon dish: Thai Orchid Salmon Salad.



The wine poured a vivid ruby color with aromas of black and red fruits. Think plums, raspberries, and cherries. There was also a layer of tang like the tartness of redwood sorrel.


Big Sur Sparkling White


The final pour was the Prosecco-style 2022 Sparkling White. A blend of Chardonnay, Semillion, Marsanne and Rousanne Rhône varietals, it has bright melon, mineral notes and a rich, creamy finish. It's really the perfect dessert pour...or just have it for dessert by itself. When we served my Hibiscus Triple Lemon Cupcakes, I was tickled to hear someone comment that they usually removed all the frosting off of cupcakes because it's too sweet. But they ate all of mine.


It's taken me a long time to find a frosting recipe that has the desired texture (soft and fluffy) and taste (not too sweet). This is it.


Well, that's a wrap on my May Happy Hour with The Quail & Olive and Big Sur Vineyards. We don't have another one on the books for the summer. But I think we'll be working with I. Brand Winery in September. Stay tuned for more information. Cheers!



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