As a part of being an American Express Enthusiast PopMuse was invited to attend their first PAIRINGS event in Napa California this weekend. The Pairings Series is a card members only dinner party / concert where Amex pairs a celebrity chef, celebrity wine, and celebrity musician. Friday's Pairing was Dave Matthews, Chef John Besh and Robert Mondavi Wine (held at their incredible Winery in Napa.)
The evening started in the Wine Cellar (pic) with a toast from the fierce Margaret Mondavi (who had a real Diana Vreeland quality) and John Besh's passed Hors d'ourves including alligator empanadas (no joke).
Then we were seated in an intimate dining room, only 14 tables, maybe 100 people max. Dave and Besh came out to face the excited crowd and offer up another toast (there were many toasts). Then Mathews disappeared (for hours) to eat/drink privately, while Besh took the stage with each of his 7 courses of food. See menu HERE.
Dave was sort of present through the 3 hour dinner in that he selected certain
songs to play while each course was served. The selections even had
their own menu (cute detail). See pic of menu HERE.
Eventually after the Quince Tart with Blue Cheese Ice Cream was served, Dave reappeared and performed a 10 song acoustic set. The word 'intimate' is an understatement, he riffed with the spirited (get what I did there) crowd, spoke about the food, poked fun at himself, and seemed to generally enjoy the experience of playing to such a small crowd of foodie fans.
I listen to a lot of music, I eat a lot of food (hello Bloghungry) but I don't drink a lot of wine, especially since miss Lily came into our lives, so the surprise star of the night was Robert Mondavi Wines. Frankly, these days if I'm going to have an alcoholic beverage it's whiskey, but I truly enjoyed the wine tasting aspect of this event (might have been influenced by the fact we sat with the wine-maker herself). See the wine menu HERE. (The first three were my favorite.)
Another video clip below. I didn't overdo the video because I noticed excellent rock doc director Sam Erickson was in the house filming the whole event (he told me there would be some webisodes of the night on-line soon, I'll update you once they premiere.)
Currently there is only one other Pairings event planned: Tom Colecio & John Legend at Craft Steak in New York. Tickets to these events are available to Amex Card Members ONLY, soooo you know what you have to do...
For more musings on the food of the evening go to Bloghungry.com.