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An unbelievable night at Ascension Cellars Winemaker dinner

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Los Angeles, CA — Yesterday I was lucky enough to grace the presence of Executive Chef Jennifer O’Neil, along with boutique winery owners Lisa & Dave Dinsmore at Wood and Vine.  This restaurant is in the heart of Hollywood near the corner of Vine Street and Hollywood Boulevard.  The establishment itself had a lovely allure with the backyard lights and steel stools, the perfect setting for a mid-week dinner.

The table that I sat at had a fire pit in the middle which reminded me of a bonfire. They had a projector showing an old school movie against the building beside it, but you had to look up to notice.  Something you don’t see every day!  The uniqueness of the dinner was definitely evident.

The Vine to Vine: Ascension Cellars Winemaker Dinner is only for small boutiques who produce less than 1,000 cases per year.  They grow, mix, and create the blends.  The winery where they grow the grapes is called Cass Winery and they hold both stainless steel and oak barrels to blend the grapes.  For Rose, they are only created in the stainless steel and Dave refers to its taste as “liquid jolly ranchers.”

As for my favorite dish, the Jerk Seasoned Octopus, it was braised in white wine for four hours.  This dish was so perfect that everyone at the table raved that it should be placed on the Wood & Vine menu.  The mango salsa was just sweet enough to satisfy the sweet and savory taste to pop along with the Syrah.

Before the event started I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first food and wine event but, upon leaving, I was so happy that I purchase my own bottle of Siren Rose.  The experience was amazing because everyone was friendly and honest about their opinions on the food and wine.

As a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to my next one!

Menu

1st Course

Wine: Siren Rose 2017

Mandarin Orange Salad

Crushed almonds, feta, arugula, vinaigrette

Photo by Deja Mattox

2nd Course

Wine: Enchantress Rhone Blend 2016

Pineapple Shrimp Boats

Lemongrass, ginger, red bell peppers, onion, jalapenos, garlic, pineapple, shrimp

Photo by Deja Mattox

3rd Course

Wine: Mayhem Syrah 2015

Jerk Seasoned Octopus

Mango chutney salsa, scallion oil, charcoal puree onions

Photo by Deja Mattox

4th Course

Wine: Soul Shaker Bordeaux Blend with Cali Twist 2014

Asian Style Quail

Jasmine Rice

Photo by Deja Mattox

5th Course

Wine: Rapture Dessert Wine 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Blackberry Sauce

Photo by Deja Mattox

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