“Nobody in the $26 billion dollar wine industry does a dinner like this.” – The Count of Buena Vista
I had the pleasure of attending a Buena Vista Winery wine dinner at Farina’s in Grapevine earlier this week. My regular readers may recognize the name; I visited Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma in 2017 (and wrote about it here). The oldest commercial winery in the United States, Buena Vista Winery celebrates their heritage with regular wine dinners around the country with their mascot, The Count, who founded BVW in the 1800s and was magically resurrected by the winery several years ago.
I took my lovely friend Wendy Darling, not to be confused with horse Wendy Darling, and had the best time introducing her to Buena Vista’s fine selection of wines! We hammed it up around historic downtown Grapevine before heading into Farina’s for the four course dinner. You my recognize Wendy from my recent dinner party, which she attended with her fantastic fella, who took these fun photos for us.
Photography by Darling Photography TX*
*with a few iPhone snaps thrown in
The Count’s wine dinners I’m told typically have around fifty guests, so jump on those tickets if you see one in a city near you! Restaurants come up with a menu paired with their choice of Buena Vista Winery wines. In between courses, guests are treated to the dramatic history of The Count and Buena Vista Winery with a theatrical story telling and even some delightful wine songs.
The first course was a grilled peach salad with goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula paired with Buena Vista’s Chardonnay. The acid in the fruit cleanses the palate and cuts through the butteriness of the chardonnay. I’m not big arugula fan but I did make a note that I need to start grilling peaches.
The second course was a smoked Gouda cream soup paired with Buena Vista Pinot Noir. Have you ever heard of Gouda soup? I had not and I adored it. It was smoky and creamy with carrots and celery. During this course, The Count explained that Pinot Noir is a grape that does not benefit from being blended with other grapes. BVW’s Pinot Noir proudly features the original label from 1863, making it a great gift for history lovers! (*hint hint*)
Next up was a vibrant pink prickly pear plate cleanser sorbet. (Try saying that three times fast!) My mom is a pear fanatic and would have adored this tiny dish!
The main course of the evening was ox-tail Osso Bucco with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes. Farina’s paired this dish with Buena Vista’s bold red The Sheriff, which I imagine is probably very popular in Texas. I knew I was going to love the dish when I dove in with my knife and fork and the ox-tail fell apart. It was so tender, no knife was necessary. Delicious!
“A chef cooks what other people want. A cook cooks what he wants.” – Carla Nichols, Buena Vista Winery
Dessert was Farina’s dark chocolate torte with bacon, paired with Chateau Buena Vista Napa Valley Cabernet. This was my favorite wine of the evening, so I’m glad they saved it for last! I love a good Cab and this is a great one, especially with the raspberry notes of the chocolate torte. If fact, I have to give due praise to Farina’s: this is one of the rare occasions that I felt dessert was truly elevated by wine. Historically speaking, I’ve not been a huge fan of wine with dessert but Farina’s hit a home run in pairing this cabernet with chocolate cake.
Shop Buena Vista wines here. Today Buena Vista Winery is owned by Jean-Charles Boisset and is part of the Boisset Collection. The Count told me, “Boisset isn’t creating wine. He’s creating dreams.” I don’t know you, but I’ll take case of dreams any day!
This article is intended to be a general resource. Any recommendations are based on personal opinion. A portion of this article may have been compensated but opinions are my own, always. I’m not a fan of negativity so if I don’t like something, I don’t write about it. I’m here to tell you about the best of the best!