BWW Review: Jordan Wine Dinner at Johnny's Downtown - The Finest of Sonoma in the Heart of the Midwest
Why travel to the West Coast to sample delicious wines when wine country can come to you? Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing of Jordan Vineyard & Winery, brought a stellar lineup of exclusive Jordan vintages to Johnny's Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio, for a one-night sold-out event that featured the best in food and wine pairing.
In a dimly lit private wine room on the lower level of Johnny's (an award-winning local favorite), guests were surrounded by exceptional vintages, wooden wine crates, lavishly decorated tables, and and old world ambience that set the tone for an extraordinary night pairing the finest Jordan wines with the best in Cleveland cuisine.
The evening opened with a champagne reception featuring the new Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble paired with Bilini and house cured gravlox creme fraiche and Ostera caviar. The Cuvée is an elegant, enjoyable non-vintage brut that is formed from a collaboration with French producer, AR Lenoble's cellars by Antoine Malassagne using grapes from his family's vineyards and long-term growers. This light and lively champagne reflects the quality of the Jordan Estate blended with the tradition of the French growers to produce a bubbly that can easily be enjoyed alone or with multiple food pairings including light hors d'oeuvres, salads, ceviche, and more.
The first course featured a spectacular grilled octopus with blistered cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and arugula with citrus vinaigrette and Jordan EVOO, paired with the 2015 Jordan Chardonnay from Russian River Valley -- a 100% chardonnay that offers a Chablis-like quality with crisp acidity, citrus flavors, and light creaminess, which perfectly complemented the octopus. Unlike other heavily buttered and oaked chardonnays, this 2015 vintage offers cool, crisp fruit flavors with a touch of creaminess and a long finish that is one of the most versatile chardonnays I have ever enjoyed.
The second course was an oven roasted halibut with smoked roma tomatoes, fennel and leek, finished with a pernod glacé and paired with the 2003 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley. This bordeaux-styled Cab is a rare vintage, with almost 85% aged in French oak. Versatile and subtle, the 2003 is rich in texture and silky smooth with light tannins and a lingering earthy finish. Proud to carry on the Jordan family traditions, Lisa Mattson explains, "We love pouring vintages that are underdogs." That is exactly what this 2003 is. It is hidden gem produced from an exemplary and herbaceous growing season in Alexander Valley that will truly impress, if not blow you away.
The third course featured a pan roasted veal tenderloin in a cabernet demi glacé with roasted fingerling potatoes and broccoli rabe, paired with the 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley. The veal was silky smooth and combined with the stunning 2013 Jordan Cabernet, allowed the dark, lush fruits and fine tannins of the wine to balance well with the richness of the meal.
The final course featured a lovely assortment of domestic and imported cheeses paired with the 2011 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley. Soft and delicate, the 2011 vintage offers fruit-forward notes and elegant flavors despite a harsh year for vitners.
Former midwesterner and now Director of Marketing at Jordan Winery, Lisa Mattson spoke throughout the evening, sharing the history of the Jordan family, explaining the various vintages and seasonal challenges, and graciously bringing the tradition of hospitality from vineyard to table. Guests were treated to a gift box that included a mini 2015 Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and also had the opportunity to purchase wines after the event.
A fabulous evening of fine local cuisine, rare wines, and world class hospitality, the Jordan Wine Dinner at Johnny's in Cleveland allowed midwesterners to taste the very best of Sonoma, all from the comfort of their own hometown.
For more information on Jordan Winery and Vineyards, or to see upcoming local or regional events, visit: https://www.jordanwinery.com
Photo Credit: Christina Mancuso