We had relaxed at the Inn at Europa Village with white sangria on the balcony overlooking the Winery and Vineyards, then had a nap and now were dressed (to the nines) and heading down the to Musical Wine Pairing Dinner at Europa Village. All afternoon the scent of smoked pork wafted up to our room from the smoker outside that Chef Dean was using.
We strolled into the courtyard with some other guests, commenting on the red windmill lit up and tacked to the end of the winery. There was some confusion as to why it was there. This dinner was Moulin Rouge themed!
Europa Village has 3 labels for their wines Vienza is their Italian varieties and blends, Bolero for the Spanish and C’est la Vie for their French wines. Tonight was to be a celebration of their French Style wines with hors d’oeuvres, dinner as well as a musical performance with singers and Can Can girls!
We headed into the tasting room and checked in. The first pour of the night was their 2011 Viognier. We grabbed a glass and headed back out to the courtyard to enjoy the beautiful early evening. We had a seat at one of the café tables outside the tasting room and enjoyed the view of the gardens and the Inn. You could see the fire pit going on the patio up at the Inn. The Passé course came by to pair with the Viognier. It was a Tarte Flambée with Crème Fraiche, Onion & Lardons. A perfect bite to start the evening. People gathered, many here were “Societe” Members (members of the wine club) and knew each other. We met a few people and were introduced to a few more, and then we were all directed to “The Cave” for dinner.
This is a simulated Italian Wine Cave built next to the tasting room where they hold events. Tables were set for 8 and the Cave was dim and candlelit. We found a table and met some more new people. Dinner began with a word or two from the presenters followed by Chef Dean Thomas coming to explain each of the courses we would be enjoying. The sommelier then spoke about the wines and we finished things off with a song, “Come What May” from Baz Lurman’s film “Moulin Rouge” along with the Debut course of Mushroom Bisque with a Chevre Gourgere and chive oil, paired with the C’est La Vie 2011 Chardonnay. Michael hates mushrooms, so I snuck a look at him out of the corner of my eye as he tested the soup. I felt sure that he would take a taste and then politely put it to the side. Nope, after one taste, he went back for a second and third and finished the cup. Chef Dean you have converted him!
The third course was our “Prima” and finally I got to taste that smoked pork! This was smoked pork tenderloin & roast belly, duck confit “Kronenbourg” choucroute, De Puy lentils and legumes paired with the C’est La Vie En Vie. This is a Rhone Style blend of Grenache, Syrah Counoise, Cinsault and Mourvedre. En Vie means “In Life”. This dish was delicious and aromatic and rich.
The next course was the Fromage Amuse. A little cheese course (we are dong the French thing here!) to round up the savory flavors of dinner
The Finale Course our dessert was a Grand Marnier Soufflé Glace (frozen) with Raspberry Coulis & Citrus Supremes paired with the Vienza Grenache Rose. We stepped away from France with this wine and this Rose was definitely on the sweet side. It made a unique pairing with the Glace.
Throughout the evening we had been entertained by Can Can girls and vocals some from the movie and others from other Moulin Rouge and French inspired movies and musicals.
We strolled out very full into the moonlight through the gardens and then back to our Inn on the hill. The fire pit on the patio was enticing, but we were sated and sleepy so we collapsed into the comfortable bed and waited to be awoken by the sounds of hot air balloons.