Food, wine pairings at Northstar


JP French, winemaker  |  Stanger LR  ·

Be sure to include vineyard visits during your Harvest weekend ventures. You’ll find many dishes from chefs around Lake Tahoe where local produce and natural and organic meats are featured; they go so well with wines.

Recently, Chef Steve Anderson of Northstar featured ingredients from Mountain Bounty Farms during a wine pairing dinner at the mid-mountain Lodge at Big Springs at Northstar. Two California wineries, Stanger Vineyards and Pasoport Wine Company, were showcased.

Pasoport’s 2007 Violeta Port, a traditional Portuguese-style port, was a surprisingly good pairing with a beet carpaccio and feta green salad. This wine, a traditional dessert wine, is made from Paso Robles grapes. It’s a dark colored black-purple, with great aromatics that come from blending several Portuguese grape varietals sourced from their Glenrose Vineyard with brandy. Cassis, elderberry and dark chocolate flavor with aroma of spice, herbs and dark fruit characterize this wine. 19 percent alcohol. $32 for the bottle. Visit

A second Pasoport wine, the 2011 Vinho Blanco is 100 percent Albarino from the Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley. It is bright, crisp and citrus in flavor, with a nice minerality that paired well with the stuffed chicken dish. It has an aroma of tropical fruit with vanilla and green apple. 13.5 percent alcohol. $24 by the bottle.

Winemaker JP French from Stanger Vineyards, Paso Robles, introduced his wines paired with the next four courses. The Stanger Tempranillo 2009 Library Reserve is a classic Tempranillo with a crisp tannic structure, taste and aroma of black current and dark cherry and a hint of licorice. This red wine, a popular varietal in Spain and Portugal, was paired with duck leg confit. 14.5 percent alcohol. $39 for the bottle. Visit

The Stanger Bench Cuvee 2008 from the West Side vineyard is a blend of 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 38 percent Syrah and 12 percent Tempranillo. If you like tannins, try this wine. There is a chocolate and blackberry aroma with a taste that is complex and a lasting finish. It was paired with the Korean-style short rib dish. 15.1 percent alcohol. $39 for the bottle.

Paired with a lamb loin, Stanger’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Library Reserve was a great choice. It is a silky wine with aroma of raspberry and currant, and the fruit taste is highlighted with clove and tobacco notes. Well oaked and complex, the wine is a bit tannic. 15.1 percent alcohol. $49 by the bottle.

The 2007 Stanger Syrah Library Reserve complemented the peach cobbler dessert course. Dark violet in color, the aroma is of ultra-ripe fruit. Flavors of blackberry, plum, licorice and spice lead to a dry smooth finish. 15.5 percent alcohol. $44 for the bottle.

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