Ackerman’s wine maker, Leo Tellez, is a friend and I was asked to help facilitate this dining event. Harold Balink is also a dear friends and a crazy talented chef. Harold’s is his restaurant in Fort Myers. This seemed like a no brainer, a fool proof wine dinner to help with. Then Hurricane Ian hit. The storm’s aftermath caused numerous challenges for us in pulling this off. But we did it. And it was AWESOME.
Ackerman is in Napa and the winery only produces about 2000 cases of wine. It’s super small, super niche and super good. For the dinner we had an Ackerman Sauvignon Blanc with the first course which was a killer scallop crudo. It had lemon and ginger and sat on a crunchy lotus flower. Man when all of those flavors came together it was great.
More wine dinner pairings
Ackerman’s Memoir is a Bordeaux blend that was like velvet. Harold paired this one with lavendar cured duck that sat atop a nice blackberry jam. It was jammin’ together. Leo also poured his 2018 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon which people wanted more of immediately. It was served with braised lamb and fantastic blueberry risotto, mole.
We threw in a couple of wines that weren’t Ackerman, like bubbles from Breathless, another small production Napa wine. We ended with one of the best late harvest Rieslings I’ve had in a long time, from Mad Violets in Oregon.
I put together a fun video of the evening as well.
I attend and help organize a lot of wine dinners and this one was fantastic. While I did not get pictures of all of the courses, check out these mouthwatering photos from Harold’s Wine Dinner for Wine Wednesday.