Last night I had the most amazing dinner ever at the South Market Bistro – amazing both because I got to spend time with my parents (it was their first wine-pairing dinner), and the Bistro was also kind enough to accommodate me with a vegetarian menu! We had five courses for the California-wine-themed dinner, which was plenty of food, and I ended up taking most of the entree home. Of course, everyone else had a different menu than I did, so the pairings were more appropriate for them, but I had: 1) Hors d’Oeuvre: Warm goat cheese with chopped pecans on toast with greens, with Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Wine (Mendocino); 2) Appetizer: Risotto with parmesan, baby spinach, wild mushrooms, and carrots, with Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Sonoma); 3) Soup: Sunchoke cream soup with parmesan shavings, with Morgan 12 Clone Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands); 4) Entree: Gnocchi in a parmesan cream sauce (parmesan theme here!) with wild mushrooms and baby spinach, with Justin Syrah (Paso Robles); 5) and finally, Cheese: Cypress Grove Humbold Fog with dried fruit and candied (with cayenne pepper!) pecans, with Honig Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa). The cheese was amazing; it was goat, and the “inside” was creamy, while the exterior near the rind was a more brie-like consistency. I particularly enjoyed the Roederer, Pinot, and Syrah. The Cab was a bit thin, and I am just not a fan of oaky Chardonnays. The only thing I would have done differently is serve a lighter wine at the end – I think a Gewurztraminer or another sparkling wine would have gone well with the cheese, and by that point, you’re so full that a Cab just seems too heavy. But everything was absolutely fantastic, and I very much hope that I can join them again! At SoMar we are also planning to have similar food and wine pairings when our private event room opens, hopefully in February.