Wine, food and fun with Oceanside Wine Society
I’ve never claimed to be an expert on wine, but a stint back in the day as a junior wine
rep/merchandiser in Detroit gave me a decent foundation of knowledge. This was when
Glen Ellen and Sutter Home were dominating the grocery store chains and wine coolers
were all the rage. That said, I was exposed to some very nice domestic and foreign labels
and the basics have stuck with me.
I’m a bit stretched thin these days to add wine connoisseur to my interest list so I let the
chefs, restaurateurs sommeliers I cover along with Coast News Taste of Wine columnist
Frank Mangio educate me. Wine dinners are another fine resource for getting smart on
wine and I came across a group recently called the Oceanside Wine Society that
appealed to me on many levels.
Two years ago I wrote a feature on Privateer in Oceanside that focused on the stellar
wine program curated by wine and Sommelier Susan Porter-Guarino. Susan, co-owner
Charlie Anderson and Executive Chef Samantha Parker blew me away with their
dedication to providing amazing food and wine pairings on a nightly basis. That led to a
subscription to their wine dinner eNewsletter highlighting their Oceanside Wine Society
that hosts wine dinners at Privateer. After two years of weekly email teasing with some
spectacular sounding dinners, I finally contacted Susan and made arrangements to
check one out.
The featured winery was Lone Madrone out of Paso Robles and winemaker Neil Collins.
Neil has been working in the wine industry for 21 years, spending time at Wild Horse
Winery and then Adelaida, both in Paso. He also spent time in the vineyards of
Chateauneuf-du-pape in southern France where he spent a year learning the cellars and
vineyards of the famed Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the oldest and most highly
regarded estates in France. He returned to Paso Robles to take up the new role of
winemaker and vineyard manager at none other than Tablas Creek Vineyards, the
California property of Château de Beaucastel. Neil’s experience in French wine making
complemented his earlier training as a French chef in hometown of Bristol, England.
Neil's son, Jordan Collins, was our host for this fabulous evening of food from Executive
Chef Samantha Parker paired with the delightful Lone Madrone wines. The cost for this
delightful experience was only $40 for the four course paired menu.
Before I get into the courses, I just wanted to point out that the space where the dinners
are hosted is the Privateer Wine Bar and retail shop and it’s perfect for such events. I
mentioned in my previous column that the space had Dean & DeLuca feel to it, which is
perfect for wine dinners. And as usual, and what I love about Oceanside culinary events,
the attendees were an eclectic mix of serious wine folks, fans of chef Samantha, and
those like me who fall somewhere in the middle and just enjoy being educated on the
food and wine experience by those who are far more educated on it.
The four courses started off with a grilled pineapple, red onion and chicken kabob with
honey chili glaze, sticky rice and micro cilantro. This was paired with a 2014 Points West
White Blend and of course it all worked perfectly together. Course two included the
best grilled baby carrots I’ve had with rosemary roasted pork shoulder served with a
2013 Points West Red Blend. The third course was my favorite with its Dr. Pepper spiced
smoked brisket with a cremini lentil salad and Danish Blue Cheese and a Disaronno
demi-glaze. That went well with the 2014 Oveja Negra. Dessert capped things off in fine
fashion with a raspberry and Muenster cheese Danish with Calon glaze and a 2012
The portions were perfect and I left the dinner satisfied yet not overly full. There is no
doubt that I will be revisiting these dinner and becoming a member of the Oceanside
Wine Society. Their upcoming schedule of wine dinners looks great especially the
German wine pairings happening on August 1. By becoming a member you will have first
knowledge and access to all of their upcoming wine and other culinary events, in
addition to discounts on wine purchases. While the wine dinners are the events that sell
out quick, their other events, such as the brewer's dinners, vendor and pop-up wine
tastings, as well as their soon to start wine club shipments are all gaining popularity.
Privateer is just such a great space for all these events but let’s not forget about the
killer coal fired pizza and full menu from Executive Chef Samantha Parker. For
information on the Oceanside Wine Society email privateerOWS@gmail.com Check out
all their offerings at www.theprivateercoalfirepizza.com .