There is a logic behind pairing food and wine, that once learned, can be applied to most situations.
Wine can taste even better with food, and local wine often pairs well with local cuisine.
At Mayo Family Winery, in Kenwood, they offer an educational and sensory guide to local food and wine pairings for visitors of the Sonoma Valley area.
How can wine & food work together to bring out the best in each?
A stop at Mayo Family Winery will provide the answer. All tasting rooms are not created equal… Mayo is on top of their game in Sonoma County and offers a top notch experience, food, service and of course… wine pours for folks smart enough to stop in for a taste.
Although reservations are recommended for the Mayo Reserve Room, they are not required. Located off of Highway 12 in Kenwood, it is a convenient location for travelers of Sonoma Valley. The food and wine tasting experience, puts you up close and personal with the chef himself, who creates the pairings seasonally.
Chef Samuel Frumkin is a blast and highly knowledgeable about both the food and the wine with great attention to detail.
With a level 2 WSET and having a level of expertise from his time at the Culinary Institute of America, Olivia in Austin Texas, Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, and finally at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s Sante restaurant, he brings a passion to the tasting room for each bite and sip that the guests will take.
“Not only were the flavors Sam was able to create in… dishes unlike anything I had ever had, the presentation, correlating stories and feel of genuine hospitality in his interview are what drove me to offer him the job,”
said owner Jeffrey Mayo.
The menu at the reserve room changes about every two months, with inspiring new dishes and wines served for guests to enjoy. The 7-course menu for summer just launched this last week and I was lucky enough to stop in just in time to check it out.
Chef Sam led us through the menu and wines while allowing us to have time to enjoy and chat in between plates. We started, like ALL of my favorite tastings do – With Bubbles of course!
While we sipped the fabulous Mayo Family Winery Estate Grown Laurel Hill Vineyard Sparkling Wine, the family’s story and history of the winery was presented to us in great format.
Henry & Diane Mayo – Founder / Owners
Diane Mayo, after a lifetime of living in or around Sonoma Valley, decided in 1990 to raise some grapes.
Her husband, Henry, cleared off a beautiful valley and in 1990 planted 3,000 Chardonnay vines. In 1993 they bottled their first 200 cases and discovered that it was very good. The following year, 1,200 cases were produced, and they were overwhelmed.
Henry still had his day job as a Real Estate Broker with Frank Howard Allen, so they picked up the phone and called their son, Jeffrey–the rest is history! Today they love the wines that Michael Berthoud is making and they love their Sonoma Valley…making it all a match made in heaven.
It was a lovely story and always nice to know how it all began. With their son, Jeffrey, now at the helm, Mayo Family Winery has gained quite a name and group of wine-lovers in support of the wines the family continues to create.
The tasting room and staff try to create a memorable connection between their vineyards and the wines for each visitor. Based on my fabulous experience and the delicious line up of reserve Sonoma County wines we tasted, I’d say… the connection was made.
And then there was food…
The 7 course menu is a seated tasting with wines and foods served in groups of three with a nice dessert plate and wine to round it all off in the end.
The Mayo Reserve Room takes you on the ultimate wine country tasting journey with very impressive courses. I had heard of the 100% local within 100 miles rule and was excited to try their farm to table experience as well.
Some of the melon was from a farm just down the street, the sustainably raised salmon came from local rockstar Port Seafood in San Francisco, the milk used in the corn chowder was from a dairy that the chef drives to in the mornings to grab milk from Sonoma Valley. Not too shabby.
Not only can you taste amazing reserve label wines on your visit… they pour the good stuff in the Reserve Room… but you are then taken on a food and wine adventure with Executive Chef, Samuel Frumkin. Yes, please.
Each guest takes a seat in a comfortable and intimate tasting room where they can enjoy wine-inspired art, a little lite music paired with views of the hillside vineyards just outside the window.
Next, one finds themselves treated to a seven-course pairing menu that includes seven Mayo Family Reserve wines crafted by Winemaker Michel Berthoud and seven artisian bites created specifically to compliment each wine.
“THE SINGLE BEST DEAL IN WINE COUNTRY… WHAT AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE” — Wall Street Journal
For a cost of only $40 and a low low price of only $25 for wine-club members, it is a true steal of a deal for visitors of tasting rooms in Sonoma County, California.
The wow factor of the wines and spectacular food was high.
You will find your senses of taste and smell are peaked as you savor each bite. It is “just the right” amount of food for a wine tasting. The laid back environment is a perfect compliment to the wine.
Feel free to mingle with the Chef and learn more directly from the kitchen. After only several minutes, you already feel that this was the right choice of stops in Sonoma Valley.
They make you understand a proper welcome here.
Each course has had painstaking effort placed upon enhancing the wine and the food both equally, everyone is the star.
Course by course, wine by wine…keep em coming!
Here are the wine and food pairings I enjoyed on my visit:
2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Laurel Hill Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
Chicken & Sweet Summer Corn Chowder
2013 Grenache Blanc, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Cucumber & Compressed Melon Salad
2013 Reserve Pinot Noir, La Cruz Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
Grilled Salmon & Fennel, Kale Braisage
2012 Reserve Zinfandel, Ricci Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Pork Tenderloin & Cherry Reduction Sauce
2013 Reserve Meritage, Los Chamizal Vineyard, Napa Valley
2012 Reserve Petite Sirah, Rossi Ranch, Sonoma Valley
Moroccan Braised Lamb
2013 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Kunde Ranch Vineyard
#SonomaChat will be Hosted by Mayo FAMILY Winery…
THIS Wednesday- July 27, 2016 on Twitter LIVE from 5-6pm Pacific Standard Time.
The SonomaChat Community will be learning more about the Food & Wine Pairings, asking questions and tweeting LIVE with the Chef, Winemaker & Team at Mayo in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley.
Join the Conversation LIVE on Twitter to learn more while they answer your questions. Follow Along using the Hashtag #SonomaChat…
July 27, 2016 from 5-6pm Pacific Standard Time
Twitter: @SonomaChat and @MayoFamilyWine
I’m also excited to attend the upcoming…
On August 14th, Mayo Family Winery will host a fun-filled day of Zin and BBQ under the oaks at our tasting room in Glen Ellen!
7th Annual Zinfanatics Party
|Date:||Sun, Aug 14, 2016|
|Time||11:00 AM to 5:00 PM|
Serving up an array of award winning Zins as well as a few new releases paired with sweet and spicy sausages grilled up by Mayo Family’s own, Jeffery Mayo!
9200 Sonoma Hwy
Kenwood, CA 95476
Phone: 707.833.5504 (Reserve Room)
From The Website: Mayo Family Winery produces small lots of single-vineyard wines under the premise that the world’s most interesting and highest quality wines must come from a single-vineyard source that can be expressed in the wines’ aroma, taste and texture.
Founded in 1993, the winery has two winemaking facilities in Glen Ellen, California, each fitted and equipped to produce particular types of wines. Mayo Family wines are only sold online or in our tasting room attached to the winery in the town of Glen Ellen and our two other tasting rooms in Sonoma Valley; they are not distributed across the country.