Monday, December 7, 2015

Pre-holiday wine lunch with Shari and Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard at M Restaurant. And about Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson in the movie The Parent Trap.


It's a really hectic work week, particularly as I'm flying out soon on holiday, so I was working overtime even on the weekend.

But today I stopped the mad rush for awhile to go and have lunch with Garen and Shari Staglin, owners of the top-rated Staglin Family Vineyard, a Napa Valley winery that's much loved by those who know their wines.

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ALL IN THE FAMILY


Staglin is an entirely family run affair, with Garen and Shari at the helm, and their 36-year-old daughter as company president. Meanwhile, their 43-year-old son, who incidentally also writes for the Huffington Post, runs their IT department. 

Garen, a former Wall Street veteran, also owns an outsourcing company out of New York with operations in Manila and India.

Many wine connoisseurs collect the premium Staglin wines, and lots of people are big admirers of their chardonnay.

WINES FOR THE DISCERNING


Today, we began lunch with three whites

The first white served was the Staglin Salus Chardonnay 2013 which had a very nice taste of oak. I liked this immediately, especially with the appetizers of a chorizo puffs and tartare of tuna and pork Iberico belly.

But then I had glasses of the Staglin Family Estate Chardonnay 2013 and 2010 next, and I never looked back afterwards. The Salus Chardonnay was wonderful but the Family Estate Chardonnay had a very refined finish that I only noticed after having the Salus first.

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COMPARING TWO STAGLIN WHITE WINES

"What a world of difference," I said to Garen, who was seated next to me. Both whites were good but it really depends on what you have these with. 

The Salus, which is less pricey than the Family Estate Chardonnay, is wonderful with heavier flavours as it's quite a strong wine that can hold its own, whereas the Family Estate Chardonnay goes well with delicate dishes. 

We had ours with an excellent black ink tagliatelle with octopus ragu.

LAMB LOIN WITH TWO GLASSES
OF CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Next came two glasses of Staglin Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, one a 2011 and the other a 2010. These were paired nicely with a lamb loin with lentil ragu and charred Brussels sprouts. 

Again, it was interesting how the 2011 had a more feminine feel, perhaps because it's younger, while the 2010 had a more masculine feel.

THE LOCATION OF THE MOVIE
"THE PARENT TRAP"

And while we ate, we talked about how the film "The Parent Trap" starring Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson was filmed at Shari and Garen's home. In fact, they often had breakfast with the stars and the director, getting to know them well.

"Dennis and Natasha were both lovely," Shari recalled. "In fact, Natasha was the sweetest person."

THE END OF LUNCH
AND THE START OF A HOLIDAY


To end a nice long lunch -- yes, when I looked at my watch it was 3 PM -- we had a perfectly light and tangy lemon souffle, which I ate with whatever remained of my wines.

What a wonderful afternoon and a great way to jumpstart my Christmas holiday, coming sooner rather than later in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

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Lunch at M Restaurant
with Garen and Shari Staglin

prepared by Chef Alec Santos

Tartare of tuna and pork iberico belly
and deep-fried oysters with a bagna caudal dressing

served with
Staglin Salus Chardonnay 2013
100% chardonnay blend, 14.5% alcohol
100% barrel fermentation
Aged for 10 months
Offers up an expressive nose of ripe citrus, subtle tropical fruits and white flowers with lifting notes of galangal and lemongrass.

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Black ink tagliatelle with octopus argue

served with
Staglin Family Estate Chardonnay 2013
100% chardonnay blend, 14.5% alcohol
100% barrel fermentation
Aged for 10 months

Staglin Family Estate Chardonnay 2010
100% chardonnay blend, 14.5% alcohol
100% barrel fermentation
Aged for 11 months

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Lamb loin, lentil argue and charred Brussels sprouts

served with
Staglin Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
14.1% alcohol
Aged for 25 months

Staglin Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
14.9% alcohol
Aged for 21 months
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Lemon souffle






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