Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cadence Kitchen DG for great food-wine

Cadence Kitchen DG for great food-wine in trendy casual setting

For a casual midweek dinner we dined at Cadence Kitchen in nearby downtown Downers Grove, (IL). Our kids have been there and gave it high marks so we wanted to check it out. Cadence sits in a delightful park like promenade setting in the block-long condo building immediately opposite the DG Metra train stop. 

Cadence Kitchen is bustling with commuters, local foodies and casual diners and offers a well thought out menu of small plates, sandwiches, salads, sides and 'mains' with a respectable appropriate wine list that also includes WBTG - Wines By The Glass, for each food selection. Its trendy bright and airy with sections by the fireplaces that can be cozy and warm.

We started with their signature Crab Beignets, old bay, jumbo lump crab, and for a main course, the Red Wine Braised Short Rib with smoked gouda polenta and roasted root vegetables. We also ordered a side of their creamed spinach. All were delicious and ideally accentuated by our WBTG accompaniments. 

While the wine list was limited, it offers an appropriate selection of varietals, regions and price points. The full bottles tended to be 'restaurant' pricing (2+ times retail price), but the lower more value priced WBTG were carefully selected so as to provide great QPR - Quality Price Ratio offerings. 

Indeed, my red wine Santa Julia Reserva Malbec from Argentina was a fabulous pairing with the Short Rib entree at a great value, such that if I could find it a local merchant I would run out and buy several bottles for every day casual sipping. 

Linda's selection of the Alsatian Pinot Blanc was an ideal pairing with the Crab and the spinach. I write often in these pages about the merit and importance of effectively pairing the right wine with food thereby amplifying the enjoyment of both.

Santa Julia Reserva Valle de Uco Mendoza Malbec 2019

Santa Julia Reserva Malbec 2019 is from Santa Julia estate vineyards in Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, Argentina. Valle de Uco is a viticultural region southwest of Mendoza, in Argentina situated along the Tunuyán River and is considered one of the top wine regions in Mendoza, and all of Argentina. 

Their vineyards sit at 1000 to 1400 meters above sea level with deep sandy loam soils and  a cool temperate micro-climate, and in stony soils on the banks of the Tunuyan river.

The combination of cool climate, heterogeneous soils, and altitudes as high as 1400 meters above sea level, and a rich tradition of grape cultivation, make this region a unique and ideal place with distinguishable terroir for producing wines born at the foot of the Andes Mountains. 

The ideal climate and altitude, along with great sun exposure and low temperatures allowing for ideal long growing season produces grapes with that introduce great concentration of flavor, freshness and marked texture in the wines. 

“Who is Santa Julia?” This is one of the very first wines made by the Zuccardi family is named after Julia Zuccardi. Julia is the only daughter of José Zuccardi, current director of Familia Zuccardi. The family has been making wines since her grandfather planted his first vineyards in Mendoza more than 50 years ago. Ever since, Zuccardi have strived to produce wines that express the uniqueness of their place in the region using practices that show respect for the environment. 

Santa Julia Malbec Reserva 2019 was aged in older French Oak barrels over 3 periods of 10 months before final blend. 

This Santa Julia Malbec Reserva 2019 was rated 93 by James Suckling, 90 by Wine Advocate and Vinous gave it 89 points.

Winemaker's notes: "Dark violet and brilliant purple color. Good complexity in the nose with typical Malbec aromas of ripe fruits such as figs, plums, blackberries and marmaledes. Notes of vanilla, tobacco, coffee and chocolate. Full bodied red wine with sweet tannins, good structure and a long finish." Some complexity in a very approachable style, with bright fruit and a tender texture. 800,000 bottles produced.

Dark garnet inky purple colored, medium-to full-bodied, bright expressive plum and red currant fruits with a notes of floral on a layer of moderate chalk and sprites of tangy spice and hints of oak with fine tannins on the moderate lingering finish. 

RM 90 points.