‘Wine On Harvest Moon’ an evening in the Andes

By Sheila Stieglitz….

Pictured (l-r) are Palmetto Bay Councilmember Joan Lindsay; Councilmember Howard Tendrich, event chair, and Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.

While clouds hid the harvest moon, guests found much to enjoy at the Deering Estate Foundation’s “Taste, Tango and Toast the Andes,” a celebration of the fine food, fine wine and fine art of Chile and Argentina.

The signature mid-October fundraiser marked the 10th annual “Wine On Harvest Moon” presented by South BMW. Proceeds from the evening benefit the foundation’s mission to preserve, protect and enhance the historic estate for present and future generations.

During the past several months, Chile’s Consul General Juan Luis Nilo and his dedicated staff at Pro Chile helped Deering Estate Foundation director Mary Pettit and her committee create a true Andean experience that included musicians playing pan flutes and guitars, and traditionally costumed folk dancers.

With a glass and plate in hand, party goers headed for the many food and wine tasting stations throughout the Stone House and Richmond Cottage. Their greatest challenge was where to begin to feast?

If they craved something from the sea, Sawa’s Chef Jouven Jean presented a tuna tartar; Sugarcane’s Chef Timon Ballo created a Chilean spiced salmon with pumpkin puree; Red Fish Grill’s Chef Greg True served poached shrimp with chickpea fritters, and Paella Party offered up its popular specialty.

If meat was what the guests desired, they headed to Smith & Wollensky’s station for filet mignon on gaulettes; Catering Concepts served skewers of Gaucho Brochette Carne Trio; Creative Taste prepared steak sliders; The Local offered braised short ribs; Rincon Argentino presented empanadas and chorizo, and Ana Capri had an assortment of pasta.
For a sweet ending, the Bakehouse at Whole Foods Market Coral Gables catered the desserts. Culinary students from Johnson & Wales University assisted all of the presenting food and wine sponsors.

The wine tastings, presented by Crown Wine & Spirits, were exceptional, not only for the variety and quality of wines poured, but also because of the winemakers and winery owners who participated in the event. Crown’s wine buyer Veronica Litton arranged for Chilean winemakers Alfonso Undurraga (Koyle) and Hugo Desanzani (Amayna) to speak about their wines. Adding to the night, Charles Deering’s great-great granddaughter, Blair Maus, and her husband, Todd, poured samples of their award-winning Deering Wines from Sonoma, CA. Michael Dominguez from Antigal Winery in Mendoza Argentina, served his premium Aduentus Classico and Mediterraneo Antigal.

As the weather cleared, the entertainment spilled into the courtyard with a riveting, breakout tango performance. Following the dancers, food journalist Riki Altman emceed as Chef Timon Balloo demonstrated his culinary talents using salmon and Chilean spices.

Guests were invited to preview the exhibit “Just North of the South Pole,” that opened on Oct. 19, featuring the work of established and emerging Andean painters and sculptors.

“Taste, Tango and Toast the Andes,” offered all who attended a delightful immersion into the wine, cuisine and cultures of Chile and Argentina.

For more information on the Deering Estate Foundation, call 305-235-1668, ext. 263, or visit online at www.deeringestate.org.

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