My how time flies! Hard to believe it has already been 10 years since Perissos first opened their doors to their tasting room out in the scenic oasis of Hoover Valley. On Saturday, July 13, Seth and Laura Martin, owners of Perissos Vineyard and Winery, marked this occasion by hosting a special Anniversary dinner made available exclusively to wine club members who were quick to purchase the tickets. The six-course dinner was prepared by Chef Benchawan Jabthong Painter of Street Kitchen.
The meal featured a wonderful array of Texas and local fish, game, cheeses, and produce, in addition to the Perissos wines. This was carefully created to highlight the spectacular summer flavors of Texas that were well suited to pair with Perissos wines. In honor of the occasion, select library wines and early vintages of wines were incorporated into the lineup. The wines showcased the diversity of Perissos wines and the beauty of their estate fruit. Guests were greeted with a glass of the yet to be released 2017 Rosé. This delightful fruity bright magenta pink wine was just the right cool and refreshing sip that everyone needed as they entered the winery escaping from the summer evening heat.
The event was held in the current tasting room with tables set with bright yellow blooms and wine glasses galore. Tables of eight were waiting to be filled with happy and eager guests ready to see what the chef had in store. Both Seth and Laura took some time to greet and welcome everyone to the event and thank them for being part of the wine club in addition to participants on their journey into this glorious business. They shared a bit of the evolution of the winery’s growth over the years and laughed about how things started out in the early days and reminisced about the first tasting table having wood laid across some wine barrels. They also pointed out the photos featuring scenes of the family and the winery through the years that were playing in loop on the wall mounted monitor. After a blessing, everyone clapped and thanked the Martins for allowing us the privilege of journeying with them.
The first wine with the meal was the 2017 Viognier, made with 100 percent estate grown fruit. This delightfully refreshing crisp white was paired with the first course of a green summer gazpacho soup. The soup featured yellow and green tomatoes along with jalapeño and burrata cheese, and crispy prosciutto and olive oil making for a super fresh and spicy start to the evening. The soup paired perfectly with the wine and was by far the favorite of everyone at our table. Very vibrant and fresh flavors of summer set the tone for everyone to eagerly await the next dish.
The second course featured the 2017 Estate Rosé. This was paired with a cold seafood dish featuring mesquite smoked Mahi Mahi from the Gulf Coast served with mint sauce, cucumber, crispy shallots, and finished with a lemon oil. It was an interesting and unique approach and was a fun cold salad course. The flavors of this dish were far more delicate than the initial soup and it was interesting to have a cold fish salad dish on a hot Texas evening.
The third course featured a duck leg confit drizzled with a wine reduction sauce of 2016 Perissos Tempranillo. This was served with potato pave- and potatoes roasted in duck fat. This decadent dish was paired with the 2009 Aglianico made with estate fruit. The duck was delightful and having potatoes two ways with the wine reduction sauce was a lovely treat. It was wonderful to see how well the 2009 Aglianico has aged over the years and it was a lovely compliment to the dish.
The fourth dish paired the 2009 Racker’s Blend, also sourced from all estate grown fruit, with pork belly. The crispy pork belly was topped with king oyster mushroom teriyaki sauce and served with bak choy, white mushrooms, and an edamame puree. This wine was another hit among the guests at our table, and like the Aglianico, demonstrated the beauty of Perissos aged wines. This tasty dish was another hit among guests as well.
The fifth course featured the 2017 Racker’s Blend which was bolder and more fruit forward than the older version. This estate wine was paired with the braised beef sirloin dish. The fish featured the steak braised in pickle juice and topped with aged cheddar and paired with preserved green beans and cucumbers. The dish was an homage to a Texas type barbeque dish with the various elements featured and was a perfect pairing with the wine.
The final dessert course was a delightful Cacio e Pepe Cheesecake, featuring a savory Parmesan cheesecake topped with local honey and black peppercorns. This last dish was paired with the 2014 Portejas port wine, sourced from estate fruit. The cheesecake was super creamy and the Parmesan and lack of sweetness in the cake was a nice change of pace. Pairing this with the sweet honey and rich port wine was a great way to cap off the evening celebration and enjoy a true cheese and wine pairing.
As guests finished their desserts, the chef and her husband came through the tables stopping to ask guests about the dishes, which were their favorites, and how they felt about their overall experience. No one seemed disappointed in anything. Many of us remarked how much we were looking forward to future dinners featuring this wonderful chef given how wonderful the food and pairings were.
From this Texas wine lover and Perissos fan, congratulations on your 10-year anniversary and kudos to the wonderful work you have done to help raise the bar for Texas wines. You have put your heart and soul into your work and built a beautiful winery, cultivated a stunning vineyard, and are growing fabulous fruit. We are happy to witness the evolution of your business and cannot wait to see what more is in store for you in the future. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey and keep making us proud to serve your wonderful wines. Cheers to you Seth and Laura!