Chris is a member and board member of the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce. Every few months they host a fun Networking event and we recently attended a “Wines & Steins” dinner and Tasting with one of the local restaurants.
This quarter the Ramsey Acapulco Restaurant was happy to host the event. The host Sam Leon talked about Acapulco’s answer to fine Mexican dining. Sam told us about his family and spun the stories behind the family recipes that make Acapulco THE go to Mexican Restaurante in town!
I have to admin I was intrigued. To be honest the only wine I have paired with Mexican food is a really good Zinfandel and that was with Fajitas at home. I could not miss an opportunity to try Mexican food with various varietals. I thought that maybe I was missing out on something good. Chris reserved two tickets and she also contacted some of our friends to see if they wanted to attend. I figured for $20 what could it hurt? We typically spend that much money on Acapulco food already.
Networking for the Wine tasting started roughly at 4:45pm. Chris and I arrived prior and were signed and given name badges, which I truly appreciate. There were many familiar faces and seeing the name badges really does help. Next to the badge table was a tasting table. We were offered a glass of Gato Negro Chardonnay from Chile. The Gato Negro Chardonnay is Acapulco’s house Chardonnay.
Since we had two additional couples joining us we needed find available space. We saw a few more friendly faces, Scott and his wife Jan and asked if we join them. They graciously said yes.
We had two glasses of the Gato Negro Chardonnay. The first glass was sweet and taste like pear and apple. We had a few salty chips and then had our second glass. This time, the Chardonnay was a little more tart and it also had a taste of unripe Musk Mellon. We basically rated the Chardonnay two glasses.
The dinner event started by Pete (Chamber President) introducing Sam Leon and Acapulco. Sam started the evening with a brief introduction about himself, Acapulco and his family. He also mentioned that his niece attended a culinary school and was responsible for the evenings menu. He joked and said he would take credit if the food was good!
The first course was a very nice Raspberry and Balsamic Vinegaret dressing. The salad was paired with a Coppola Bianco Pinot Grigio. The salad was excellent! The Pinot Grigio was sweet and salty. The taste was grassy and flabby. It was just “o.k.” and the salad was clearly the winner.
The next course was a Mexican style soup but I cannot recall what it was called. The soup was not cream based and it had ground up peppers in the sauce. It included cut up cabbage and small meat balls and was a little bit spicy, which I prefer. We were served a 2007 Cannonball Cabernet from California. To the nose the Cabernet was sweet. Tasting the Cabernet the tannins were soft and approached the front of my tongue while I could taste red fruit. I did pucker up a little bit as it was a little tart. Again the food shined. I would rate the Cannonball Cabernet about 2 1/2 glasses tops.
The third course was fish tacos made with Mahi Mahi and I have to admit I love fish tacos. The tacos were paired with a Chateau St Michelle Riesling, which was sharp and crisp to the nose. It was sweet tasting and I do think that it paired well with the Mahi Mahi tacos. Although I am not typically a Riesling fan I would rate this wine 2 1/2 glasses.
The main course was a small stake with rice. I was the last person to be served and unfortunately my steak was well done. I noticed the steaks were not consistent among the plates at the table as some were medium, medium rare and mine was well done like what you would get with Fajitas! The steak was paired with a 2009 Antigal Uno Malbec from Argentina. I was really hoping it would stick out from the other wines. Fortunately, to my liking it did! Smelling the Malbec I noted Bing Cherry and dark fruit. Tasting the wine, we could taste Cocoa, Light coffee. The tannins were medium and felt in the front of our tongue. The wine paired nicely but I would have preferred my steak medium at least. The Malbec for the price ($35.95 retail) was rated three glasses.
We finished the meal with fried ice cream with a white alcohol cream sauce. The fried ice cream was pretty good.
Wrapping up the night, Sam’s staff poured everyone a shot of Sauza Tequila and made a toast. Overall the evening was very nice. The food was pretty good and the staff was great. I will not let the steak change my opinion of the restaurant overall and still plan to frequent Acapulco as they have excellent Mexican food!