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Two Worlds Come Together, Pleasing the Palate

A mix of fine wine and exquisite Mexican dishes at the Fourth Annual Alta Med fundraiser East Los Angeles meets Napa

By Erick Huerta
Published on LatinoLA: July 16, 2009

Two Worlds Come Together, Pleasing the Palate

Would you rather have various cheeses and crackers with your chardonnay or a stuffed jalape??o with beef, dried fruits and walnuts covered in a delicious pecan sauce topped off with fresh pomegranates?

Or maybe a tamal de pollo wrapped in a banana leaf smothered in Oaxacan mole sauce followed up with a jalape??o dipped in chocolate?

This mix of fine wine and exquisite Mexican dishes had hundreds of people attending the Fourth Annual Alta Med Fundraiser East Los Angeles meets Napa. More than 20 different restaurants and Latino owned/operated, wineries not only helped raise funds for Alta Med, but also offered a rare opportunity to let people indulge in some of the best food and wines available.

With Latin jazz bands playing throughout the night, patrons strolled around Union Station going from table to table filling their plates with food and their glasses with wine to their hearts content. Restaurants like Casa de Moles La Tia, Guelaguetza, Home Girl Caf?® and various others served up some of their specialties while recommending what kind of wine would go great with their meal.

Rocio Ramirez of Mama's International Tamales said that a a white wine would go great with tamales, but only with tamales that are made without any lard. She said that if they were made with lard, you wouldn't be able to enjoy the full combination created when a sip of wine follows a mouth full of tamales de pollo.

Darryl Galindo of D's Delights Chocolates featured some specialties in his unique blending of sweets and spices. Whether it's his Habanero or Chipotle almond and peanut clusters of his Horchata filled chocolates, Galindo combines his 30 years of knowledge from working in the chocolate business with some Latin flavors creating something that is both original and delicious. He said that coming to this year's event, he wanted to create something special that would not only grab eaters attention, but leave them wanting for more.

La Casita Mexicana served flan made from corn and Chiles en Nogada as people lined up to get a
taste. With a variety of wineries on hand at the event, patrons got a sample of almost every wine available to accompany the rich food being served. Some of the at the event included Renteria Wines, El Centauro del Norte and Lucio Perez Family Estate Vineyards offering taste of Chardonnays, Zinfandels and red wines throughout the evening. The acidity and balance found in each wine spoke for itself as the body and bouquet of the wines filled the air. Wines ranged from mellow and earthy to rich and stony flavors creating an eclectic mix when combined with samples of ceviche of tostadas the pollo.

The evening air was filled with an ecstasy created by bringing two worlds together and seamlessly combining them, fulfilling the need of enjoying great food with great wines.

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