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Exquisite Evenings

Copain Wines invites fabulous chefs to pair their dishes.



Courtesy of Copain Wines

This winter, one of New York’s hottest chefs, David Chang of the Momofuku Restaurant Group, will make dinner for an intimate gathering of about 30 guests in the Russian River Valley. The occasion? Supper Club at Copain Wines, a Sonoma County winery that uses Anderson Valley grapes to make cool-climate Pinot Noir and Syrah.

“I wanted to be a chef before I wanted to be a winemaker,” says Wells Guthrie, who founded Copain in 1999, after discovering a passion for the wines of France’s Rhône Valley. Guthrie has since interned at the French Laundry simply to expand his culinary knowledge.

Guthrie’s devotion to food goes a long way toward explaining the success of these pricey but memorable evenings, which have featured such guest chefs as Corey Lee of San Francisco’s Benu, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Boulder’s Frasca, and chef Sharon Hage of Dallas.

Copain’s Old World–style wines play beautifully with food and never threaten to dominate the palate. Similarly, Guthrie is happy to share the stage with visiting sommeliers and even pair the Supper Club fare with additional drinks, as in the meal to be prepared by chef Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese Restaurant, in which sake expert Stuart Morris picked sakes for each course.

At chef Lee’s recent dinner, guests enjoyed a virtual avalanche of canapés, many with Korean-French influences. Delicacies included some of the dishes served at Benu, such as sweet, spicy crisped leaves of cabbage and light, crunchy salt-and-pepper squid. With a glass of Copain’s Trousseau rosé, the meal was like a lively conversation in flavor form.

For your own Supper Club experience, call Copain Wines at (707) 836-8822, or visit copainwines.com. Chef David Chang’s dinner ($375) is Friday, December 14.

 

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