Tom Glase, Winemaker for Balboa and Beresan

“I grew up in a wine-drinking family and the whole food, wine, friends, happiness thing was always appealing,” Winemaker Tom Glase told us recently. “I love everything about wine: making it, selling it, drinking it…the smile it puts on people’s faces.”

That passion is obviously what drives Tom to be the winemaker at not one, but two wineries: Beresan and Balboa.  We are excited to welcome him for two special winemaker dinners featuring each one– Beresan at El Gaucho Tacoma on Friday, March 22nd, and Balboa at El Gaucho Seattle on Saturday, March 23rd.

El Gaucho loves wine, too, and wine dinners are one of our favorite ways to celebrate.  Quite often, the evening is nothing short of magical.  It’s a fun mix of lecture and party, where strangers become friends, and taste buds dance.

“The goal when pairing wine with food is to elevate what the food AND the wine would be by themselves,” explains El Gaucho Seattle Wine Captain James Parsons. “The wine makes the food taste better and the food makes the wine better when paired correctly.”

Tom’s intention when making his wines is simple: “It should taste like I love my job.”  Tom is shared by the two wineries, as well as the equipment used for processing and the wine grower.  Everything else is different.

The upcoming dinners will showcase the differences in the wines.  Vive la Vida, or “Live the Life” is the theme for Friday’s dinner at El Gaucho Tacoma: a 5-course meal with a Hispanic flare including scallop ceviche, duck empanada, cabrito sopé, and New York mole.  “I’m excited about the mole and 2009 Carmenère pairing at this dinner,” Tom said.=

On Saturday, Balboa at El Gaucho Seattle will also have some stand-out pairings: smoked mussels in Brodo with the 2009 Balboa Sangiovese is sure to be a crowd pleaser. “I love pairing red wine with ‘seafood’ because it’s an exception to the rule,” James explained. “This is a cool, avant-garde pairing that sings!” Tom is excited for the 2009 Mith pairing that evening.

Balboa has been a staple on our list for years, and I am always pleasantly surprised at the quality of the wines for the price,” James said. “They are great with food; great by themselves.  This is a tremendous menu and wine offering for the price.”

Make plans to join us for one, or both, of these incredible dinners.


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