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Recap: A sold-out White Oak wine dinner at Elcona County Club

Tiedemann Wines hosted a White Oak Wines dinner at Elcona Country Club in Elkhart last month. We poured five wines to the sold-out crowd of members and guests.

Good friends Tom and Dana Pletcher, who have some involvement in White Oak, were on hand as well. If you know Tom, you know it was pretty easy to coerce him into providing the group with some interesting background information (and then some) on the White Oak organization.

Executive Chef Casey Hochstetler and his team, as usual, did an outstanding job of pairing food selections with the White Oak wines. If you look closely at this menu, you’ll find it very advanced for this area…Chef Casey made some interesting selections.

Here is the menu and the wine pairings…you be the judge:

Carl Tiedemann/Tiedemann on Wines

1st Course: Tomato tartare with house-made pancetta, white asparagus, shaved pickled fennel, micro arugula and chive oil. Paired with the White Oak Sauvignon Blanc – Russian River Valley

2nd Course: Saffron and potato gnocchi, house-made ricotta, roasted garlic and pan-seared diver scallop in brown butter with micro celery. Paired with the White Oak Chardonnay – Russian River Valley

3rd Course: Head cheese, lamb bresaola, country style pork and raisin terrine, eggplant terrine, grassfields farm cheese, micro parsley salad and black pepper challah crostinis. Paired with the White Oak Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley

Intermezzo: Strawberry rhubarb sorbet

4th Course: Braised short rib, red onion gremolata, caramelized mushroom risotto, spring peas, black garlic. Paired with the White Oak Merlot – Napa Valley

5th Course: Chocolate peanut butter crisp, cocoa nib syrup, caramel corn and popcorn ice cream. Paired with the White Oak Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley

June 11, 6:30 p.m. – Uptown Kitchen, Granger, featuring Eric Kent wines
June 16, 6:30 p.m. – McCarthy’s, Elkhart, featuring Glenwood Cellars wines and the Tiedemann Red
June 23, 6:30 p.m. – Lucchese’s, Elkhart, featuring craft beer from Iechyd Da and wines from the Tiedemann Wines portfolio (This is Round 2 of our Craft Beer vs. Boutique Wine Competition)

I have done articles several times on White Oak Wines and the White Oak Winery, most recently on my springtime trip to Napa.

RELATED: Tiedemann on Wines: Carl Tiedemann takes his spring 2015 trip to wine country, April 27, 2015

A quick recap on White Oak: The winery is located about one hour north of Napa at 7505 CA-128, Healdsburg, Calif. It is very easy to get to from Napa. As I have mentioned before, if you are in Napa Valley I would recommend a visit to White Oak.

They have a great tasting room and Francesca Huson, tasting room manager, is a delight to work with. Call or email Francesca to arrange a tasting: or 707-433-8429.

The wines of the evening: Listed below are the wines we poured in the order served, so that they match the menu above. We have provided the winemaker’s (Bill Parker) tasting notes to give you an idea of the flavor profile of each wine.

2013 White Oak Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

  • Varietal blend: 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque
  • Tasting notes: Led by aromatic notes of nectarine and citrus zest with a hint of cotton candy, the flavors develop into Asian pear and Mandarin orange with an integrated bit of flinty minerality on the palette. The wine finishes with bright fruit and firm acidity.

2012 White Oak Russian River Chardonnay

  • Varietal blend: 100 percent Chardonnay
  • Tasting notes: Aromas of honeysuckle, brioche and stone fruit lead into a creamy palette entry supported by flavors of golden apple, crème brûlée and honeydew melon. The wine finishes long with an underlying core of sweet, ripe fruit and toasty oak.

2012 White Oak Russian River Pinot Noir

  • Varietal blend: 100 percent Pinot Noir
  • Tasting notes: This elegant Pinot Noir shows delicate notes of cranberry and raspberry dusted with spice and earthy tones. The balanced acidity and soft tannins combine to form a lengthy finish.

2007 White Oak Merlot

  • Varietal blend: 100 percent Merlot
  • Tasting notes: Bright fruit notes of black cherry along with vanilla, coffee and chocolate reveal extra dimensions of depth and complexity. It is rich and supple, with firm but integrated tannins.

2007 White Oak Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Varietal blend: 86 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 11 percent Merlot, 3 percent Cabernet Franc
  • Tasting notes: Classic, elegant wine with aromas of black cherry and toasty oak that are complemented by rich vanilla bean. Mouth filling with layers of pomegranate, dark cherry and currant that unfold with supple tannins on a lingering finish.
Tom Pletcher (left) provided the Elcona group with background information on the White Oak organization during the dinner and visited with Gus Feiler (right). Carl Tiedemann/Tiedemann on Wines

If you are interested in any of these wines or other White Oak Wines you can order them through White Oak’s website or by requesting them at your local wine shop. There are two distributors of White Oak Wines in Indiana. The wine shops can reach out to these distributors and special order the wine for you. In this area (Elkhart/South Bend), I would suggest contacting a Chalet Party Shoppe.

Wine dinners and tastings are a great way to experience a variety of wines and vineyards. Attending these events gives you the opportunity to build your knowledge on wine and expand your palate. You can check our schedule of events below for future dinners and tastings.

As always, I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics please do so in the comments section below.

Until next week,

For more wine tasting tips and recommendations from Carl Tiedemann, and to find out how to join the Tiedemann On Wines wine club, visit

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