During the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the one seminar I was looking forward to with glee was Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar – Meatballs with Daniel Holzman & Mark Oldman. These men sure know how to throw a seminar, that feels like a party! After an itty bitty misunderstanding over media credential authenticity (oh no they didn’t!); I was anxious to start chow down.
Before me lay a pristine laid out assortment of meatballs by Daniel Holzman Chef/co-owner of The Meatball shop in New York City; with an equally impressive selection of wines from the incomparable Mark Oldman, whose book Brave New World of Wine is a must-have book for seasoned wine lovers as well as new comers.
- Crab Meatballs with Old Bay Dipping Sauce
- Chicken Meatball Slider with Parmesan Cream Sauce
- Lamb Meatball with Wild Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce
- Beef and Mortadella Meatballs with Mustard Greens
- Spicy Pork Meatballs with Spicy Meat Sauce
Wines (from my the left)
- Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé Champagne NV
- D’Arenberg Viognier-Marsanne Adelaide, The Hermit Crab, Australia 2009
- Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir, Dutton Valley, Russian River Valley 2009
- Betts & Scholl Grenache, The Chronique, Barossa Valley, 2008
- Castello di Bossi Berardo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006
The room was filled with about 100 or so people, eagerly waiting to devour the meatballs before them. Despite them being cold, undesrtandbly because of the number of people and time constraints, they tasted amazing! The pairings were just right, and there was a little experimentation here and there, interchanging wines to discover the pairings that best suited you.
Miami Beach Convention Center - Meatballs Seminar with Daniel Holzman & Mark Oldman
I learned a couple of things at this seminar; for one – bubbly goes well with spicy food, has a calmining effect on one’s palate. Pink champagne is apparently always a good bubbly to order when in doubt. It goes well with just about everything.
Hilarity was a factor with expected jokes about ‘balls’ and the highlight of the event – an almost death defying stunt by Mark Oldman, opening a champagne bottle with a ladle spoon. I wouldn’t have believed it, if I hadn’t seen it for myself.
The meatballs were excellent! Winning meatball (no pun intended) was the chicken meatball slider with parmesan cream sauce. Succulent, flavourful – the ground up chicken skin fat in the meatball is to blame; paired well with the D’Arenberg Viognier -Marsanne Adelaide. This particular wine has a floral, fresh aroma and fruity taste, hints of pineapple and peach. This wine was so versatile, the crab meatball was a hit with it as well. An elegant wine for an equally refined, or as in my case, learning palate.
Mark Oldman and I
We had a fabulous time, mingling with the local folk and not utilising our spit buckets (why are those ugly buckets still in rotation at wine seminars?). Mark Oldman is quite the character, like a the rock star of the wine world. Daniel Holzman as well does not fit the usual description of a Chef, he’s engaging, cordial and relates to his patrons, so sweet that he references his mum a lot. Bottom line, check your local wine events and see if you can get to see either of them or possibly both, a gay ‘ol time! Again – no pun intended, since meatballs are the topic here