Wines to Knock Your ‘SOX’ Off, Wine and Food Pairing at Mirabelle Restaurant

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Review by William Jackson 

I was invited by a dear friend (who I graciously thank) to attend Wines to Knock Your ‘SOX’ Off, the Fifth Annual Wine and Food Pairing sponsored by the National Investor Relations Institute, Austin-San Antonio Chapter.  The exciting social networking event occurred on Thursday, May 14th at Mirabelle Restaurant.  Mirabelle’s is one of many dining establishments I had not yet experienced so I was eager with anticipation. Being an inquisitive person, I performed research by visiting to get a hint of the dining experience.  I noted Mirabelle has been the recipient of numerous awards from critics from Austin and those published in the American Way, American Airlines’ Inflight Magazine.  Also, Mirabelle Loves Wine as do I which contributed even more to my excitement.  The reviews and advanced menu could not have adequately prepared me for the actual experience.


Upon entering Mirabelle, I was greeted by a courteous maitre d’, who directed me to the private dining room where the reception and pairing would occur.  I was excited for the opportunities to expand my professional network and of course the pairings.  During the reception, wait staff ensured our comfort by offering a delightful selection of Wild Mushroom Croustini and Spicy Shrimp Sopes perfectly complemented by a 2001 Gloria Ferrer Rose Sparkling Wine (Sonoma) rated as 93 points by Wine Spectator, the most influential source of wine information on the internet. 

Now this was not the typical wine and food pairing, this was something special for several reasons, as guests would learn.  First of all, there were ten wine presentations specially chosen to complement each food selection and in my humble opinion, every selection was right on point.  Second, we were guided through the Pairing by one of the foremost wine authorities in Austin, Mr. Michael Vilim who also is one of the esteemed proprietors of Mirabelle.  Mr. Vilim enjoys what he does and is good at it and yet is humble, gracious and gregarious.  He gave us insight into his selection of wines.  The goals were to select exciting wines which would tantalize the palate and excite the senses, complement the food selections, while at the same time providing the best value and maintain a Wine Spectator rating 90 points and above.  So of course we were in good hands.   Mr. Vilim’s guidance and expertise helped me to appreciate the enjoyment of wine as a powerful art.  Wine brings delight, brings people together and excites the soul; positives many can appreciate as we run the course of daily life. 

My personal favorite was selection #1 a 2007 Yalumba Viognier (Australia) which past vintages consistently rated 90 points.  This was paired with a Texas Goat Cheese with Chive Crepe and Preserved Lemon Glaze; a simply amazing pairing.  This moderately priced Viognier, awakened my palate, seemed to embrace it and gently caressed my throat.  It was so smooth and delightful and served at the perfect temperature.  I had never tasted this Viognier prior; however, the case I purchased will make up for this past indiscretion.    My dinner companions were eager to share their personal favorites and the table was abuzz with expressions of amazement and delight.  Ah, the power of a good wine! 

If you haven’t experienced Mirabelle Restaurant, I urge you to travel to this neighborhood jewel in central Austin and experience utopia, if not for just for a few hours.  I am more than certain you will come away refreshed, invigorated and pleasingly full.  Be sure and have a glass of the 2007 Yalumba Viognier, your palate will be certainly glad you did! 

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