We had the pleasure of hosting Mimi Casteel of Bethel Heights and Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent Winery this past Wednesday at SOHO as part of the High Museum Wine Auction week. Executive Chef Joe Ahn created a beautiful tasting menu and each course was paired with wine from both wineries. The result was pure art.
Miss Mimi Casteel presented wines that matched her elegance, and the wines from Mark Vlossak were as charismatic as he. Her Estate Chardonnay and Riesling met his Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, and together with their Pinot Noirs, they proudly showcased the extraordinary wines of Willamette Valley. They shared their extensive knowledge and love of winemaking, and we all came to appreciate the art of their craftsmanship.
Chef Joe Ahn wooed diners with his deft ability to pair beautifully prepared dishes in a way that graciously showcased the wine. He succeeded from the first course of Butter Poached Georgia White Shrimp. The most perfectly prepared Smoked Wild King Salmon with Avocado Sauce followed, and by the time we tasted the third and fourth courses of Baby Rack of Lamb and Duck Confit designed to showcase the pinot noirs, even the vintners were dazzled by his artful presentation.
I once read a review where graceful servers were compared to butterflies, in that you’re usually happy to see them and they never impede, and I was thrilled to host an event where our staff excelled in the art of service.
Finally, the reason we were all gathered was to celebrate the High Museum of Art, known for its “steadily expanding permanent collection and innovative, exhibitions and programs.” My husband, Frank, reminded everyone of something I said when we first met 15 years ago: Unless you support the arts, you have no right to criticize the arts. It’s been a joy to watch the High Museum grow since I first arrived in Atlanta in the 1980’s.
This past Wednesday, it was a joy to support the arts and experience an artful evening.