The food trucks and pop ups are covered. Next up: dinners where culinary creations are thoughtfully paired with wines. Learning about wine doesn't necessarily mean tasting in a vacuum. Noticing how certain wines enhance or detract from a meal is another world of discovery. And it's no longer just about white-goes-with-fish, red-goes-with-beef.
Mindy Lopus, Director of Detroit Wine School, has teamed up with Chef Luciano Del Signore, of Southfield restaurant Bacco, for a monthly Somm(elier) SLAM. At each event, Mindy will face off against a guest sommelier, chef, or restaurateur in wine pairing a multi-course dinner prepared Chef Luciano. Diners will vote on their favorites and declare a winner, who will have some serious bragging rights.
The first dinner, which was last month, pitted Mindy against Chef James Rigato of The Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake Township. (Chef James, by the way, is slated to compete on Bravo's "Top Chef" this fall.) Mindy says that Chef James has a "passion for pairings." He snuck by her to take home the win in the Slam series opener.
The Somm Slams started for Mindy at Tallulah and Bella Piatti, the restaurants that she used to own. Once she sold them, Chef Luciano invited her to recreate the exciting competitions at Bacco. The team is having a fun time planning and hosting the events. "The best Slam that I did in the past was with Luciano. He had so much fun, that he has turned his dining room over to me to host the Slams. Sooner or later he and I will compete again – [in the original competition] I won by 1 vote out of 240 so I'm pretty sure he'll be looking for retribution," says Mindy.
The next Somm SLAM will be Friday, August 29, and will see Mindy matched against Mick Descamps, one of Detroit's best sommeliers. Mick and Mindy tasted through Chef Luciano's menu and are busily preparing their pairings. Bacco posted the dinner on their website last week, and it sold out within 48 hours. Clearly they've got a winning idea. Stay tuned to Bacco andhttp://detroitwineschool.com/'s websites for information on the upcoming monthly Slams.-By Hannah Lowe
· Detroit Wine School [Official Site]
· 7 Michigan Wines to Try This Summer [-ED-]
· Jumpstarting Detroit's Wine Culture: Detroit Wine School [-ED-]