The Best Food & Wine Pairing Ever!!

 Il Cortile Ristorante
Il Cortile Ristorante

What happens when you combine the creative cooking skills of Executive Chef Santos MacDonal of Il Cortile Ristorante and the winemaking talent of Matt Trevisan of Linne Calodo winery? A marriage of “the ultimate” in fine wine and outrageously good food. We had a great time at the Linne Calodo Reverse Wine Dinner at Il Cortile Ristorante in Paso Robles. The event, is fun in itself as it is a different way to pair food and wine. Instead of selecting your menu and then pairing the appropriate wine with it…you select your wine and then Chef Santos prepares three courses of mind-blowing food to pair with your wine.  

The fact that our little “one horse town” as I like to refer to it, has a restaurant the level of Il Cortile is in itself – mind blowing! Carole and Santos MacDonal, are the owners who couldn’t be more hospitable and warming to their guests.  Carole greets you with a smile and ensures that your every need is met. Santos works in the kitchen creating his artistically skilled fare for your meal. There is seldom an empty table on weekends when reservations are a must!

Linne Calodo Winery
Linne Calodo Winery

We selected the 2012 Problem Child bottle, a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 14% Syrah and 12% Mourvedre. It was a full bodied, bold red wine – absolutely luscious with a rich fruit taste. Since there were only 2 at our table that evening, we cheated and selected two of the meal pairings to enjoy with our wine so that we could taste a variety of plates. Our dinner began with a basket of bread and a mixture of lentils, carrot, & onion in a light sauce to pair with our bread. We loved it!






The meal that was selected for pairing with the Problem Child wine, offered the following three courses:

Pan Seared Pork Belly w/ Carrot Puree
Pan Seared Pork Belly w/ Carrot PureeTagliatelle w/ Quail RaguTagliatelle w/ Quail RaguBraised Beef Short RibsBraised Beef Short Ribs

The pork belly had a smoked pear honey glaze and was delicious! The pasta was infused with beet juice to give it a subtle flavor and nice color to contrast the quail ragu. The short ribs were extremely tender and served with a mash of white sweet potatoes. Yum!

For our additional meal pairing we had the following courses:

Seared Scallops w/ a mixed Mushroom Sauce
Seared Scallops w/ a mixed Mushroom SauceDuck Carpaccio w/ a Gorgonzola SauceDuck Carpaccio w/ a Gorgonzola SauceGrilled Ribeye Steak Finished w/ Extra Virgin Olive OilGrilled Ribeye Steak Finished w/ Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The scallops were seared well with a nice mixture of mushrooms. The duck carpaccio was incredible and topped with caramelized onion; served with a mild, complimentary gorgonzola sauce. The ribeye was seasoned well and grilled perfectly, garnished with vegetables.


Santos kindly sent over a wonderful slice of lemon tart drizzled with berry sauce for us to enjoy with our cappuccino. A great finish to a wonderful meal!


As we were about to leave, we got a visit from Maureen Trevison and enjoyed chatting with her about their family history and Matt’s passion & vision on wine making. We were able to share how excited we were to finally get a chance to enjoy some of their wine. Then Matt came and sat with us a while telling stories of their company, his personal passions and his love of the organization that they have built over the last 15 years. It was great to get a chance to meet them and gain insight into the people behind this highly renowned wine. If you haven’t had a chance to try it yourself, call and schedule an appointment at their tasting room. It is one of the Paso wineries you don’t want to miss!

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