Morton’s holds some amazing wine events, it is true. Last year I attended Morton’s Back Bay’s bubbly event and special reserve wine tasting, both featuring signature Morton’s dishes, fantastic wines, and their across-the-board impeccable service. So when my friend Megan suggested we attend a sparkling wine tasting at the Morton’s Seaport location, I was definitely on board.
The Morton’s Seaport location sings spring and summer to me. Overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, the restaurant has that feel that only places near the water have, open, bright, almost like you are on vacation. Megan had gotten together a group of us for the tasting, and Daisy and I were the first to arrive. Before we headed into the tasting room, Jen joined us.
One thing I love about the tastings at Morton’s is that many of them are seated. It takes the juggling of a glass, a plate, a camera, and a notebook out of the equation, and makes the whole experience more comfortable. The room was set up like it would be for any special event, with simple but gorgeous centerpieces on the crisp white linen tablecloths. From my seat, I could see the harbor, and off in the distance planes taking off at Logan.
After awhile, Megan and Bianca also joined us, and soon after, the sweet sound of the popping of corks began. Our first sparkling wine was from the Roederer Estate in California’s Anderson Valley. The Anderson Valley Brut was probably my favorite of the entire evening. Crisp, with a touch of pear flavor and that great, yeasty nose that I love, it went perfectly with the food pairing, a tarragon lobster salad roll that will soon be featured on Morton’s menu.
The second wine, the Louis Roederer, was the only Champagne of the evening. True story: it annoys mewhen people refer to all sparkling wine as Champagne. Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France and must be made of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, or a combination of those, no other grapes. Sparkling wine is made in the méthode champenoise in other places, but it is not Champagne.
Louis Roederer, the original Roederer, is located in the Champagne region of France, and while the Louis Roederer was the priciest of the bubbly we tried, it was actually my least favorite. I am not sure if it was the food it was paired with, but it actually tasted a little bitter to me.
I did, however, love the food, which just kept coming. Morton’s crab cakes, which are all fresh, meaty crab, went well with a creamy mustard sauce. The crab cakes are usually what I order for my entrée at Morton’s, and I adored this mini version.
The third wine of the evening was another from Roederer Estate, their Brut Rosé, a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. I loved the Rosé’s coppery pink color, hints of strawberry flavors, and celebratory sparkle. I could drink sparkling Rosé year round, and I definitely love this wine. I also loved the smoked salmon and crème fraiche pizza and chicken tenders that made their way on to our table. These very different dishes showed the versatility of sparkling wine as a food wine; it goes surprisingly well with fried food, and bubbly and pizza is one of my all time favorite combinations!
The final sparkling wine of the evening was from a winery near and dear to my heart, Mumm Napa. We have visited Mumm multiple times, and I absolutely love their sparkling and still wines, the people who work there, and their gorgeous views. The Mumm Cuvee M is slightly sweet but also rich, think honey and brioche. This, to me, is a very well-balanced wine with a level of sweetness that I can tolerate. It is perfect sipped as an aperitif but also went well with the giant chocolate covered strawberries that were our final course.
I think we were all pleasantly surprised at the amount of quality food that came with this tasting. For $35, you are served multiple plates of appetizers, a dessert, and four glasses of wine. It is a great way to spend time with friends, and I think we may have a standing reservation for Morton’s tasting events!