My Jordan Valentine Win!
Well, if you know me well, you know I love me a good contest! And if it's food/wine related, you know I'm all in.
So naturally when I saw that one of my favorite wineries was holding a Valentine contest, I got my wheels turning and had to enter. The premise was simple: Share a photo or video telling them why you and your valentine should win a romantic five-star dinner.
I could have gone the mushy, oh-so-lovey-dovey, story of us: he was my brother's close friend, weren't suppose to date, hence dated, fell in love, survived long distance college life, got married 10 years later, had some kids and still make it a priority to have "date night at home" each Saturday, where we put the kids to bed and enjoy a bottle of wine and something yummy.
I guess that could have won, but how do you capture that in a picture or video?
Right, exactly- you can't.
So the next best thing.....get creative and hope for the best!
Taking 2 bottles of my beloved Jordan out of the wine fridge, I dressed them up in some of my daughter's LOL Doll clothing and viola! They were way more dressed up than we've been in quite some time due to quarantine and such. So why should we win? Because the damn wine looked better than us and has such for the last year....heck, the two bottles were even handing hands! So we might as well continue this at-home (aka wear your best sweats) trend but make the most of the Valentine holiday! And only with an extraordinary dinner at home could that become reality. (well, diamonds would have worked too that's besides the point!)
And after weeks of waiting for the winners being announced......I was one of them!
Enter happy dance and giddiness.
Now for the good part. What we won.......
After emailing back and forth with one of Jordan's Communications Specialists, Alyx, we chose Tao Downtown NYC to deliver our feast.
Enter first hiccup......."running into issues with the delivery range," to be precise. Alyx asked if we could possibly pick up the dinner. Oi vey, we live 1 hour from the City! After hoping she could find a closer establishment to cater the meal and a fail on that, we were faced with the decision to either drive in and get it or receive a gift card to Tao to be used later. Well it was Valentine's weekend and Momma wanted her 'winning meal', so off Hubby went.
He returned rather quickly but returned with something else as well- the second hiccup.......the bottle of Jordan wasn't included in the meal unless we wanted to purchase it ourselves.
No, thank you.....we have plenty in our own stash. But I was bummed about it nonetheless.
The meal though.......OMG......unreal.
I wish I had more pictures to share but you know how things get when you're hungry, the food looks amazing and it's getting late into the night......
So in short (ha- yeah right), for appetizers we shared the Pork Potstickers and Lobster Wontons. Yum and Yummier. The potstickers were jam-packed with a succulent and velvety pork mixture while the wontons were like little seafood pillows of daintiness. Both gone in mere minutes. For our next course, we shared the Lo Mein and Barbeque Duck Fried Rice. The Lo Mein was textbook perfect. Living in the suburbs with limited takeout options, it was awesome to enjoy something that you'd think most could master yet seldom do. On to the barbeque fried rice. Stir-fried with sundried tomatoes, kaffir lime and mint, it was anything but ordinary. And although I was hesitant with the lime and mint involved, after one bite I was sold. Talk about flavor! This dish was just alive with aromatics.
We then moved on to the main courses. I had the Beef and Broccoli while he had the Thai Sweet and Spicy Shrimp. Starting with the former here, what I thought I'd receive was something reminiscent of a traditional beef & broccoli stir fry. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. The 'beef' in Tao's rendition was an aged NY strip and the broccoli was glossed over in a black bean sauce. The steak, because that is what is was, was outstanding. It was glazed atop with something sweet and sticky and subsequently, scrumptious. The shrimp dish impressed as well. A touch heat and tang sweet, it was a dish we'd order often if our area code was that of a New Yorker. And for the last part of meal......dessert. Can I say things got even better?
Spoiler alert, they did!
The Giant Fortune Cookie had the looks of Instagram eye-catcher yet the taste of a baker's finest creation. Light-as-air white and dark chocolate mousses seperately filled each side of the slightly sugared folded over cookie. The cookie, expertly crafted, held its crunch amidst the filling inside. Bravo! And for the other dessert, the Carrot Cake 'Plant Pot', let's just say it should come with your own 'Do Not Disturb' sign. Again, it was a head turner of a plate. Definitely could have fooled me sitting in a window sill. But beyond its whimsicalness, it would make any pastry chef proud. The spiced cake was for sure baked that day, as it was so moist and spongey. And the cream cheese icing toed that fine line of too-sweet-not-sweet-enough profile perfectly. It was so good.
As for the wine with dinner......well, that story gets better.....
After emailing Alyx what had happened with the "not included" wine, she impressively got back to me on that night (Valentine's Day and President's Weekend)! She explained it was suppose to be included and that we'd be receiving a replacement bottle very soon with some other "goodies" for the inconvenience.
Not even a week later, a package arrived. Filled with a 2016 Cabernet, a gift box of artisanal chocolate cookies, a "Sip & Flip" couple's trivia game and a handwritten note, it was quite the care package. I was truly taken back at not only the turn around time but the thought that went into this delivery.
She sincerely closed the note with a "Looking forward to hosting you at the winery soon" message. And after this contest win, experience, and their unparalleled wine, I undoubtedly look forward to taking her up on that offer in due time! Cheers backatchya!