Winemaker Paul Lato, of Santa Maria, uses words like “harmony” and “elegance” to describe the experience of enjoying great wines. A world traveler, Lato says these are the qualities that distinguish his wines as consistently “seamless and textural,” with sufficient structure and balance to complement fine cuisine.

It’s fitting that S.Y. Kitchen, owned by Kathie and Mike Gordon, is featuring Lato and his wines at a Winemaker Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 8.

Chef Luca Crestanelli, also a world traveler, has designed a menu to pair with Paul Lato Wines from the Central Coast. Crestanelli, who has a degree in gastronomy and the culinary arts, refined his cooking techniques while traveling. Within each region, he discovered ingredients, recipes and cooking methods varied from town to town and country according to age-old traditions. Over time, Crestanelli developed a distinctive style, creating an authentic culinary experience at S.Y. Kitchen that blends traditional Italian cuisine with fresh Central Coast ingredients.

Whole Lato Rosé

In order to make high-caliber wines, Lato sources quality grapes, selecting the best blocks within each vineyard. During the growing season, yields are restricted to achieve maximum concentration of flavor. Keeping the lots small allows for gentle handling throughout the winemaking process.

Although cellar work is based on minimal intervention, from Lato’s perspective, true artisanal winemaking is based on intuition, sensitivity and passion.

The winemaker will be on hand at S.Y. Kitchen on Feb. 8 to meet guests and discuss the wines he selected for the dinner.

S.Y. Kitchen, which opened in April 2013, will start the Winemaker Dinner with an appetizer of foie gras with crostini and Calabrian chili pepper paired with a Paul Lato Wines 2016 Manga Girl Rosé; followed by risotto with seared scallops and raspadura cheese with lemon zest and vanilla olive oil, paired with a 2016 Chardonnay Le Souvenir.

Next is a Secondi of Arctic char with roasted beets, balsamic, walnuts and baby artichokes paired with a 2015 Pinot Noir "Les Bons Amis". That’s followed by ossobuco with roasted heirloom carrots, charred onion and new potatoes, paired with a 2015 Pinot Noir Duende.

For dessert, Crestanelli will serve chocolate terrine with raspberry sauce, paired with a 2013 Kiss Me Again Late Harvest Grenache.

Pricing is $150 per person and includes wines, tax and gratuity. Dinner begins promptly at 7 p.m. Advance reservations are required. Contact: S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., Santa Ynez; 805-691-9794; or email Kristine Brouillet at Visit; Twitter at @sykitchen1.


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