By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 02, 2014 at 8:17 AM

On Tuesday, June 10, Meritage, 5921 W. Vliet St., will offer diners a unique opportunity to meet owner and winemaker Fred Peterson from Peterson Winery in Healdsburg, Calif.

Known for their old world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable farming, the Peterson’s employ what they call a "Zero Manipulation" philosophy to produce what they call "wines with soul."

In other words, rather than tweaking and homogenizing the wine to obtain consistent flavors, Peterson uses the most gentle, traditional winemaking practices possible to maximize the flavors, aromatics and texture of the wines. The winery also insists upon working with growers who practice sustainable farming, reinforcing his support of time-honored winegrowing traditions.

The winery prides itself in producing small quantities of big, hand-crafted Dry Creek Valley wines.

"I met Fred six years ago when he was out here showing his wines," says Chef Jan Kelly. "I was so impressed with the wines and his philosophy on making wine, I knew we had to host a wine dinner with him. This is our sixth wine dinner, so it’s gotten to the point that we really try to out-do ourselves each year."

This year’s menu includes:

  • Oysters with crispy pork belly and jicama pineapple slaw served with 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Braised rabbit with house-made pasta paired with 2011 "La Stupenda" Barbara & 2011 Dry Creek Valley Sangiovese
  • Duck leg stuffed with fennel sausage with balsamic gastrique served alongside 2011 Shinebone
  • Sturgeon with oyster mushrooms accompanied by 2009 Bradford Mountain Petite Syrah
  • Foie gras donuts with fresh fruit jam and 2010 Muscat Blanc Dessert wine

Tickets are $80 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Call Meritage at (414) 479-0620 for more information or to make reservations.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.