In case you missed this popular event…
Before I take off across the pond for a quick trip to China, I would like to give you a brief impression of the Annual Wine Dinner, in case you missed this popular event. Highlights of the wine dinner reinforce that we not only can deliver fun casual events such as low country boils and oyster roasts, but offer an exquisite fine dining experience as well.
The Anniversary Wine Dinner began in our beautifully appointed Commodore Room with an exquisite wine tasting and an education featuring California’s Alexander Valley Wines . Alexander Valley Vineyards winemaker Kevin Hall has been with AVV since 1999. Hall’s philosophy about winemaking is: “When you receive fruit from the vineyard, you shouldn’t muck around with it too much.” It seems to be an excellent mantra considering that under his direction, AVV has garnered many awards.
The thematic approach of the evening reflected on the fond memories over the years, that were enjoyed by the members and staff at the club while making yet another new memory. Gourmet dining often puts the wine selection secondary to the choice of dishes. At our annual Wine Dinner this process is reversed; first the wine is selected, while the Chef selects ingredients, creations and dishes that match the wine selection to perfection. It’s obviously a huge challenge to interpret the wines to match with accompanying dishes.
When it was time for the 5 course gourmet dinner to be served, Club members were kindly instructed to identify their picture as their seat assignment in the main dining room. The candles were lit and tables were dressed for the event with charcoal floor length cloths and black overlays. The centerpieces were silver photo cubes decorated with white hydrangeas. The photo frames were filled with pictures of Club members at various events over the past several years, which offered nice and humorous conversation pieces.
As the guests were serenaded by classical guitarist, Richard Stratton, the main event was served. The five-course Wine Dinner was opened with AVV’s 2009 Estate Chardonnay, complemented with seared U-10 Scallops over a Puree of Celery Root and Yukon Gold Potatoes, topped with Crispy Fried Leeks and fresh Salmon Roe Pearls. A perfect match.
Next was the 2008 Estate Merlot with White Bean Soup, with a Pork Belly Confit and White Truffle Oil. Yummi choice. California favorite, 2009 Sin Zin, with its spicy, jammy, and elegant fruity flavor was a big hit. Chef Shawn outdid himself with the accompanying Cherry Smoked Salmon on a Bed of Braised Leeks, smothered in a Smoked Cherry Tomato Salad and Balsamic Reduction.
The 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the Vineyard’s flagship wine, was a regal overture for Pesto Crusted Lamb Loin Chop served with Caramelized Spaghetti Squash and Smalto de Viande.
Chef Shawn had scored four out of four and when the desert wine, a 2009 Temptation Zinfandel became the companion to a Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Tarte, topped with White Chocolate Foam and a surprising dash of Smoked Sea Salt (a stroke of genius), the matching game scored beyond the charts, also because the OBYC staff introduced the various courses with an elegant synchronized service, creating an amazing experience of cuisine, wines and presentation. Club Members and guests treated Chef Shawn Meeks and his staff to a wonderful well deserved round of applause at the end of the evening.
by Terrie Sanders