We had a great evening for our Napa in November Dinner on Thursday 29 November when Head Sommelier Sandor Molnar and I had the honour of choosing and presenting some superb Napa Valley wines. Hotel du Vin’s Burke & Hare dining room provided an ideal venue.
We kicked off with some Champagne and canapés in the Whisky Snug then went through to dinner where we started with some arancini balls and porcini mushrooms which was perfectly accompanied by Stone Street Sauvignon Blanc 2015.
Next, to accompany the rich and delicious Rombauer Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay was a pan fried salmon fillet – it couldn’t have been more perfect. The pairing was inspired by Great Aunt Irma (author of The Joy of Cooking) but thankfully Hotel du Vin’s chef refrained from recreating Irma’s 1931 Broiled Salmon dish – delicious though it sounds.
Our next course was a mouthwatering “Surf & Turf”; succulent steaks and tiger prawns in Parma ham. It was a challenge to decide whether the Blackbird Vineyards 2015 Paramour or the Inglenook 2013 Cabernet was the best match. The Pomerol inspired Paramour was fabulously rich, yet with soft tannins, whilst the Inglenook offered classically inviting Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon and with a bit more bottle age it had a lovely elegance. Both had an equal show of hands when asked which was people’s favourite and favourite pairing.
For the cheese course we all thoroughly enjoyed the Sequoia Grove Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Again from Rutherford, this wine was packed with rich blackberries and red cherries with a touch of the signature Napa liquorice and some warm spice.
The Journeyman Chardonnay finalised a truly gastronomic evening, perfectly accompanying the chocolate brownie and pumpkin cheesecake desserts.