Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Award-Winning Pairing: Sonoma Meets Napa

The New York Times once revealed that the residents of Sonoma County will admit that Napa Valley is better known and has better restaurants, but that is about it. In truth, comparing the two isn't fair for wine enthusiasts.

They both offer a different experience, with Sonoma known for its rustic surroundings and Napa Valley as one of the premier travel destinations in the world. As for the wine, Napa does tend to be better known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma for its Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Even in planning the May wine dinner, it proved too hard to choose.

On Thursday, May 6, The Stirling Club in Las Vegas will showcase select wines from Napa and Sonoma, paired with the creations of The Stirling Club chefs. The dinner includes four remarkable wines poured at a pace of one per course, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

What To Expect From The Sonoma Meets Napa Dinner

First Course. The evening begins with a Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, 2007 from McIlroy Cellars. Expect aromas of cherry and spicy earthiness accompanied by Bibb lettuce salad, topped with chilled tiger shrimp. The citrus vinaigrette and pecorino brilliantly marry the opener with the wine, which is also the wine special of the month at the Stirling Club.

"Will McIlroy...make[s] a line of very impressive wines that are excellent values," said Dan Berger, syndicated wine columnist.

Second Course. Grilled breast of quail and a crisp quail spring roll, quinoa salad, and a roasted poultry reduction will be paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon "Venezia", Alexander Valley, 2006, from the Meola Family Winery. Mario Meola is known for his viticulture practices that are mostly organic, and delivers a rich and complex age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon.

Main Course. A remarkable trio of spring lamb roasted chop, braised shank croquette, and spice Merguaez will be treated with a Cabernet reduction with peppermint, aioli, piquillo, and pepper compote. The meal will be accompanied by Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006 from Lindstrom Wines. What makes Lindstrom unique is it only produces a single, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, using a selection of the very finest grapes from its 4-acre hilltop Nicali Vineyard in the heart of the Stags Leap District.

"An outstanding 2006. ... an understated style that wows you with finesse, offering complex aromas of herb, loam, currant, cedar, black olive, and sage." — James Laube, Wine Spectator

Dessert. The evening concludes with chocolate and hazelnut bundt cake, accompanied by vanilla bean ice cream. The selected wine is a Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, 2005, from Wilson Winery and is the perfect bold accompaniment for its aroma of freshly crushed raspberry, pepper, and vanilla bean.

The Sonoma Meets Napa Wine Dinner is $85 per person, with Stirling Club Wine Society members receiving half off. Reservations are required and seating is extremely limited. For reservations, call 702-732-9700.

Non-Stirling Club members may contact Kathleen Gustafson, executive membership director. Stirling Club members may refer guests for consideration.
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